MINNESOTA 8, CLEVELAND 7 IN CLEVELAND
Date: Sunday, July 27.
Batting stars: Cesar Tovar was 3-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base (his twenty-fourth), and two runs. Rod Carew was 3-for-5 with a double. Leo Cardenas was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his seventh.
Pitching stars: Tom Hall struck out six in 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk. Al Worthington struck out three in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.
Opposition stars: Tony Horton was 2-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base, his second. Eddie Leon was 2-for-4 and scored twice. Jose Cardenal was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his twenty-fourth. Dave Nelson was 2-for-4 with a stolen base. Chuck Hinton hit a pinch-hit two-run homer.
The game: The Indians put men on second and third with none out in the first. Starter Dave Boswell came back to strike out Ken Harrelson and Horton. He walked Duke Sims, but retired Lou Klimchock on a grounder to end the threat.
With two out in the second, George Mitterwald reached on a two-base error and scored on a Rick Renick single. The lead didn't last long, as Cleveland opened the bottom of the second with five consecutive singles, bringing in three runs. A sacrifice fly brought home a fourth and yet another single made it 5-1 Indians. The Twins got one back in the third on singles by Tovar and Carew and a sacrifice fly by Tony Oliva to cut the margin to 5-2.
Cleveland missed a chance to break it open in the fifth. Singles by Harrelson and Horton put men on first and third with none out, but an attempted double steal was foiled when Harrelson was thrown out at the plate. Two-out walks to Larry Brown and Richie Scheinblum loaded the bases, but Jerry Crider retired Leon on a fly ball to end the inning.
The Twins made them pay for the miss, as they came back with three in the sixth. Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison walked, and Cardenas delivered a three-run homer to tie the score at five. In the seventh, the Twins took the lead. Singles by Crider, Tovar, and Carew made it 6-5, and Killebrew's two-run double gave Minnesota an 8-5 lead. The Twins had a chance for more, as a pair of hit batsmen loaded the bases with one out, but a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.
The Indians weren't done, though. In the eighth, Leon singled and Chuck Hinton hit a two-run homer to cut the Twins' lead to 8-7. Cardenal then singled and stole second with one out. Worthington then struck out Nelson and Harrelson to end the threat. Cleveland got only a two-out walk by Frank Baker in the ninth.
WP: Crider (1-0). LP: Ron Law (1-1). S: Ron Perranoski (19).
Notes: Carew raised his average to .373. Oliva was 0-for-4 and was batting .327. Perranoski lowered his ERA to 1.85.
Tovar appears to have replaced Ted Uhlaender as the regular center fielder. Tovar went to third in the seventh when Uhlaender pinch-ran for Killebrew and Rich Reese pinch-hit for third baseman Rick Renick. He moved to left in the ninth, with Frank Quilici coming in to play third.
Mitterwald was behind the plate, replacing Johnny Roseboro. Roseboro was used as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and remained in the game at catcher.
Boswell lasted just 1.1 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk and striking out two. Cleveland starter Juan Pizarro pitched 5.1 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits and four walks and striking out one.
Hall made his first appearance since July 16. The rest apparently did him some good.
This was Crider's first major league win. He would have five in his career, with the other four coming in 1970 with the White Sox.
Cardenal was 9-for-21 with a home run in this series. He batted .310/.318/.452 against the Twins in 1969. For the season he batted .257/.314/.373.
Chuck Hinton was a regular major league outfielder for seven seasons and a reserve for four more. He came up with Washington in 1961 and was a starting corner outfielder for them through 1964. He made the all-star team in 1964, although his best season as a Senator was 1962 when he batted .310/.361/.472. He was traded to Cleveland after the season for Bob Chance and Woodie Held and was a starter for the Indians from 1965-1967. He was still primarily a corner outfielder but he also saw significant time in center for Cleveland. In 1967 he had a poor year, batting .245/.304/.355. Those numbers weren't terrible for 1967, but they weren't good enough for him to keep his job. He was traded to California for Jose Cardenal, a deal which worked out well for the Indians. He had a poor season for the Angels in 1968 and then was traded back to Cleveland for Lou Johnson. He bounced back to have a couple of strong years as a reserve, batting .318/.392/.477 with nine home runs in 195 at-bats in 1970. He could not sustain it in 1971 and was released after the season. He then became the baseball coach at Howard University, coaching them from 1972-1999. He was one of the founders of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association in 1982. He passed away from Parkinson's Disease in 2013. His career numbers are .264/.332/.412, which for a player who did most of his batting in 1960s are very respectable numbers. I'm not nominating him for the Hall of Fame, but Chuck Hinton was a very good major league ballplayer.
Record: The Twins were 61-39, in first place in the American League West, three games ahead of Oakland.