KANSAS CITY 4, MINNESOTA 2 IN KANSAS CITY
Date: Sunday, August 25.
Batting stars: Bobby Kielty was 2-for-3 with a walk. Dustan Mohr was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his tenth.
Pitching star: Tony Fiore pitched two shutout innings, giving up four hits and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Miguel Ascencio pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks and striking out four. Neifi Perez was 3-for-4 with a double and a stolen base, his eighth. Raul Ibanez was 2-for-2 with two walks and a home run, his twenty-second.
The game: Chuck Knoblauch homered leading off the bottom of the first to give the Royals a 1-0 lead. Michael Tucker homered leading off the bottom of the second to make it 2-0. Ibanez homered in the bottom of the third to make it 3-0. The Twins got a pair of one-out singles in the fourth, but a double play took them out of the inning. In the sixth, doubles by Tucker and Perez made it 4-0 Kansas City. The Twins cut the lead in half in the seventh, as Mohr hit a two-run homer to make it 4-2. The Twins did not get a man past first base after that.
WP: Ascencio (3-4). LP: Kyle Lohse (11-8). S: Roberto Hernandez (24).
Notes: Torii Hunter was given the day off, with Kielty playing center field.
A. J. Pierzynski was also given the day off, with Tom Prince catching. He was 0-for-2 with a walk.
This was the last of Cristian Guzman's twenty-three game hitting streak. He was 35-for-97, for an average of .361. His season average went up from .259 to .278 during the streak.
Lohse pitched five innings, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks and striking out three.
Fiore lowered his ERA to 2.85.
Knoblauch's home run was his fourth of the season. He was 1-for-5 in the game and was batting .215.
Tucker's home run was his twelfth.
This was Miguel Ascencio's rookie season, and his only full season in the major leagues. He was signed as a free agent by Philadelphia in 1998. He had a strong year in high A in 2001 and was taken by Kansas City in the Rule 5 draft. The Royals kept him in the majors all season, giving him 21 starts and using him in relief 10 times. He did about as well as you could expect from a twenty-one-year-old who'd never pitched above Class A, going 4-7, 5.11, 1.62 WHIP. He started 2003 in the Royals' rotation and did a little better in eight starts, going 2-1, 5.21, 1.55 WHIP. Then, however, he hurt his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery. He not only missed the rest of the season but also missed all of 2004 and does not look as if he ever truly came back from it. He signed with San Diego for 2005 but clearly still wasn't healthy, making just three poor starts in AAA before being released. The Rockies signed him for 2006 and he made three major league appearances in April, but that was the end of his major league career. He was in AAA the rest of 2006, in AA and AAA with Houston in 2007, and was mostly in AA with Boston in 2008. His major league record was 7-8, 5.12, 1.61 WHIP. We'll never know if he'd have developed into a good pitcher had he stayed healthy. No information about what Miguel Ascencio is doing now was readily available.
Record: The Twins were 78-54, in first place, leading Chicago by sixteen games.