MINNESOTA 6, CALIFORNIA 5 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Saturday, April 19.
Batting stars: Leo Cardenas was 3-for-4 with a home run. Ted Uhlaender was 3-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base. Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-5.
Pitching stars: Dick Woodson pitched a perfect inning. Ron Perranoski pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.
Opposition stars: Aurelio Rodriguez was 3-for-4 with a home run, scoring twice. Rick Reichardt was 2-for-4 with a double.
The game: In the second, the Angels loaded the bases with one out on an error and two singles but only scored once, on a Bobby Knopp sacrifice fly. The Angels again loaded the bases in the fourth, this time with two out, and pitcher Tom Murphy delivered a two-run single to put California ahead 3-0.
The Twins got on the board in the bottom of the fourth, but only with one. Tony Oliva led off with a double and Killebrew followed with a single to put men on first and third, but Graig Nettles hit into a double play. Oliva scored to make it 3-1. California got the run back in the fifth, as Lou Johnson reached on a two-out error and scored on Reichardt's double. The teams then traded leadoff home runs, as Cardenas hit one in the bottom of the fifth but Rodriguez hit one in the top of the sixth, leaving the score 5-2. The Twins cut the lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth, as Nettles and Charlie Manuel hit back-to-back two-out doubles.
In the seventh, Uhlaender and Rod Carew hit one-out singles, ending up at second and third as Uhlaender went to third on the hit and Carew took second on the throw to third. Hoyt Wilhelm cam in to replace Murphy on the mound. Oliva's ground out scored Uhlaender and sent Carew to third, and with Killebrew up to bat and two out, Carew stole home for the second time of the season to tie the score.
The Twins put men on first and third with two out in the eighth, but Cesar Tovar fouled out. In the ninth, Uhlaender led off with a walk and stole second. With one out, Oliva was intentionally walked and Killebrew followed with an RBI single to win the game.
WP: Ron Perranoski (3-0). LP: Eddie Fisher (0-1). S: None.
Notes: Oliva was 1-for-4 with a walk and is batting .381. Johnny Roseboro was 1-for-4 and is batting .364. Carew was 1-for-5 and is batting .355.
Manuel made his first start of the season, playing left field, after four pinch-hitting appearances. He went 1-for-3 with a walk.
Nettles got the start at third base, his first start there of the season.
Jim Kaat, who had pitched 11 innings in his first start April 9 and 8.2 innings in his second start April 15, pitched five innings in this game. He gave up four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks and struck out five. Jim Perry, who had lasted just three innings in his start April 11, pitched two innings of relief.
Perranoski had now appeared in seven of nine Twins games.
The Twins were once again 2-for-2 in stolen bases, making them 6-for-13 on the season.
Murphy's two RBIs were half his season total and the first RBIs of his career. He was in his second year, having made fifteen big league starts in 1968. He had a twelve-year career, pitching for the Angels, Kansas City, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Boston, and Toronto. He was a starter through 1971, both started and relieved in 1972-1973, and was a reliever the rest of his career, which lasted through 1979. He got twenty saves in each of 1974-1975, while with Milwaukee, and led the league in games finished in 1974.
Record: The Twins got over .500 for the first time all season, going to 5-4. In two games they had moved from a tie for last to a tie for first,, tied for the top spot with Kansas City and Oakland.