OAKLAND 7, MINNESOTA 3 IN OAKLAND (GAME ONE)
Date: Sunday, June 22.
Batting stars: Tony Oliva was 3-for-4 with a double. Rod Carew was 3-for-5 and scored twice. Ted Uhlaender was 2-for-5 with two doubles.
Pitching star: Al Worthington pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Ted Kubiak was 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs. Sal Bando was 2-for-3 with two home runs (his thirteenth and fourteenth), a walk, and three RBIs. Future Twin Phil Roof was 2-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch. Reggie Jackson was 2-for-4 with a home run (his twenty-seventh), two runs, and three RBIs. Chuck Dobson pitched a complete game, giving up three runs on eleven hits and a walk and striking out three.
The game: The Twins got two in the first inning, as Uhlaender doubled, Carew got an infield single, and Harmon Killebrew hit a two-run double. The Athletics matched the two runs in the bottom of the first on Bando's two-run homer. Oakland took the lead in the third. With two out and none on, Kubiak, Jackson, and Bando each homered to give the Athletics a 5-2 lead.
Each team missed a good chance in the fourth. The Twins got singles from Rich Reese and Leo Cardenas, putting men on first and second with one out, but did not score. Oakland loaded the bases with none out on two singles and a hit batsman, but a popup and a double play ended the threat.
The Twins got two within two in the fifth as Carew scored from first on Oliva's double. The Athletics again loaded the bases in the fifth, this time with two out, and again did not score. In the sixth, however, with men on second and third and two out, Jackson delivered a two-run single to make the score 7-3.
The Twins had men on first and second with two out in the seventh, but Reese fouled out to end the inning. The last seven Twins were retired.
WP: Dobson (8-5). LP: Jim Kaat (7-6). S: None.
Notes: Carew raised his average to .376.
Kaat lasted just three innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and no walks and striking out one. As you can see above, the runs scored on four home runs. His ERA went to 2.63.
Utility infielder Ted Kubiak was 5-for-8 with a home run and a walk over the last two games. The home run was one of two he had in 1969 and one of just thirteen in his ten-year career. He was not much of a batter, really--his career high in batting average was .252, in 1970 for Milwaukee, and his career best OPS was .671 in a 1971 split between Milwaukee and St. Louis. He hit a career-high seven triples that year and also matched his career high in home runs with four, giving him a career high slugging average of .379. He actually hit more triples (21) than home runs in his career. In addition to the teams listed above, he played for Texas in 1972, went back to Oakland in the middle of that season and stayed through early 1975, then finished his career with San Diego in 1975-1976. He was traded for some good players--in 1971 the Brewers sent him and minor leaguer Chuck Loseth to St. Louis for Jose Cardenal and Dick Schofield. In 1975 he was traded to San Diego for Sonny Siebert. His career numbers are .231/.307/.289 in 2447 at-bats.
I think it was 1973 that Oakland had a bunch of light-hitting infielders, and so briefly experimented with pinch-hitting for the second baseman whenever he came to bat. Kubiak was part of that experiment, along with Dick Green, Mike Andrews, Dal Maxvill, and Manny Trillo. I could have some details wrong--a quick google search did not turn up anything, so I'm going off memory and a look at the Oakland rosters from that time. The experiment did not last long. If anyone has time to fill in more details on this, feel free to do so.
Record: The Twins were 35-29, in second place in the American League West, one game behind Oakland.