MINNESOTA 13, CLEVELAND 10 IN CLEVELAND (11 INNINGS)
Date: Friday, September 11.
Batting stars: Kent Hrbek was 4-for-5 with a home run (his thirty-third) and a double, scoring twice and driving in three. Randy Bush was 2-for-4 with two doubles and a walk, scoring twice and driving in two. Steve Lombardozzi was 3-for-4 with a home run (his seventh) and three runs.
Pitching stars: Jeff Reardon struck out two in two perfect innings. Juan Berenguer struck out one in a perfect inning.
Opposition stars: Mel Hall was 4-for-6 with two home runs (his thirteenth and fourteenth), driving in three. Tommy Hinzo was 3-for-6 with a home run (his second) and a triple, scoring twice. Julio Franco was 2-for-6 with a home run (his eighth) and a stolen base (his twenty-seventh), scoring twice and driving in two.
The game: The Indians scored six runs in the fourth, getting home runs by Hinzo and Hall, to take a 7-1 lead. The Twins scored in every inning in regulation after that. RBI singles by Kirby Puckett and Hrbek made it 7-3 in the top of the fifth. Cleveland got one back in the bottom half, but Lombardozzi homered in the sixth to make it 8-4, Hrbek homered in the seventh to make it 8-5, and Bush hit a two-run double in the eighth to make it 8-7. Franco hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to give Cleveland a 10-7 lead, but Tom Brunansky doubled in a run in the ninth and Tim Laudner singled home two to tie it 10-10. In the eleventh, Laudner singled and Chris Pittaro reached on an error, putting men on first and second with one out. A ground out advanced them to second and third, and Dan Gladden, who had entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the tenth, hit a three-run homer (his sixth) to put the Twins in the lead to stay.
Of note: Al Newman led off and played shortstop in place of Greg Gagne. Gagne entered the game as a pinch-runner in the eighth inning...Bush batted second and started in right, with Brunansky once more in left. Gladden, as mentioned above, entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the tenth...Puckett was 2-for-7 with an RBI and was batting .325...Starter Mike Smithson pitched 3.2 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk with two strikeouts...Cleveland starter John Farrell lasted 6.2 innings, but allowed five runs on ten hits and a walk with one strikeout...Hinzo's homer was the last of his three major league home runs. 1987 was the only year he saw significant playing time in the big leagues, starting 63 games at second base. He batted .265/.296/.358. Julio Franco took over at second the next year. Hinzo would not be in the majors again until 1989, when he went 0-for-17 over two months as a reserve. He continued to play through 1996 in AAA and in the Mexican League, but did not get back to the big leagues again.
Record: The Twins were 76-66, in first place by 3.5 games over Oakland, which lost to Kansas City 9-0.