Twins blast Oakland with HR’s 03 May 17

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Ervin Santana struck out seven in six shutout innings and Brian Dozier hit two of Minnesota’s six home runs to lead the Twins to a 9-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.

Santana (5-0) lowered his ERA to 0.66 for the season and has allowed one run or fewer and gone at least six innings in all six of his starts. Fernando Valenzuela is the only pitcher to do it more when he went seven straight to start the 1981 season.

Miguel Sano, Jason Castro, Byron Buxton and Joe Mauer also went deep for the Twins, who have won three in a row and five of their last six.

Sonny Gray (0-1) made his season debut for the Athletics, giving up four runs on five hits and striking out four in six innings. Yonder Alonso homered for the A’s, who struck out 11 times, the seventh time in the last eight games they have reached double-digit whiffs.

 

BOSTON (AP) — Sam Mele, a former big league outfielder who later managed the Minnesota Twins to a team-record 102 wins in a season, has died. He was 95.

The Boston Red Sox said Tuesday that Mele died at home Monday in Quincy, Massachusetts. Mele made his major league debut with the Red Sox in 1947 and, after he was done managing, worked 25 years for them as a scout and in other roles.

Mele played 10 seasons in the majors, batting .267 with 80 home runs and 544 RBIs for the Red Sox, Washington, the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Cleveland. He hit .302 as a rookie and in 1951 tied for the American League in doubles with 36.

Mele coached and worked for Washington, then stayed with the team when it moved to Minnesota in 1961. He became manager of the Twins during that season.

In 1965, Mele guided the Twins to their first pennant, going 102-60. Minnesota lost Game 7 of the World Series to Sandy Koufax and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Mele was the nephew of former big leaguers Tony and Al Cuccinello.