Takeaways: Ramon Laureano continues hot July, Khris Davis delivers again in A’s win

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Brett Anderson smothered his left middle finger in a green cup of ice and pondered his outing.

Anderson is honest about his mistakes: He acknowledged the hanging slider he lobbed to Miguel Sano for a 443, game-tying home run in the sixth inning. He acknowledged his overall efficient outing — he’d retired 14 straight batters after a rough, two home run first inning — that a ripping fingernail contributed to his sixth inning departure.

“Didn’t take a rocket scientist to notice I could only throw breaking balls for a strike in that last inning,” he said.

Anderson also was able to put a bow on the A’s (57-42) 5-4 win over a Minnesota Twins team that’s matched this Oakland team punch for punch in this season’s matchup.

“Overall, probably the best win of the year,” he said. Here are some takeaways.

The Mark Canha, Ramon Laureano and Khris Davis triple punch

Asked about the strength of this offense, right now, its most likely that anyone on this Oakland team would first mention Laureano’s tear.

Laureano has been the best hitter in the bigs this month. His 1.4 WAR in July leads the majors and his 1.000 slugging percentage matches Mike Trout atop the ranks as well. His .571 wOBA (weighted on base percentage) has 30 points on Trout.

“Ramon’s just on a tear right now and hitting behind him is pretty fun,” Davis said.

Davis looked like he was having a good time in the ninth inning after knocking a two-run single of Ehire Adrianza’s glove at first base; he caught a glimpse of Laureano — who’d just recorded his 24th double — chug home to score the eventual game-winning run.

Davis’ homerless streak reached 22 games, but he’s provided key RBIs in both of the A’s wins this series. With two outs, seeing that ball ricochet meant a lot for a player trying to spark his offensive groove.

“Relief,” Davis said of his reaction to the hit. “Then I see Ramon hustling around third and I was like ‘dang he’s fast.’”

Laureano had his hand on every offensive upturn. His solo homer in the seventh inning put the A’s in a temporary 3-2 lead. He went back-to-back with Mark Canha, who cranked a two-run homer — and flipped his bat high — to tie things up minutes before.

Davis is still climbing out of a strange lull, but the hard contact he’s been making came into play again. His ninth inning single clocked in at 106 mph off the bat. At some point that velocity will come off the ground.

“My guess is he’s going to hit a home run at some point,” manager Bob Melvin said. “And when he does he’s going to be off to the races, but we’ll take a big hit there which he’s done many times for us.”

The Jose Berrios wall

The comeback was predicated, for the most part, on one major task: getting Twins starter Jose Berrios out of the game.

Berrios was electric. His fastball had wicked movement, and his breaking ball was devastating.

Berrios was tossing shutout ball, but the A’s battled through enough at bats to rattle up his pitch count. He had tossed 113 by his departure with two outs in the sixth inning.

That was plenty enough time to combat a Twins bullpen with a middling 4.26 ERA.

Matchup with Twins

It’s not hard to imagine a playoff series between these two teams, right?

The Twins and A’s are pretty evenly matched, though the A’s now lead the season series 4-2. But every game has been spirited.

“Pretty similar as far as depth chart and the way we go about things and way they go about things,” Anderson said.

In short, and to expand: both clubs have complete lineups with every spot posing an offensive threat.

But, with that win, the A’s increased their wild-card cushion to two games over the Tampa Bay Rays, tied with the Cleveland Indians for the top spot. Oakland has now gone unbeaten in nine straight series.