Oakland will have to take the bubbly on the road.
Kyle Gibson on Sunday allowed one run over 7-1/3 innings and Jake Cave hit a two-run homer as the Minnesota Twins beat the Athletics 5-1, preventing Oakland from clinching an American League wild-card berth in their last regular-season home game.
“I think it was a little disappointing,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “A lot of times we put on our best shows late in games, unfortunately it didn’t happen today.”
Oakland lead Tampa Bay by 7.5 games and need one win or a Rays loss to clinch their first playoff berth in four years.
The A’s remained 1.5 games behind the New York Yankees, who have clinched a wild-card berth, and fell 4.5 games back of American League West-leading Houston.
After going 50-31 for their best home record since 2013, the A’s finish with a three-game series at Seattle and the Los Angeles Angels.
Oakland are 60-26 since mid-June.
“It would have been nice to clinch [it], but we weren’t changing anything up or anything like that,” A’s first baseman Matt Olson said.
Gibson (9-13) gave up seven hits and three walks.
Trevor May struck out Ramon Laureano with two on in the eighth and pitched around a one-out walk in the ninth for his first major league save.
Minnesota finished 29-52 on the road.
Oakland won two of three, despite going none for 21 with runners in scoring position in the series, including seven at-bats on Sunday.
Trevor Cahill (6-4) allowed five runs — three earned — and five hits in 3-1/3 innings.
Cave hit a two-run homer in the first, but Olson cut the lead in half in the second with his 28th homer.
Minnesota added three runs in the fourth after Robbie Grossman singled with one out and Tyler Austin hit a potential double-play grounder to third baseman Matt Chapman, who threw the ball to the left of second baseman Chad Pinder and into right field for his 19th error.
“I was worried about the catch and I didn’t pick up my target,” Chapman said. “I think I had a little more time, I might have rushed my throw because I wanted to turn the double play. It was my fault that three runs scored so it doesn’t really feel good.”
Max Kepler hit an RBI single, Ehire Adrianza chased Cahill with a run-scoring double and Chris Gimenez greeted Shawn Kelley with a sacrifice fly.
“For the last couple of years we’ve seen people celebrate when we’re in town,” Gibson said. “To be able to finish off the season and not have to watch anybody celebrate, kind of nice.”
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