September 27, 2023

Twins make it look easy, cruise to 11-3 win over Oakland A’s

Rookie Matt Wallner crushed a first-inning grand slam and the Twins piled on from there, sending the Oakland A’s to their 109th loss of the season with an easy 11-3 win on Tuesday at Target Field.

The Twins, now 84-73, end the season against two of the weakest clubs in baseball: the A’s and Colorado Rockies.

In addition to Wallner, Donovan Solano had a 4-for-4 night at the plate, Alex Kirilloff hit a two-run home run and Christian Vazquez cleared the bases with an extra-base hit.

On the mound, starter Bailey Ober was nearly spotless, scattering only two hits over five innings with eight strikeouts. The Twins also welcomed the return of pitchers Chris Paddack and standout reliever Brock Stewart. Both should help the Twins during postseason play.

Paddack allowed a home run, but he also struck out four over two innings. Stewart was his usual dominant self, allowing only a hit with two strikeouts in an inning of work.

Pablo Lopez gets the ball Wednesday.

Extra innings …

-Brooks Robinson, who spent 23 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and is widely considered the best defensive third baseman of all time, died Tuesday. He was 86.

Robinson made 18 All-Star appearances, won 16 Gold Glove awards and collected more than 2,800 hits in his Hall of Fame career. Against the Twins, he slashed .271/.332/.414 with 302 hits and 30 home runs, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

-Ex-Twin Brent Rooker, now with the A’s, has had a pretty good season. He is slashing .245/.328/.813 with 29 home runs.

-Speaking of the Rockies, Twins radio guy Dan Gladden mentioned that the Twins are headed next to Denver, but acknowledged that the Rockies don’t offer much to see, so there’s always the actual Colorado Rockies, he said, or Bert’s favorite beverage, a reference to former Twin Bert Blyleven, who apparently enjoys Coors beer.

And then Gladden ended his comment with the tagline, “It’s the water.”

In the context of Coors beer, however, that’s incorrect.

“It’s the water” belongs to the one and only Olympia beer, which was born and brewed in Tumwater, Washington. Give me an Oly over Coors any day.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.