MINNESOTA 2, BOSTON 1 IN MINNESOTA (10 INNINGS)
Date: Thursday, September 3.
Batting stars: Al Newman was 2-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base (his fourteenth), driving in one. Kirby Puckett was 1-for-4 with a home run, his twenty-second. Gene Larkin was 1-for-4 with a double and a run.
Pitching stars: Bert Blyleven struck out eleven in nine innings, giving up one run on six hits and four walks. Keith Atherton pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits.
Opposition stars: Calvin Schiraldi struck out eleven in seven shutout innings, giving up three hits and no walks. Mike Greenwell was 3-for-5 with a double and a run. Marty Barrett was 2-for-5 with a double.
The game: Each team threatened in the first, but failed to score. The Red Sox put together a two-out threat in the sixth, but nothing came of it. As a result, it was a scoreless tie until the ninth, when Greenwell walked, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ed Romero. The first two Twins in the ninth went out, and the Twins win-expectancy was at five percent, when Puckett homered to tie it up 1-1. Boston got men to second and third with two out in the tenth, but Todd Benzinger grounded out to end the inning. In the bottom of the tenth, Larkin hit a one-out double and Randy Bush was intentionally walked. Pinch-hitter Roy Smalley was accidentally walked, loading the bases, and Newman drew a walkoff walk to win it for the Twins.
Of note: Newman led off and played second base, replacing Steve Lombardozzi...Dan Gladden remained out of the lineup, with Bush in right and Tom Brunansky in left...Don Baylor made his Twins debut as DH, going 1-for-4...Larkin was at first base, with Kent Hrbek out of the lineup...This was the only start Calvin Schiraldi made in 1987. He had been the Red Sox' closer at the end of 1986 and the start of 1987. He made 47 starts in his career, with 27 of them coming in 1988, when he played for the Cubs...In thirty-seven starts in 1987, Blyleven had seven in which he did not leave a pitch up. This is the last of those seven.
Record: The Twins were 71-64, in first place by two games over Oakland, who was idle this day.