1969 Rewind: Game Sixty-five

MINNESOTA 4, OAKLAND 3 IN OAKLAND (GAME 2--13 INNINGS)

Date:  Sunday, June 22.

Batting stars:  Tony Oliva was 3-for-6 with three doubles.  Ted Uhlaender was 3-for-6.  Rod Carew was 2-for-3.  Charlie Manuel was 2-for-5 with a walk.  Leo Cardenas was 2-for-5.  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-6.

Pitching stars:  Ron Perranoski pitched 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up three hits and a walk and striking out one.  Jim Perry pitched two scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.  Jim Kaat pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Tommie Reynolds was 3-for-5.  Rick Monday was 3-for-5.  Reggie Jackson was 2-for-6 with a double.  Blue Moon Odom pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out two.  Jim Roland pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits.  Rollie Fingers pitched four innings, giving up one run on five hits and two walks and striking out one.

The game:  The Twins got on the board in the first inning, as Ted Uhlaender singled, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Rod Carew single.  The Athletics tied it in the second on singles by Sal Bando, Monday, and Reynolds.

Oakland forged ahead in the fourth when Jackson led off with a double and scored on Danny Cater's one-out single.  The Twins took the lead in the sixth.  Carew and Killebrew singled and Oliva doubled to tie the score.  With one out Manuel singled to bring Oliva home and put Minnesota up 3-2.  They still had men on first and third with one out, but could not add to their lead.

The Athletics tied it in the seventh.  With two out and none on, Reynolds singled, Larry Haney walked, and Mike Hershberger singled to tie it 3-3.  Each team missed chances to win in nine innings.  Oliva led off the eighth with a double but did not score.  Oakland had men on first and second with one out in the ninth, but Joe Rudi hit into a double play.  The Twins also had a chance in the eleventh, putting men on first and second with two out, but could not bring anyone across the plate.

The Twins went ahead to stay in the thirteenth.  Oliva again led off the inning with a double and went to third on a ground out.  Manuel was intentionally walked, and Jim Perry laid down a squeeze bunt to bring in the lead run.  Kaat came in to pitch and set the Athletics down in order to end the game.

WP:  Perry (6-3).  LP:  Rollie Fingers (3-4).  S:  Kaat (1).

Notes:  Carew raised his average to .380, but was removed from the game in the sixth for a pinch-runner (Cesar Tovar).  You may recall that he had come out of a game early a couple of days ago as well.  Perhaps he had some nagging injury.  He would be out of the lineup the next day, although he did pinch-hit.

Bob Miller came out of the bullpen to make his first start of the season.  It went about as well as one could expect--he went 3.1 innings and allowed two runs on eight hits and no walks and struck out two.  He actually made eleven starts in 1969 and even threw a complete game.

Perranoski had now pitched 9.2 relief innings over three days.  Perry had started the previous day's game, going 5.1 innings.  Kaat had started the first game of the doubleheader, going three innings.  Teams would use a position player to pitch and concede the game rather than do such things today.  That's not to say which is better or worse--it's simply a comment on how times change.  Of course, one of the things Billy Martin was known for was not being too concerned about blowing out a pitcher's arm.

Have I discussed Tommie Reynolds before?  If I have, I can't remember.  He was with the Kansas City Athletics from 1963-1965, mostly as a reserve.  He was in AAA all of 1966 and went to the Mets in 1967, again used in a reserve role.  He was again in AAA all of 1968 and was back with the Athletics, now in Oakland, in 1969.  This was the season he got the most playing time of his career, as he was as close to a regular left fielder as the A's had.  It was also his best season, but unfortunately for him that's not saying too much--he batted .257/.343/.308 in 315 at-bats.  He was with California from 1970-1971 and with Milwaukee in 1972.  That ended his major league career, but he was in AAA with the Brewers through 1978.  He had some fine AAA seasons for the Brewers, batting over .300 four times and posting an OPS over .800 four times, but never got another shot at the big leagues.  His major league numbers are .226/.306/.296, so I guess it's understandable why Milwaukee wasn't too anxious to give him another shot.  He was a coach with Oakland and St. Louis in the 1990s.

Record:  The Twins were 36-29, tied for first place with Oakland in the American League West, although they were second based on winning percentage, .556 to .554.

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