DENVER (AP) — Trevor Larnach hit his first career grand slam, one of Minnesota’s four home runs, and the playoff-bound Twins beat the Colorado Rockies 14-6 on Saturday night.
Edouard Julien had three hits, including his 16th home run, and Max Kepler and Matt Wallner also went deep for AL Central Division champion Minnesota.
Elehuris Montero, Sean Bouchard and Brenton Doyle homered for the Rockies (58-103), who will not win at least 60 games for the first time in the club’s 31-season history.
The Twins sent Emilio Pagán to the mound first, less than 24 hours after he picked up the save in Friday night’s 7-6 win. He pitched one inning before Chris Paddack took over in his second appearance since having Tommy John surgery on May 18, 2022.
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Pagán is the first Twins pitcher in franchise history to start a game immediately following a save in the previous game. He drew on his experience in the minors for Saturday.
“When I did it in Durham I treated it like a start,” he said. “I came to the dugout, watched the top half of the first and then went out. And so I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
Paddack (1-0) gave up two hits and struck out four in three complete innings, his longest outing since going 5 1/3 innings on May 2, 2022, which was the last time he recorded a win.
“It’s pretty cool, especially getting into the win column and have a little bit to contribute, which was my goal in January, looking back over the last 16 months,” Paddack said.
Paddack tossed two innings Tuesday in his first game back and Saturday started to give him a feeling of normalcy.
“I thought I did a better job of handling those emotions and storing that energy as a whole,” he said.
Colorado opened with reliever Matt Koch and after one inning he gave way to Karl Kauffmann (2-5), who was roughed up for seven hits and eight runs over 4 1/3 innings.
Wallner had an RBI double in the second and scored on Christian Vázquez’s single to center to make it 2-0.
The Twins padded the lead in the third when Larnach hit a two-out grand slam just over the scoreboard in right field, his second homer in as many nights. The bases were loaded when Alex Kirilloff hit a ground-rule double, Kauffmann hit Donovan Solano, and Wallner walked.
“It was a slider down and in. I had thrown a couple of cutters and fastballs up and in to him,” Kauffmann said. “He was able to get his barrel up to it.”
Minnesota blew it open in the sixth on an RBI double by Julien, a wild pitch that brought home Michael A. Taylor and Kepler’s three-run homer, his 24th of the season.
Julien hit a two-run shot in the seventh to make it 14-0 but Montero and Bouchard homered on consecutive pitches and Doyle hit a two-run homer off Dallas Keuchel.
Twins: INF Jorge Polanco was out of the lineup with right ankle soreness that took him out in the sixth inning of Friday night’s game.
Minnesota will send RHP Bailey Ober (8-6, 3.53) to the mound against Rockies RHP Chase Anderson (1-6, 5.42).
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