1987 Rewind: Game Fifty-nine

MINNESOTA 5, CHICAGO 2 IN CHICAGO (GAME 1 OF DOUBLEHEADER)

Date:  Friday, June 12.

Batting stars:  Roy Smalley was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, his fourth.  Gary Gaetti was 1-for-3 with a walk, scoring once and driving in one.  Greg Gagne was 1-for-4 with a home run, his fourth.

Pitching stars:  Frank Viola pitched seven shutout innings, giving up four hits and no walks with two strikeouts.  Jeff Reardon struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Ken Williams was 2-for-4 with a run.  Carlton Fisk was 2-for-4 with a double.  Bryan Clark pitched two shutout innings, giving up only a walk.

The game:  It was scoreless until the sixth.  The first two Twins were retired, but Kirby Puckett walked, Kent Hrbek singled, Gaetti singled in a run, and Smalley hit a three-run homer to make it 4-0.  Gagne added a run with a homer in the eighth to make it 5-0.  The White Sox scored twice in the eighth off George Frazier, but Reardon came in to restore order and the tying run never came up to bat.

Of note:  Puckett was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run and was batting .312...Smalley raised his average to .323...Viola's ERA dropped to 3.52...Chicago starter Bill Long pitched seven innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and two walks with three strikeouts.

Record:  The Twins record was 33-26.  They moved into sole possession of first place by a game over Kansas City.

Notes:  Al Newman played second base in place of Steve Lombardozzi.  He batted ninth, with Gagne batting second.

Player profile:  It's kind of amazing how many guys who had fairly substantial careers I've completely forgotten about.  Bill Long was in his first full season in the majors in 1987, appearing in 29 games and making 23 starts.  He had been a second round draft choice by San Diego in 1981, but had been traded to the White Sox after the 1984 season along with Ozzie Guillen, Tim Lollar, and Luis Salazar for Lamarr Hoyt and minor leaguers Kevin Kristan and Todd Simmons.*  He pitched in four games for the White Sox in 1985 and came up to stay in early May of 1987.  He did okay--8-8, 4.37, 1.23 WHIP.  He led the league in fewest walks per nine innings at 1.5, and while he did not equal that again he always had good control.  He started 1988 in the bullpen but was back in the starting rotation again by mid-June.  He again did okay--8-11, 4.03, 1.32 WHIP.  He was twenty-eight at that point, so he wasn't a young phenom, but he looked like he might be a decent enough fourth or fifth starter.  He started 1989 as a rotation starter, but after a series of rough starts he was back in the bullpen by late June.  He did pretty well there--his overall season numbers don't look that good, but as a reliever he was 2-0, 2.75, 1.33 WHIP.  He was traded to the Cubs early in the 1990, season, and that was kind of the beginning of the end for him.  He had a poor year with them, was released at the end of the season, signed with Montreal for 1991, but made only three appearances for them and ten more in AAA before ending his playing career.  For his career, Bill Long was 27-27, 4.37, 1.37 WHIP in 518.2 innings (159 games, 52 starts).  At last report, Bill Long was a teacher at Gray Middle School in Union, Kentucky.

*For whatever reason, it seems like teams rarely make multi-player trades like this any more.  I miss it.

Happy Birthday–December 1

Ed Reulbach (1882)
Willie Mitchell (1889)
Walter Alston (1911)
Calvin Griffith (1911)
Cookie Lavagetto (1912)
Marty Marion (1917)
Cal McLish (1925)
George Foster (1948)
Dan Schatzeder (1954)
Greg Harris (1963)
Larry Walker (1966)
Reggie Sanders (1967)
Kirk Rueter (1970)

As everyone reading this knows, Calvin Griffith was the long-time owner of the Minnesota Twins.  He had served in a variety of positions for the Washington Senators, including batboy, minor league player-manager, and working in the front office.  His managing career lasted from 1937-1941.  He also played for Class B Charlotte from 1939-1941.  No records of his playing career are available from 1939-1940, but in 1941 he got a hit in his only at-bat.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to SBG’s father, Butch.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–December 1

Winter Wonderland: Games of November 29

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

No games scheduled.

DOMINICAN LEAGUE

ORIENTE 5, LICEY 1 IN LICEY

Gustavo Nunez' two-run double in the second put Oriente up 3-0 and Michael Martinez' two-run double made it 5-0 in the fourth.  Nik Turley started for Oriente and struck out four in three shutout innings, giving up one hit and three walks.

