MINNESOTA 5, FLORIDA 3 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Saturday, June 8.
Batting stars: Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4 with two doubles. Jacque Jones was 2-for-4 with a walk and a double. Torii Hunter was 2-for-4 with a double.
Pitching stars: Tony Fiore pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk while striking out one. Mike Jackson pitched a perfect inning while striking out one. Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning while striking out one.
Opposition stars: Cliff Floyd was 2-for-4 with a home run (his fourteenth), a double, and a walk. Mike Lowell was 1-for-3 with a home run (his ninth) and a walk. Andy Fox was 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, his tenth.
The game: The Marlins scored in the top of the first, as Luis Castillo led off with a single and scored on Floyd's double. The Twins tied it in the second when Corey Koskie walked, went to third on a stolen base-plus-error, and scored on a Mohr double. Hunter's two-run double in the third put the Twins ahead 3-1, but Florida come right back in the top of the fourth, getting back-to-back homers by Floyd and Lowell to tie it 3-3. Mohr led off the bottom of the fourth with a double and scored on Jones' single to give the Twins a 4-3 advantage. The Marlins led off the sixth with two walks, but Fiore came in to retire the next three batters to get out of the inning. In the bottom of the sixth, back-to-back doubles by Luis Rivas and Jones made the score 5-3. Florida put men on first and third with two out in the seventh, but J. C. Romero came on to retire Cliff Floyd on a ground out and the Marlins did not get a baserunner after that.
WP: Matt Kinney (2-5). LP: Kevin Olsen (0-4). S: Guardado (18).
Notes: Jones raised his average to .316...Hunter went up to .314...Mohr was batting .336...A. J. Pierzynski was 1-for-4 to make his average .331...Romero's ERA fell to 0.79...Jackson now had an ERA of 1.07...Koskie had stolen twenty-seven bases in 2001, more than double what he did in any other year. He would steal ten in 2002 and eleven in 2003, the only years when he reached double digit stolen bases. He had seventy-one for his career...Kinney struck out six in five innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks...Florida starter Kevin Olsen pitched 4.1 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks and striking out four...This was one of only ten starts Olsen made in his major league career. Florida drafted him in the twenty-sixth round in 1998. He got a September call-up from AA in 2001 and pitched quite well, throwing seven shutout innings against Montreal on October 3. He appears to have been the fifth starter for Florida at the start of the 2002 season, pitching out of the bullpen when a fifth starter was not needed due to off-days or rainouts. He did okay in nine relief appearances, but was not very good in eight starts and was sent down in early July. He was pitching really well in AAA Albuquerque in 2003 and came up to the majors in June. He made on good appearance and three really bad ones. In the last one, on June 27, he was hit in the head by a Todd Walker line drive, landing him on the disabled list. He came back in September and had one really bad outing and two good ones. He apparently was still dealing with injury in 2004, as he made just ten starts for Albuquerque. He signed with Pittsburgh for 2005 but never threw a pitch for them all year and was released after the season. He started 2006 in independent ball and finished it in AA for Oakland, doing very well in thirteen starts. He made just two bad starts in AAA in 2007, however, before being released. A quick Google search did not reveal whether the later injuries had to do with concussion symptoms or if they were independent of that. He might not have done much in the majors anyway, but it's too bad that he couldn't stay healthy so he could find out for sure.
Record: The Twins were 36-26, in first place by six games over Chicago.