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Twins' defense, bullpen squander another rally

This is the story of the 2021 Twins.
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Taylor Rogers

Andrelton Simmons tied the game in the bottom of the eighth inning but poor defense and a leaky bullpen led the Twins to a 7-6 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon.

The Athletics got on the board in the second inning when Matt Chapman lined an RBI single off Kenta Maeda. Max Kepler responded in the bottom half of the inning with a three-run homer to give the Twins a 3-1 lead.

Kepler added another RBI on a sacrifice single in the third but the Athletics got to Maeda in the fifth inning with three straight singles including an RBI single by Sean Murphy.

Rocco Baldelli turned to Tyler Duffey, who entered the game in a bases-loaded jam. After Seth Brown drove in a run on a ground out, the Athletics tied the game when Ben Rortvedt was called for catcher's interference on a rundown play.

On the next at-bat, Chapman delivered a sacrifice fly to give Oakland the lead and added another run on an infield single to put the Athletics up 6-4.

That set the stage for another rally off Oakland reliever Jake Diekman in the eighth. With Kepler leading off the inning with a double, Simmons delivered a two-run blast that tied the game at 6-6.

But unlike Saturday's come-from-behind win, the Twins couldn't hold the lead in the ninth. Ramon Laureano led off the inning with a single against Taylor Rogers and made his way to third on a throwing error by Josh Donaldson.

Although Rogers struck out Chapman for the second out, the ball went past Mitch Garver to allow Laureano to score the winning run.

After Sunday's loss, the Twins (13-25) will open a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.

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