GIGANTES 3, ESTE 2 IN ESTE

The Gigantes broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth by scoring on a passed ball.  Leury Garcia was 3-for-5 with two doubles, scoring once and driving in one, for the Gigantes.

ESCOGIDO AT AGUILAS

Rained out.

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

CAROLINA 7, MAYAGUEZ 2 IN CAROLINA

Leading 3-2, Carolina scored four in the eighth, two on an Irving Falu single and two on a J. J. Fernandez single, to put the game out of reach.  Fernandez was 2-for-3 with two walks and two RBIs.

AGUADILLA 7, CAGUAS 6 IN CAGUAS

Alexis Pantoja tripled in the tying run and scored the go-ahead run on a Raymond Fuentes double in the ninth inning to give Aguadilla the victory.  Fuentes was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk, scoring once and driving in two.

MEXICAN LEAGUE

HERMOSILLO 8, JALISCO 5 IN HERMOSILLO

Jalisco scored four in the eighth to cut Hermosillo's lead to 6-5, but Hermosillo scored two in the bottom of the eighth to secure the win.  Juan Pablo Oramas pitched seven innings for Hermosillo, giving up one run on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts.  Fernando Perez was 3-for-3 with a home run (his third) and a walk for Hermosillo, driving in two.

NAVOJOA 9, OBREGON 1 IN NAVOJOA

A four-run second provided all the runs Navojoa would need.  Troy Marks pitched six innings, giving up one run on three hits and a walk with one strikeout.  Alex Sanchez was 3-for-5 with a triple and a double, scoring three times and driving in two.  Fernando Flores was 3-for-4 with a double, scoring once and driving in one.

MAZATLAN 5, CULIACAN 3 IN MAZATLAN

Mazatlan scored two in the eighth on only one hit to break a 3-3 tie and get the win.  Gilberto Galaviz was 3-for-4 with a home run and a double, driving in two.

MEXICALI 5, LOS MOCHIS 0 IN LOS MOCHIS

Four singles produced two runs in the third and Mexicali added three in the fifth to get a victory.  Javier Solano pitched a complete game shutout for Mexicali, giving up three hits and no walks with five strikeouts.  Xorge Carrillo was 2-for-3 with a home run (his second) and two RBIs.

AUSTRALIAN LEAGUE

No games scheduled.

1987 Rewind: Game Fifty-eight

MINNESOTA 4, KANSAS CITY 3 IN MINNESOTA (10 INNINGS)

Date:  Wednesday, June 10.

Batting stars:  Dan Gladden was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk, scoring once.  Greg Gagne was 1-for-1 with a stolen base (his third), scoring twice.  Mark Davidson was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run.

Pitching stars:  Bert Blyleven struck out nine in eight innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks.  Jeff Reardon struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Charlie Liebrandt pitched 7.2 innings, giving up three unearned runs on three hits and four walks with three strikeouts.  Willie Wilson was 2-for-3 with a walk and two stolen bases (his sixteenth and seventeenth), scoring twice.  Bo Jackson was 1-for-4 with a home run, his twelfth.

The game:  The Royals scored single runs in the first and third to take a 2-0 lead.  In the sixth, Blyleven left a pitch up to Jackson to make it 3-0.  The Twins had two out and a man on first when Liebrandt walked Gladden and pinch-hitter Tim Laudner to load the bases.  Dan Quisenberry came in and got Kirby Puckett to ground one to first base, but Steve Balboni made an error and all three runs scored to tie the game.  The game went to extra innings.  Gagne led off the tenth with a single off Jerry Don Gleaton and stole second.  Gary Gaetti was intentionally walked, but Gene Larkin lined a single to left to win the game for the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 32-26 and moved into first place, a game ahead of Kansas City.

Notes:  The win completed a sweep of Kansas City and gave the Twins five wins in a row...Al Newman made his fourth consecutive start at shortstop in place of Gagne, who came in as a pinch-runner in the eighth...Larkin made his second consecutive start at first base in place of Kent Hrbek, who presumably had a minor injury...Davidson was in right field, with Brunansky at DH and Roy Smalley out of the lineup.  I had no memory that Davidson played so much in 1987...Sal Butera caught, with Laudner coming in as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning...Puckett was 0-for-5, dropping his average to .312...Larkin was 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI and was batting .353.

