BALTIMORE 6, MINNESOTA 5 IN MINNESOTA (14 INNINGS)
Date: Wednesday, August 14.
Batting stars: Jacque Jones was 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs. David Ortiz was 2-for-4 with a double. Torii Hunter was 2-for-7 with a stolen base, his nineteenth.
Pitching stars: Brad Radke pitched six innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk and striking out three. Bob Wells pitched two shutout innings, giving up a walk. LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.
Opposition stars: Melvin Mora was 3-for-5 with a triple, a double, and a walk. Tony Batista was 2-for-5 with two doubles and a walk. Rick Bauer pitched four shutout innings, giving up three hits.
The game: Mora led off the game with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. The Twins tied it in the bottom of the first when Jones doubled and scored on Hunter's single. The Twins took a 3-1 lead in the second when Luis Rivas hit an RBI triple and scored on Jones' single. Mora struck again in the third, getting an RBI single to cut the Twins lead to 3-2. In the fifth, Jones and Ortiz each doubled to put the Twins back up by two at 4-2. Mora and Batista each doubled in the sixth to make it 4-3. Eddie Guardado came in to pitch the ninth and gave up doubles to the first two batters he faced, Batista and Jay Gibbons, to tie the score 4-4. Gibbons went to third on a fly out and scored on a ground out to give the Baltimore a 5-4 advantage. The Twins tied it in the ninth on an error and a Corey Koskie RBI single. The Twins would not get a man past first after that. With two out in the top of the fourteenth, Geronimo Gil hit a home run, his ninth of the season and one of nineteen in his career, to win the game for the Orioles.
WP: Bauer (6-4). LP: Tony Fiore (9-3). S: None.
Notes: Michael Cuddyer started the game in right field, going 0-for-2 with a walk. Bobby Kielty pinch-hit for him in the eighth.
Hunter was now batting .305.
A. J. Pierzynski was 0-for-4 to make his average .302.
Hawkins lowered his ERA to 2.21.
J. C Romero pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two walks. His ERA was now 1.67.
It was Guardado's first blown save since July 12.
Fiore pitched well other than the home run. He went three innings, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out one.
Rick Bauer was a fifth-round draft choice of the Orioles in 1997. He was a starting pitcher throughout his minor league career and made six starts as a September call-up in 2001, but made only four more starts the rest of his career, presumably of the emergency variety. He was nothing special in the six starts, but wasn't bad either, posting an ERA of 4.64 with a WHIP of 1.33. Still, the Orioles clearly felt he was more valuable to them in the bullpen. That isn't all that clear from the numbers, as he went 8-8, 1 save, 4.57 in 119 appearances from 2002-2005. All but the 2002 season included time in AAA where, oddly enough, they had him starting. The Orioles gave up on him in 2005, releasing him mid-way through the season. He then got a scenic tour, spending 2006 with Texas (where he had the best year of his career, 3-1, 3.55 in 71 innings), 2007 in AAA with Philadelphia and the Dodgers, 2008 in the minors with Cleveland and Toronto (making four appearances in the majors with the Indians), 2009 pitching in Korea and the Atlantic League, 2010 under contract with Colorado for three days and then back to the Atlantic League, out of baseball in 2011, and in the North American Baseball League in 2012. His major league numbers for all that are 11-14, 4.51, 3 saves, 1.40 WHIP. He appeared in 187 games, starting ten of them, and pitched 317 innings over parts of seven seasons. At last report, Rick Bauer was a pitching instructor for Area 615, a baseball training facility in Franklin, Tennessee.
Record: The Twins were 71-50, in first place, leading Chicago by thirteen games.