MINNEAPOLIS -- The A's are off Tuesday, after spoiling the Minnesota Twins' home opener on Monday with an 8-3 win. The day of rest couldn't be coming at a better time for shortstop Jed Lowrie.
One of the weirdest days of Lowrie's big league career ended when he was hit by a pitch on his right leg in the seventh inning and had to limp off the field. The trainers are reasonably certain no bones were broken, but "it's going to be pretty black and blue," Lowrie said.
Along with getting hurt, Lowrie was the focal point of the game's oddest moment. He tried to take off for first base on a walk in the third inning, only to be told that the ball thrown by Twins starter Kevin Correia was ball three. Lowrie then hit a bomb down the right-field line that went over the fence but was ruled foul. A review ensued that lasted about five minutes before the original call was upheld.
Then Correia walked Lowrie, for real.
"I saw the scoreboard say the count was 3-2," Lowrie said. "I always ask the umpire when it's a 3-2 count, but this time I didn't. Then I hit that one out. And then I walked. I reached first base three times in the same at-bat."
The A's would go on to score three runs in the third. Josh Donaldson followed Lowrie's walk with a double, Brandon Moss contributed a two-run single, and Alberto Callaspo drove in a run with a double. That took some of the sting out of Lowrie's losing what the A's thought was a homer.
"I was sitting right on the line," said manager Bob Melvin, who went out to ask the umpires if they were confident of the foul ball. "I realize sometimes I'm a little one-sided. But that's what (replays) are for. I appreciate them taking a look at it."
Lowrie said the ball was straight most of the way down the line, "then took a hard line to the right." It's possible that the wind, listed at 16 mph when the game started, took the homer away from him. But it scarcely mattered.
This was a day for the A's to rally behind starter Scott Kazmir, who was a little under the weather because of back pain. Kazmir usually dominates the Twins, but on this day he was merely OK.
"These guys do a lot to support you," Kazmir said after moving to 2-0 by allowing three runs on six hits and four walks in six innings. "They do it at the plate, and they do it on defense, too. There were a couple of innings there where they saved me. I got lucky with a line drive (caught by second baseman Eric Sogard) and a grounder (snared by Moss at first)."
Moss also contributed a two-run single, and Yoenis Cespedes drove in two runs with a single and a sacrifice fly.
Kazmir's back wasn't the only thing bothering him. It was opening day for the Twins, which meant an odd midafternoon (3:10 p.m. Central) starting time. And when twilight rolled around a few hours later, Kazmir threw one pitch where he could barely see home plate.
"I was just blinded by the sun," he said.
But it was a good day for Kazmir to be a little off. The A's had 10 hits, including a solo homer by catcher Derek Norris.
"He's going to tell you that he didn't have a good day," Norris said of Kazmir. "But I think he threw pretty well. When pitches needed to be made, he made them."
A's (Jesse Chavez 0-0) at Minnesota (Phil Hughes 0-0), 10:10 a.m. CSNCA