Oakland starter Brett Anderson (0-1) had allowed four hits in the first seven innings. He retired 14 consecutive batters in one stretch and faced and minimum 18 hitters from the second through the seventh innings.
But the Twins mounted a rally in the eighth that included four singles to steal the game away. Danny Valencia reached on a one-out base hit. Anderson got the second out but Jason Kubel got a hit that sent Valencia to third.
Span and Mauer followed with back-to-back RBI singles.
Oakland's run came in the first without a hit. Pavano walked Daric Barton and allowed him to get to second on a wild pitch. Pavano tried to pick Barton off second but the throw turned into an error and Barton took third and then scored on a David DeJesus sacrifice fly.