Player profile:  Willie Wilson is another fine player from the 1980s who has kind of dropped off the radar screen.  He was a first round draft choice in 1974, got September call-ups in 1976 and 1977, and came up to stay in 1978.  He was mostly used as a reserve that year and didn't do much, but he won the starting left field job in 1979 and made the most of it, batting .315 with a league-leading 83 stolen bases.  It may seem odd that a man that fast was in left, but the Royals also had a fine center fielder in Amos Otis.  Wilson had an even better year in 1980, batting .326 and leading the league in runs, hits, and triples.  He finished fourth in the MVP voting that year, winning his only Gold Glove and one of his two Silver Slugger awards.  His best year may have been 1982, when he won his only batting title with a .332 average and again led the league in triples with 15.  He took over the center field job in 1983, when an aging Otis moved to right.  He held the job through 1990, when he became a free agent and signed with Oakland.  Now thirty-five, he really didn't do a lot in his two years with the Athletics.  He went to the Cubs in 1993 but was just a part-time player then until his release in May of 1994.  He had a pretty good run, though, making two all-star teams, getting votes for MVP four times, and leading the league in triples five times.  For his career, he batted .285/.326/.376 with 147 triples and 668 stolen bases (twelfth all time).  He also had thirteen inside-the-park home runs.

Happy Birthday–November 30

Mordecai Davidson (1845)
Frank Killen (1870)
Josh Billings (1891)
Firpo Marberry (1898)
Clyde Sukeforth (1901)
Steve Hamilton (1935)
Craig Swan (1950)
Juan Berenguer (1954)
Dave Engle (1956)
Steve Shields (1958)
Bob Tewksbury (1960)
Bo Jackson (1962)
Gary Wayne (1962)
Mark Lewis (1969)
Ray Durham (1971)
Matt Lawton (1971)
Shane Victorino (1980)
Rich Harden (1981)

Mordecai Davidson was the owner of the Louisville Colonels in the late 1880s.  Under financial pressure, he tried to save money in a variety of ways, including fining players each time the team lost.  As a result, he is credited with inspiring the first baseball players' strike.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–November 30

Winter Wonderland: Games of November 28

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

No games scheduled.

DOMINICAN LEAGUE

GIGANTES 3, ESCOGIDO 0 AT GIGANTES

The Gigantes scored one in the first and Moises Sierra hit a two-run double in the fourth.  Jorge Polanco was 0-for-4 for Escogido.

LICEY AT ORIENTE

Postponed due to wet grounds.

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

SANTURCE 3, CAGUAS 1 IN CAGUAS

Juan Silva hit a three-run homer in the first and that was all the runs Santurce needed.  Reiner Roibal pitched six shutout innings, giving up four hits and one walk with five strikeouts for Santurce.

MAYAGUEZ 4, AGUADILLA 1 IN AGUADILLA

Carlos Corporan hit a two-run double in a four-run fifth that broke a scoreless tie and gave Mayaguez all the runs they would need.  Kennys Vargas was 0-for-4 for Mayaguez.

MEXICAN LEAGUE

No games scheduled.

AUSTRALIAN LEAGUE

No games scheduled.

1987 Rewind: Game Fifty-seven

MINNESOTA 5, KANSAS CITY 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, June 9.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a double, scoring once and driving in one.  Tim Laudner was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fifth.  Mark Davidson was 1-for-2 with a triple, two walks, and a stolen base (his sixth), scoring once.

Pitching stars:  Joe Niekro struck out six in 6.1 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on nine hits and three walks.  Keith Atherton struck out four in 2.2 perfect innings.

Opposition stars:  Willie Wilson was 2-for-5 with a double and a stolen base (his fifteenth), driving in one.  Jaime Quirk was 2-for-4 with a double and a run.  Kevin Seitzer was 1-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base (his third), scoring once.

The game:  The Twins opened the third inning with a double, two singles, and a sacrifice fly to take a 2-1 lead.  Laudner hit a two-run homer in the fifth to make it 4-1.  Quirk and Wilson led off the seventh with back-to-back doubles, making the score 4-2, and a one-out single by Danny Tartabull put runners on the corners.  Atherton then came in and completely shut the Royals down, not allowing a baserunner the rest of the way.  The Twins added a run on Puckett's sacrifice fly in the ninth.

Of note:  Dan Gladden was 3-for-5 with two stolen bases, his tenth and eleventh...Kansas City starter Danny Jackson pitched five innings, allowing four runs on nine hits and four walks with one strikeout.

