MINNEAPOLIS -- It was one of those nights where baseball became pinball and the A's were in danger of breaking the scoreboard counter.

In the end, Oakland was an 18-3 victor over the Minnesota Twins on a night where every ball that could fell in and A's starter Sonny Gray spent enough time on the bench between innings to get his taxes done.

Actually, keeping his taxes straight might have been easier than keeping the box score accurate and up to date. It was the kind of night where outs were elevated into doubles and homers were degraded to doubles.

By the end of the fourth inning, each A's batter not only had a hit but also had scored a run. Both teams emptied their benches, and Minnesota gave the A's a guided tour of its bullpen.

By game's end, Oakland not only had a two-touchdown win but also had a three-game lead in the American League West with the Texas Rangers having lost again to Pittsburgh at home.

Even the moment that looked bleakest -- Josh Donaldson getting hit on the hand by a pitch in the third inning -- couldn't slow the A's. Donaldson was in some pain, but "I wanted to play," he said, and he remained in the game long enough to get two subsequent hits as every player in the starting lineup had a hit, scored a run and drove in a run.

"That's pretty hard to do," shortstop Jed Lowrie said. "But when you're doing it, it's lots of fun."

The biggest bit of sustained action came in the fourth inning when the first seven A's batters collected hits, the capper being a ground ball foul down the right field line by Lowrie. That's not a misprint. Lowrie's ball was ruled foul, then after the umpires consulted, was called fair.

First base umpire Bill Miller told both sides that he didn't have a good angle on the ball as he was trying to get out of the way, and home plate umpire Dale Scott said the ball was fair.

Lowrie was rewarded with a bases-loaded, two-run double that made it 9-1 and led to an irate Twins manager Ron Gardenhire getting ejected from a game he likely wouldn't have wanted to see the end of.

"It was the right call," Lowrie said. "And the umps said they wanted to get the call right."

Even so, the inning was just getting some legs to it. Oakland would score another four times, the last two on a monster homer by Stephen Vogt, getting a season-best 10 runs across in the inning to take a 13-1 lead.

Vogt had two hits in that inning and also singled in the fifth.

"It was a huge night for the team," Vogt said, "after a tough loss last night to come right out and put it away early."

As for Vogt, the homer "was the longest ball I ever hit." It landed on the cement walkway behind the right field bleachers, an area known as "Thome Territory" for all the balls former Twins slugger Jim Thome used to land there the first two years Target Field was open.

Three more runs came home in the fifth, but the damage could have been greater after Lowrie opened the inning's scoring with a two-run homer. Josh Reddick, getting his first at-bat since coming off the disabled list, hit a two-run homer of his own. However, the umpires took the play under review and called it a double instead.

Manager Bob Melvin thought it might have been a homer, "but at that point, I wasn't going to argue."

Reddick's ball was ruled to hit off the right-field foul pole, but the replay showed the ball hit the top of the wall near the foul pole.

  • Melvin said before the game he was looking for a game where he might be able to get Reddick some at-bats because he didn't want to throw Reddick, who hadn't been in a game in over two weeks thanks to a wrist injury, into a starting lineup cold. Wednesday's game might have been just the answer as Reddick got multiple at-bats, including his booming homer-turned-double.

  • Tommy Milone, Pedro Figueroa and Pat Neshek each made his first September bullpen appearance as Melvin used the tail end of the game to get work for some of the end-of-the-bullpen arms who have had trouble getting into games.

  • Seth Smith was joking around with Brandon Moss midday Wednesday when he hit him on the side of the face with a banana. It wouldn't have been a problem except that it was the right side of Moss' face, the side where he had a wisdom tooth removed Monday. The banana attack notwithstanding, Moss said he was feeling better Wednesday and hopes it translates well at the plate. He had three hits, including two doubles.

  • Vogt came into Wednesday with a .260 average, three homers and 11 RBIs, not MVP numbers, but it's hard to find someone who has been more important to the A's after Oakland lost starting catcher John Jaso to a concussion. "I'm not sure how much more we could have expected from him," Melvin said.

  • The A's said tickets for potential tiebreaker, Wild Card and A.L. Division Series games will go on sale Tuesday at 10 a.m. The postseason is scheduled to start Tuesday, Oct. 1. Tickets will be available online at www.oaklandathletics.com/tickets, by telephone at 866-493-2255 and in person at the Coliseum Box Office. Dates and times of potential games are to be determined, and tickets purchased for unplayed games are refundable. A's fans can lock in ticket prices and guarantee tickets for the postseason by putting down a deposit for a 2014 ticket plan by calling 510-638-4627.

    THURSDAY'S GAME
    A's (A.J. Griffin 13-9) at Minnesota
    (Scott Diamond 5-10), 10:10 a.m. CSNCA

    A MONSTER FOURTH
    A look at the A's monster fourth-inning rally that broke open Wednesday's game against the Twins: