Another ho-hum, the-A's-beat-the-Twins-again night at the Coliseum turned decidedly not ho-hum Friday.

Oakland carried a 6-0 lead into the seventh inning, but needed some excellent work by the bullpen to pull out a 6-5 decision.

After Luke Gregerson worked a three-up, three-down eighth, Sean Doolittle allowed a leadoff single in the ninth, then set down the next three hitters, two by strikeout.

The final hitter, former A's outfielder Josh Willingham, nearly put Minnesota in front with a drive down the left-field line that had home run distance but was a few feet foul. Doolittle wound up getting Willingham to look at strike three.

Doolittle recorded his 18th save, a team season record for a lefty. More impressive, the A's bullpen has thrown 28 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, an Oakland record (the previous mark of 27 2/3 was set in June 1998).

"It hasn't really sunk in yet," Doolittle said. "I didn't know either of those were records that our bullpen or myself could have got tonight. ...

"When the season's over, it'll be cool to look back on - but I think as a bullpen and as a team, we've got our sights set a little more in the present."

That present looks mighty promising for the A's. Their lead over the Angels in the AL West, which was a mere game as of Tuesday morning, stands at four games. Boston won 4-2 in Anaheim on Friday evening.