Record:  The Twins were 31-26, tied for first with Kansas City (though one percentage point behind).  The win was the fourth straight for Minnesota.

Notes:  Al Newman started at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne and led off, with Gladden batting second.  Gene Larkin played first base in place of Kent Hrbek...Davidson was in right field, with Tom Brunansky at DH and Roy Smalley out of the lineup...This was Niekro's first start as a Twin...Puckett raised his average to .319...Larkin was 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI, making his average .362.

Player profile:  Buddy Biancalana was a good field-no hit shortstop who gained some fame during the 1985 World Series, thanks partly to having a good Series (by his standards) and thanks partly to David Letterman, who enjoyed saying his name.  He was actually a first round draft choice in 1978.  He never really did hit, even in the minors, although he had a good half-season with AAA Omaha in 1984.  He was not the primary shortstop for Kansas City in 1985--Onix Concepcion was--but as Concepcion batted only .204 that year he lost the job to Biancalana.  He batted .278 in the World Series with five walks, giving him an OBP of .435.  He was not the primary shortstop for Kansas City, either--Angel Salazar was--but he got the most playing time of his career (190 at-bats) and had his "best" season, batting .242/.298/.337.  He played less in 1987, did not do much, and was traded to Houston in late July for Mel Stottlemyre, Jr.  He went 1-for-24 for Houston, was released after the season, and went back to the Royals, playing in Omaha in 1988.  That was it for his playing career.  He managed in the minors from 2001-03 and 2006-07.  He is the co-author of a book, "The 7 Secrets of World Class Athletes", and is the co-founder of PMPM Sports,

Happy Birthday–November 29

Tom Hughes (1878)
Irv Noren (1924)
Minnie Minoso (1925)
Vin Scully (1927)
George Thomas (1937)
Dick McAuliffe (1939)
Bill Freehan (1941)
Otto Velez (1950)
Mike Easler (1950)
Rick Anderson (1956)
Joe Price (1956)
Dennis Burtt (1957)
Howard Johnson (1960)
Bob Hamelin (1967)
Mariano Rivera (1969)
Brian Wolfe (1980)
Guillermo Quiroz (1981)

Continue reading Happy Birthday–November 29

Winter Wonderland: Games of November 27

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

CARACAS 7, MAGALLANES 4 IN MAGALLANES

Jesus Guzman broke a 4-4 tie with an RBI single in the eighth and Henry Alejandro Rodriguez hit a two-run homer in the ninth to put the game out of reach.  Luis Arraez was 0-for-5 for Magallanes and is now batting .363.

ARAGUA 8, LA GUAIRA 6 IN ARAGUA

Renato Nunez' two-run homer in the seventh broke a 6-6 tie.  Nunez was 2-for-4 with a double in addition to his ninth homer, scoring twice.

ANZOATEGUI 6, LARA 5 IN LARA (GAME 1--7 INNINGS)

Anzoategui scored three in the fifth to make it 5-5 and Denis Phipps singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh.  Rafael Ortega was 2-for-3 with a triple and a double, scoring three times and driving in one for Anzoategui.

LARA 3, ANZOATEGUI 1 IN LARA (GAME 2--7 INNINGS)

Jesus Montero hit a two-run homer in the sixth to break a 1-1 tie.  Paulo Orlando was 2-for-3 with two runs for Lara.

MARGARITA 8, ZULIA 3 IN MARGARITA

Already leading 4-2, Margarita scored four in the eighth to put the game out of reach.  Cade Gotta had a two-run triple in the inning.  Cesar Carrillo pitched five innings, giving up one run on five hits and two walks with no strikeouts.

DOMINICAN LEAGUE

ORIENTE 4, GIGANTES 0 AT GIGANTES (6 1/2 INNINGS--RAIN)

Aneury Tavarez homered to lead off the fourth and Fernando Martinez hit a two-run homer later in the inning to give Oriente a 3-0 lead.  Tavarez was 2-for-3 for Oriente.

LICEY 3, AGUILAS 2 IN LICEY

It was 2-2 going to the bottom of the ninth, but Sergio Alcantara singled, was bunted to second, and scored on a Jorge Bonafacio single to win it for Licey.  Matt Koch pitched 5.2 innings, giving up one run on three hits and no walks with two strikeouts.

ESCOGIDO AT ESTE

Rained out.

