OAKLAND, Calif. -- — Pablo López took a perfect game into the sixth inning and matched a career high with 14 strikeouts in eight scoreless innings as the Minnesota Twins beat the Oakland Athletics 3-0 on Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game series.

López (7-6) limited Oakland to two singles and a walk, retiring the first 17 batters he faced before Lawrence Butler singled on a line drive to right with two outs in the sixth.


“I was aware of it,” López said of the perfect game. “I think any pitcher that would say he wasn’t would be lying. But it was about just one pitch at a time, like what can I do to win this pitch? And keeping that mentality.”

Added Twins manager Rocco Baldelli: “He was on fire from the beginning. I mean, he had tremendous stuff from the first pitch of the outing to the last. Nothing wavered.”

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Byron Buxton homered off Hogan Harris in the second and added an RBI double in the seventh to help the Twins improve to 16-4 against the AL West. Kyle Farmer drove in a run on a fielder’s choice.

Griffin Jax pitched the ninth inning for his seventh save in nine chances for the Twins, who have won 16 of their last 19 meetings with the A’s, including six of seven this season.

Following an off day, Twins RHP Joe Ryan (5-5, 3.13 ERA) opens a three-game series at Arizona on Tuesday night opposite RHP Brandon Pfaadt (3-6, 4.37).

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