Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Jonny Gomes crushed a grand slam and knocked in five runs and A.J. Griffin earned his first major league victory as the Athletics downed the Twins, 6-3, in the opener of a three-game set at Target Field.
Griffin (1-0), in just his fourth career start, allowed three runs on eight hits and one walk over six frames. Sean Doolittle and Grant Balfour combined to hold the Twins down over the next two frames before Ryan Cook worked a perfect ninth to earn his ninth save of the year.
Gomes added an RBI single in the ninth, while Chris Carter and Yoenis Cespedes each scored twice for the A's, who have won seven of their last eight games.
Francisco Liriano (3-8) was a tough-luck loser after striking out a career- high 15 batters over eight innings. He was charged for four runs -- three earned -- on four hits and a walk in his first loss since June 10 against the Chicago Cubs.
Josh Willingham belted a pair of homers and knocked in all three runs, but the Twins lost for the fifth time in six games.
The Sports Network