2002 Rewind: Game Forty


Date:  Tuesday, May 14.

Batting stars:  Torii Hunter was 2-for-3.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4.

Pitching star:  LaTroy Hawkins pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit while striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Jeff Suppan pitched eight shutout innings, giving up an unearned run on nine hits and no walks.  Neifi Perez was 3-for-4 with a triple.  A. J. Hinch was 2-for-4 with a home run (his third) and four RBIs.

The game:  Doug Mientkiewicz hit a sacrifice fly in the first to give the Twins a 1-0 lead, but it was all downhill from there.  Chuck Knoblauch homered to lead off the bottom of the first and tie the score.  Hinch had an RBI single in a two-run second to make it 3-1 Royals.  Kansas City added two more in the fourth and Hinch hit a three-run homer in the fifth.  The Twins had nine hits, but eight of them were singles and they had only five at-bats with men in scoring position, going 1-for-5.

WP:  Suppan (4-4).  LP:  Matt Kinney (1-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Brian Buchanan was again in right field, going 1-for-4...With both Corey Koskie and Luis Rivas out, the Twins had been going with either Casey Blake or Denny Hocking at third and Jay Canizaro at second.  In this game, however, Hocking was at second and Canizaro at third...Matt Kinney lasted only 3.2 innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and five walks with one strikeout...Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.52...Jeff Suppan pitched a long time without really being all that good.  In a seventeen year career, he only once had an ERA under four (2005) and only had five seasons in which his ERA was under 4.50 (2001, 2003-2006).  In contrast, he had eight seasons in which his ERA was over 5.00, although two of those were his first two seasons in which he pitched only 22.2 innings per season and one was his last in which he pitched 30.2 innings.  He was a very durable pitcher, throwing over 200 innings in six seasons and over 160 in eleven seasons.  2002 was not one of his best seasons--he went 9-16, 5.32.  He had a fine game here, though.

Record:  The Twins were 23-17, in first place by a half game over Chicago.