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

MAYAGUEZ 9, CAROLINA 4 IN MAYAGUEZ

Mayaguez scored three in the first and Kennys Vargas hit a grand slam in a five-run fourth that put the game out of reach.  Vargas was 2-for-4 with a triple in addition to his second home run.  He also walked and scored three times.  Dereck Rodriguez pitched one inning for Mayaguez, giving up a run on three hits to raise his ERA to 1.13.  Lean Marrero was 1-for-1 as a reserve for Carolina.  J. J. Fernandez was 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs for Carolina.

SANTURCE 2, AGUADILLA 1 IN SANTURCE (10 INNINGS)

Christian Vazquez homered with one out in the tenth to give Santurce the walkoff win.  Vazquez was 3-for-4 with a walk and scored twice.  Evan Grills pitched seven innings, giving up an unearned run on four hits and no walks with six strikeouts.

MEXICAN LEAGUE

NORTH ALL-STARS 4, SOUTH ALL-STARS 3

It was tied 3-3 going to the bottom of the ninth.  C. J. Retherford and Jose Amador opened the bottom of the ninth with singles, putting men on first and third.  A short fly ball was the first out, but Olmo Rosario grounded to second and the South could not turn the double play, allowing the winning run to score.  Amador was 2-for-4 with a run in the game.

AUSTRALIAN LEAGUE<>/h4>

ADELAIDE 10, MELBOURNE 3 IN ADELAIDE

Adelaide scored three in the third and five in the fourth to go up 8-1.  Jordan Cowan was 2-for-5 with two doubles for Adelaide, scoring twice and driving in three.

CANBERRA 21, SYDNEY 11 IN CANBERRA

Canberra led 5-0 and 6-4, fell behind 10-6, tied it 10-10, and led 12-11 after five and a half before blowing it open late.  Canberra hit five home runs and Sydney one.  Robbie Perkins was 4-for-5 with a home run and a double, scoring twice and driving in four.  Mike Reeves was 3-for-5 with a home run (his third) and a walk, scoring twice.  Kyle Perkins was 3-for-6 with two doubles, scoring three times and driving in four.

1987 Rewind: Game Fifty-six

MINNESOTA 5, KANSAS CITY 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, June 8.

Batting stars:  Gene Larkin was 1-for-1 with a triple and three RBIs.  Kirby Puckett was 1-for-4 with a home run, his eleventh.  Roy Smalley was 2-for-2 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  Mike Smithson pitched six innings, giving up two runs on six hits and no walks with one strikeout.  Jeff Reardon struck out three in a scoreless inning, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Frank White was 1-for-3 with a triple and a walk, scoring once and driving in one.  Willie Wilson was 2-for-5.  Bo Jackson was 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, his fifth.

The game:  Puckett's homer in the sixth tied the score 2-2.  The Twins opened the seventh with singles by Smalley and Tom Brunansky.  Steve Lombardozzi bunted, but the Royals failed to get an out at third base, loading the bases.  Dan Gladden hit into a force out at home, but Larkin pinch-hit for Al Newman and lined a triple down the right field line to give the Twins a 5-2 lead.  The Royals threatened in the ninth.  They opened the inning with a walk and a single off George Frazier, bringing Reardon into the game.  He struck out the first two men he faced, but Hal McRae singled in a run and Wilson got an infield single to load the bases.  Kevin Seitzer then struck out to end the game.

Of note:  Randy Bush was 2-for-4...Mark Gubicza started for Kansas City and pitched well for six innings, but was charged with five runs in six innings, giving up six hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

Record:  The Twins were 30-26, in second place, one game behind Kansas City.

Notes:  As you can see, this was a big series for early June, with the second place Twins playing the first place Royals...Newman was again at shortstop, replacing Greg Gagne...Bush was in right field, with Brunansky in left and Gladden on the bench...Sal Butera was again the catcher, replacing Tim Laudner...Larkin raised his average to .372...Puckett went down to .316...Smalley raised his average to .318...The Twins pinch-ran for Smalley, the DH, in the seventh inning, meaning that Frazier and Reardon were in the lineup.  Their spot did not come up.

