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.