In the very beginning and at the end Wednesday, it was all A’s. In between, though, Oakland had to contend with another messy outing by new closer Jim Johnson.

Johnson, an offseason acquisition who is making $10 million, failed in a big situation yet again, his second blown save of the season sending Wednesday’s game at Target Field into extra innings. Catcher Derek Norris, who pinch hit in the ninth, won the game for Oakland in the 11th with a three-run blast to right center, sinking the Twins 7-4.

It was the second homer for Norris in as many games at Target Field, and it gave the A’s their eighth consecutive victory against Minnesota. Norris, a platoon player who pinch hit against a left-hander, banged his homer off righty Jared Burton, and both his homers and all six of Norris’ hits have come off right-handers.

Tensions were high in extra innings. Josh Donaldson hit a long blast foul with two outs in the top of the 10th, then when Glen Perkins said something to him after striking him out to end the inning, Donaldson barked back. He took a step or two toward Perkins, and both benches emptied, with several Twins players holding Donaldson back.

In his first five outings, Johnson has two losses, two blown saves and one save, plus an 18.90 ERA. He’s been forthright about his shortcomings, heaping loads of blame on himself, but the feeling was that with his track record –Johnson has a major-league best 101 saves over the past two seasons – he would be OK.

The fact that Johnson has continued to struggle in key situations makes it ever more likely that the A’s may turn elsewhere, even if just for a short while. Sean Doolittle and Luke Gregerson are both potential candidates to close if Johnson is pulled from the spot.

Johnson took over in the ninth with Oakland up 4-2, and he allowed a leadoff single by Jason Kubel and walks to Kurt Suzuki and Aaron Hicks. With two outs, Eduardo Escobar singled to shallow left, sending in Kubel, but Yoenis Cespedes nearly threw Suzuki out at third. The play was reviewed – it was unclear if Donaldson had his foot on the bag at third or if he did not, if he had tagged Suzuki – and the call was unchanged, Suzuki safe.