Player profile:  Bo Jackson, of course, was a star football player and was injured in football in 1990.  He tried to come back in baseball, and did play for the White Sox in 1991 and 1993 and actually was pretty decent as a part-time player for California in 1994.  He was never the same player he had been, though.  He got a September call-up with the Royals in 1986 and was a starting outfielder for them from 1987-1990.  He struck out a lot, but he also hit for power and stole a good number of bases.  In addition, he made some spectacular plays in the outfield.  In his four-plus seasons before getting hurt, he hit .250/.309/.474 with 142 home runs and 82 stolen bases.  He made one all-star team, in 1989, famously hitting a home run in the first inning.  He might have come back after the 1994 season--he hit .274/.344/.507 in 201 at-bats that season--but after the players' strike he decided he was enjoying spending the time with his family and elected not to play any more.  He has kept a relatively low profile since then, so much so that many people have forgotten what an incredibly talented and popular athlete he once was.  Still, there's something refreshing in this day and age about an athlete gracefully stepping out of the spotlight.

Happy Birthday–November 28

Heinie Pietz (1870)
Frank O'Rourke (1894)
Jerry Gardner (1920)
Wes Westrum (1922)
Sixto Lezcano (1953)
Dave Righetti (1958)
Walt Weiss (1963)
John Burkett (1964)
Matt Williams (1965)
Pedro Astacio (1969)
Robb Nen (1969)
Jose Parra (1972)
Carlos Villaneuva (1983)

Jerry Gardner spent most of his life in baseball as a minor-league player and manager and as a scout.

We would like to wish a very happy birthday to Mom Runner.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–November 28

1987 Rewind: Game Fifty-five

MINNESOTA 7, TEXAS 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, June 7.

Batting stars:  Sal Butera was 2-for-3 with a double, scoring once and driving in three.  Randy Bush was 3-for-4 with a double, scoring once and driving in one.  Kirby Puckett was 0-for-2 with two walks, scoring once and driving in one.

Pitching star:  Keith Atherton pitched three shutout innings, giving up two hits and no walks with one strikeout.

Opposition stars:  Geno Petralli was 3-for-3 with a home run (his second) and a double, driving in two.  Pete O'Brien was 2-for-4 with a double.  Curtis Wilkerson was 2-for-4 with a stolen base (his fourth), a hit-by-pitch, and a run.

The game:  Petralli homered in a two-run third and singled in a run in the fourth to put the Rangers up 3-0.  The Twins came back in the fifth, as Butera hit a three-run double and later scored on a bases-loaded walk to Puckett to give the Twins a 4-3 lead.  A sacrifice fly tied it 4-4 in the top of the seventh, but in the bottom of the frame Bush delivered an RBI single and Roy Smalley brought home two with a double to put the Twins ahead 7-4.  The Rangers did not get a man past first the rest of the game.

Of note:  Juan Bereguer started and struck out ten in six innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks...Texas starter Edwin Correa struck out seven in 4.1 innings but allowed four runs on three hits and four walks.

Record:  The Twins were 29-26, in second place, two games behind Kansas City.

Notes:  Al Newman was at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne...Bush was in right, with Tom Brunansky in left and Dan Gladden out of the lineup...Puckett's average was now .317...Butera was making his 1987 Twins debut, a move that resulted from the trade of Mark Salas.  The Twins had traded Butera to Detroit in the spring of 1983.  He had played with Montreal and Cincinnati, being released by the Reds on May 19 of 1987.  The Twins signed him three days later, sent him to AAA Portland, and brought him up for this game.  He would stay the rest of the season.

Player profile:  Geno Petralli is another guy who turned being a reserve catcher into a fairly lengthy career.  Unlike most who do that, though, he was known more for his bat than his glove.  He was drafted by Toronto in the third round of the January draft in 1978.  He made his major league debut as a September call-up in 1982.  He got another September call-up in 1983 and played a few games early in the season in 1984.  The Blue Jays had Ernie Whitt as their catcher back then and were pretty well satisfied with him, so Petralli was sold to Cleveland in May of 1984.  He appears to have been injured a lot of that season, as he played only twenty-three games of AAA, and he was released in April of 1985.  The Rangers signed him a month later and brought him to the majors to stay in July.  He didn't play a lot in 1985 or 1986, but 1987 saw increased playing time for him, as he topped two hundred at-bats for the first time.  He responded by batting .302 with an OPS of .868, his best season in the majors.  In an effort to get his bat into the lineup more, he started six games at third base and one at first.  He also was used at second, right field, and left field.  He was the Rangers' primary catcher in 1988, although he started only seventy-two games there, and batted .282,  He was injured much of 1989 but got the starting job back in 1990 and batted .304 with a .775 OPS.  In 1991, however, Ivan Rodriguez came along, and Petralli was back to a reserve role.  He remained in that role through 1993, then his playing career was over.  His career numbers are .267/.344/.360 in 1874 at-bats spread over twelve seasons.  He does not have a reputation as a good defensive catcher, and allowed a lot of passed balls, but partly that's the result of frequently being asked to catch knuckleballer Charlie Hough.  His father played in the White Sox' organization from 1948-53 and his son Ben played in independent ball in 2010.  Another son, James, is part of a band called White Denim.  Geno Petralli was a coach for the Round Rock Experss in 2016.

