1965 Rewind: Game Eighty-three

MINNESOTA 11, KANSAS CITY 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Thursday, July 15 (Game 1 of doubleheader).

Batting stars:  Tony Oliva was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his thirteenth and fourteenth) and a walk, scoring three times.  Sandy Valdespino was 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs.  Earl Battey was 2-for-2 with two walks, scoring twice and driving in one.

Pitching stars:  Jim Kaat pitched six innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and a walk with one strikeout.  Johnny Klippstein struck out six in three shutout innings, giving up one hit and three walks.

Opposition stars:  Ken Harrelson was 2-for-4 with a home run, his ninth.  Dick Green was 2-for-4 with a home run, his seventh.  Rene Lachemann was 1-for-3 with a home run (his sixth) and a walk.

The game:  Oliva homered in the first to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  In the second, two singles and a hit batsman filled the bases with one out, a wild pitch scored one run, and Kaat delivered a sacrifice fly to make the score 3-0.  The Twins then scored seven in the fourth to put the game out of reach.  Two singles and a walk filled the bases with none out.  Kaat hit his second sacrifice fly of the game to bring home one run.  Zoilo Versalles struck out, but with two out and two on the next five batters walked, forcing in four runs.  Three different pitchers issued the five walks, which must have been extremely frustrating to Athletics manager Heywood Sullivan.  Valdespino then delivered a two-run single to put the Twins up 10-0.  Kaat gave up three solo homers in the next two innings but was never really in trouble.

Of note:  Versalles was 0-for-5.  Jimmie Hall was 0-for-4 with a walk, scoring once and driving in one.  Harmon Killebrew was 1-for-3 with two walks, scoring once and driving in one.

Record:  The win made the Twins 54-29 and kept them in first place by four and a half games over Cleveland.

Notes:  One of Bud Selig's many "contributions" to the game is the four-day all-star break.  In 1965, when Men were Men, you not only got by with three days, you played a doubleheader when you got back.  In fact, not every team even got three days.  There were three major league games played on Wednesday, the day after the all-star game...Kaat, as stated above, had two sacrifice flies in the game.  Only twelve players have hit three sacrifice flies in a game, with the most recent being Jose Lopez in 2008, and none of them were pitchers, so it appears that Kaat tied a record...I could not quickly find out what the record is for most consecutive walks, but I did see that Bill "Dolly" Gray walked seven consecutive batters in 1909.

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