Matt Wallner hit a grand slam to highlight a five-run first inning and Alex Kirilloff also homered as the Minnesota Twins handed the Oakland A’s their record 109th loss this season with a 11-3 victory in the opener of a three-game series on Tuesday night in Minneapolis.
Donovan Solano went 4-for-4 with a walk, a double and three runs scored, and Christian Vazquez had a three-run double for American League Central Division champion Minnesota (84-73).
Bailey Ober (8-6) allowed two hits over five shutout innings to pick up the win. Ober didn’t walk a batter and struck out eight.
Chris Paddack — pitching for the first time since May 8, 2022, after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery — relieved Ober in the sixth and gave up three runs on four hits over two innings while striking out four.
Nick Allen lined a single to right on Paddack’s first pitch in the sixth but Paddack, who threw a career-high 99 mph fastball, rebounded to strike out the side that inning before yielding three runs in the seventh.
Seth Brown homered, Jordan Diaz had an RBI double and Brent Rooker and Allen each had two hits for Oakland (48-109). The 109th loss broke a tie with the 1979 A’s squad that finished 54-108 for most losses in a season since the team moved to Oakland in 1968. The franchise record is 117 set by the Connie Mack-managed Philadelphia Athletics (36-117) in 1916.
Paul Blackburn (4-7) took the loss, allowing five runs on four hits and four walks over three innings. He struck out three.
Blackburn, pitching in a light rain, struck out Edouard Julien and Jorge Polanco to start the bottom of the first before allowing a single to Solano. Blackburn then walked three consecutive batters, the last one Kyle Farmer to force in a run.
Wallner then crushed a 3-1 sinker 463 feet near the top of the second deck in right-center for his second career grand slam and 13th home run of the season to make it 5-0.
The Twins extended their lead to 7-0 in the fifth inning. Solano led off with a walk and, one out later, Kirilloff hit his 11th homer, off reliever Mason Miller just over the fence in left.
Oakland cut it to 7-3 in the seventh off Paddack on Brown’s 14th homer, a two-run drive into the bullpen in left-center, and an RBI double by Diaz.
Minnesota then broke the game open with four runs in the bottom of the seventh, highlighted by Vazquez’s bases-loaded double to right-center.