Happy Birthday–November 27

Bullet Joe Bush (1892)
Johnny Schmitz (1920)
Billy Moran (1933)
Jose Tartabull (1938)
Dave Giusti (1939)
Dan Spillner (1951)
Mike Scioscia (1958)
Randy Milligan (1961)
Tim Laker (1969)
Ivan Rodriguez (1971)
Willie Bloomquist (1977)
Jimmy Rollins (1978)

No players with connections to the Minnesota Twins appear to have been born on this day. The closest we come is Billy Moran, who was part of a three-team trade involving Minnesota, Cleveland, and the Los Angeles Angels. Minnesota acquired Frank Kostro and Jerry Kindall and sent Lenny Green and Vic Power to Los Angeles. Billy Moran was sent from the Angels to Cleveland in that trade.

1987 Rewind: Game Fifty-four

MINNESOTA 3, TEXAS 2 IN MINNESOTA (13 INNINGS)

Date:  Saturday, June 6.

Batting stars:  Mark Salas was 2-for-3 with a home run, his third.  Gene Larkin was 3-for-5 with a walk.  Gary Gaetti was 1-for-4 with two walks and a run.

Pitching stars:  Frank Viola struck out nine in seven innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on ten hits and three walks.  George Frazier struck out five in three shutout innings, giving up one hit and three walks.  Jeff Reardon struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Charlie Hough pitched nine innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and five walks with three strikeouts.  Oddibe McDowell was 2-for-3 with a home run (his fifth), three walks, and two stolen bases (his seventh and eighth).   Scott Fletcher was 3-for-5 with two walks.

The game:  Pete Incaviglia singled home a run in the fifth to put Texas ahead 2-1.  It stayed 2-1 until the bottom of the ninth, when Salas led off with a home run to tie it 2-2.  Each team had threats--the Twins even loaded the bases with one out in the twelfth--but there was no more scoring until the thirteenth.  Tom Brunansky walked with one out.  Salas struck out, but Steve Lombardozzi singled to the left-center field gap and Brunansky scored from first to win the game for the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 28-26, in second place, two games behind Kansas City.

Notes:   Kirby Puckett was 0-for-5, dropping his average to .320...Larkin raised his average to .366...Salas raised his average to .378...Roy Smalley was 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter, dropping his average to .309...Dan Gladden batted second in this game, with Al Newman taking the leadoff spot.  Newman batted second in place of Lombardozzi, who entered the game in the ninth after Smalley pinch-hit for Tim Laudner...Larkin was the DH...This was the last game Salas would play as a Twin.  He was traded to the Yankees the next day for Joe Niekro.  I guess a game-tying homer isn't a bad way to go out.

Player profile:  Charlie Hough had an incredibly long career. He first came up with the Dodgers at the end of 1970, got cups of coffee in 1971 and 1972, came up to stay in 1973, and didn't leave until 1994. He was with the Dodgers through mid-1980, almost entirely as a reliever, and did a really good job for them for several years. He had a poor year in 1979, however, and when he was no better in 1980 he was sold to Texas. They moved him into the rotation in 1982 and he was a consistently good rotation starter through 1990. He twice led the league in starts and batters faced and once led the league in innings. He pitched over 200 innings each year from 1982-88 and over 250 innings in five of those seasons.  He made one all-star team, in 1986.  He became a free agent after 1990 and signed with the White Sox, pitched fairly well for them for two seasons.  Again a free agent after 1992, he signed with the Florida Marlins and was the starting pitcher in their first game ever.  He was fairly good in 1993 but finally slipped in 1994, at age forty-six, and retired.  He is the only pitcher to make over 400 starts and over 400 relief appearances.  He's also the last pitcher to pitch thirteen innings in a game.  He was a pitching coach in both the majors and the minors for several years before retiring.

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.