OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland A's took an 11-game winning streak against the Minnesota Twins into Saturday night's matchup.
The A's had veteran right-hander Jeff Samardzija on the mound against Twins rookie Trevor May, who was making his major-league debut against baseball's winningest team with a raucous crowd of 32,074 on hand for Tony La Russa bobblehead night.
This shaped up as a huge mismatch, and that's exactly what it turned out to be.
Catcher Derek Norris hit a three-run homer, first baseman Stephen Vogt launched a two-run shot and the A's routed Minnesota 9-4, beating the Twins for a franchise-record 12th straight time.
The A's, who swept three games from the Twins at Target Field in April, beat the Twins for the sixth consecutive time this year and clinched their sixth straight series win against Minnesota.
Oakland (72-44) will go for a four-game sweep Sunday afternoon in the series finale.
"This is probably one of the only teams we have a stretch like that against," Norris said. "I think it's just matchups. Sometimes you match up well against teams. We've just matched up well against them the last couple years and it's just tallied up."
Samardzija (3-1) gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings and won a night game for the first time since Aug. 24, 2013 -- a span of 14 starts. He struck out five and walked two in his seventh start since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs on July 5.
May's major-league debut turned into a nightmare. He allowed four runs and three hits in two innings while walking seven and striking out none before giving way to Samuel Deduno.
"I let things snowball on me a little bit," May said. "When you're struggling to throw strikes, every pitch is a constant battle to get it back to what you're trying to do, and tonight I didn't do it very well. I didn't execute."
May threw 63 pitches -- just 28 for strikes. May had walked just 37 batters and struck out 91 in 17 appearances and 95 1/3 innings this season at Triple-A Rochester, where he was 8-6 with a 2.93 ERA.
"He's been a strike thrower in the minor leagues, but whenever you get a new pitcher, the potential is there for that," A's manager Bob Melvin said of May's walk-a-thon. "Couple that with a full house in this park and it can make you a little nervous. We did a good job of laying off some pitches and getting some guys on base and making him work."
Deduno gave up five runs and five hits, including home runs to Vogt in the fifth and Norris in the sixth, and lasted just three-plus innings before leaving with the Twins trailing 9-2. He had three of Minnesota's 11 walks.
Norris' home run was his career-high 10th of the season, six of them three-run shots and one a grand slam. Vogt hit his seventh homer and second two-run blast in three games.
"I like to think that when runners get on base, that's the time you make your money," Norris said. "Home runs are great. I'll take them at any point, but especially when they come with runners on multiple times, that starts to add up in the RBI column."
A's third baseman Josh Donaldson went 3-for-4 with a double, drove in two runs and scored once. Norris walked twice with the bases loaded and drove in five runs. Right fielder Josh Reddick went 2-for-5 with a double.
Shortstop Eduardo Escobar and right fielder Jordan Schafer each had two doubles for the Twins (51-64). Center fielder Danny Santana went 2-for-5 with a double, designated hitter Kennys Vargas had two hits.
The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Dozier doubled down the left-field line off Samardzija with one out and scored on third baseman Trevor Plouffe's single to center.
In the bottom of the inning, Oakland left fielder Sam Fuld lined a one-out single to right and moved to third on Donaldson's double. May walked first baseman Brandon Moss, loading the bases, then walked Norris to force in a run as the A's snapped their streak of 17 straight games without a first-inning run.
Oakland extended its lead to 4-1 in the second, sending nine batters to the plate against May, who got two quick outs but wound up walking five in his final inning. After May walked three straight batters, Donaldson hit a two-run single. May walked Moss, reloading the bases, and walked Norris to force in another run.
"Our kid just had a hard time," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He just couldn't gather himself enough. "Let him try it again when his time's up the next time. You get in the big leagues it's different than anywhere else when you're pitching."
NOTES: The Twins announced after the game that they had traded RHP Kevin Correia (5-13) to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player to be named or cash. Minnesota will call up former A's LHP Tommy Milone from Triple-A Rochester to start Monday's game at Houston. ... Former A's manager Tony La Russa, who was inducted this year into the Baseball Hall of Fame, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to ex-A's catcher Terry Steinbach, who is now the Twins' bench coach. ... Oakland OF Craig Gentry (broken right hand), who went on the 15-day disabled list July 28, has yet to resume swinging a bat, and there is no timetable for him to begin a rehab assignment, manager Bob Melvin said. ... 1B Joe Mauer (right oblique strain) played his fourth rehab game Saturday for Class A Cedar Rapids, going 2-for-4. He might come off the disabled list as early as Monday when the Twins open a three-game series at Houston.