In what could be his last start in a green and gold uniform — assuming he doesn’t switch sports and sign a deal to become the Green Bay Packers’ kicker — Paul Blackburn had one of his more forgettable outings of his season.
It was an especially poor first inning when a 2-out single from Donovan Solano spiraled into back-to-back walks to load the bases. Twins breakout outfielder Matt Wallner capped it off with a grand slam that gave the Minnesota Twins a 4-0 lead over the Oakland A’s and spoiled Blackburn’s night before it ever got going. The 29-year-old righty fortunately was able to get through the next couple innings unscathed, despite allowing a few more baserunners.
The bullpen didn’t fare much better, with each pitcher letting the Twins extend their lead. First it was Mason Miller, who went as deep Blackburn did tonight. Though he pitched a strong 4th and 6th inning, he gave up a two-run homer to Alex Kirilloff in the 5th that put the A’s in a deeper 6-0 hole.
Francisco Perez and Zach Neal then combined to allow four more runs over the last two innings of the game. Overall, the A’s pitching staff allowed 8 hits, 9 walks, and 11 runs, putting together a night they’ll surely look to forget as they try to even the series tomorrow.
On the bright side, the A’s were able to score a few runs late after getting shut down for the first two-thirds of the game. Seth Brown got things going with a two-run homer to left-center field after Brent Rooker led off the inning with a single. Jordan Diaz followed that up with a third run via an RBI double that scored Shea Langeliers.
Ultimately, the A’s lost their 109th game of the 2023 season, securing the worst record in Oakland A’s history. Congrats to John Fisher and Dave Kaval!
The A’s will look to keep that record from getting any worse with Joey Estes pitching in his second major league game against Twins co-ace Pablo Lopez.