For the past three weeks, the A's hadn't scored in the first inning. A span of 17 games, and zilch in inning No. 1.

On Saturday, Oakland faced right-hander Trevor May, making his major-league debut for the Twins, and May had trouble throwing strikes. That helped the A's break through the first-inning blockade; May walked Derek Norris with the bases loaded in the opening inning, the first of Norris' five RBIs, and Oakland topped Minnesota again, this time by a score of 9-4.

"We cashed in when we needed to," Norris said. "We made him pay for free passes."

The A's have won all six games between the teams this season and have a 12-game overall winning streak against the Twins. A major component of those dozen wins: Oakland has walloped 22 homers. For the season, the A's are 35-4 when outhomering opponents.

"The homers helped," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "We've been a little shy with those lately. And that cures a lot of ills when you're scoring three runs with one swing of the bat."

The A's drew a season-high-tying 11 walks, including Eric Sogard's four. Norris had another bases-loaded walk in the second inning - and he also hit a three-run homer in the sixth to go along with Stephen Vogt's two-run blast in the fifth.

Six of Norris' career-high 10 homers this year have been three-run shots. "Quite a coincidence," he said. "I like to think when runners get on base is the time you make your money."

The big hit of the second inning came from Josh Donaldson, who whacked the first pitch he got for a two-run single after May had walked the previous three hitters.