MINNESOTA 7, CLEVELAND 1 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Wednesday, September 3.
Batting stars: Cesar Tovar was 2-for-3 with a walk. Leo Cardenas was 2-for-4. Rod Carew was 2-for-5 with a double. Tony Oliva was 2-for-5. Harmon Killebrew was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his thirty-ninth.
Pitching star: Dave Boswell pitched a complete game, giving up one run on four hits and a walk and striking out two.
Opposition stars: Russ Snyder was 2-for-4 with a double. Ken Harrelson was 1-for-3 with a home run, his twenty-seventh.
The game: It was scoreless for five innings, and there really were really very few threats to score. The Indians had one in the third--Eddie Leon singled and Vern Fuller walked, putting men on first and second with none out. Snyder hit a one-out single, but Leon was thrown out at the plate by Twins left fielder Ted Uhlaender. In the fourth, Oliva led off with a single and Tovar drew a two-out walk, but George Mitterwald was called out on strikes to end the inning.
When the Twins broke through in the sixth, though, they did it in a big way. Carew led off with a double and scored on Oliva's single. Killebrew followed with a two-run homer. It did not kill the rally, but it did chase Cleveland starter Steve Hargan from the game. Juan Pizarro came in and gave up a single to Rich Reese. With one out Mitterwald walked, Cardenas delivered an RBI single, and Boswell drove in a run with a sacrifice/fielder's choice. It was 5-0 and the Twins had control of the game.
Harrelson homered with one out in the seventh for the lone Indians run. The Twins scored two more in the eighth. They opened the inning with consecutive singles by Tovar, Mitterwald, Cardenas, and Boswell to make the score 6-1 and Uhlaender hit a sacrifice fly to increase it to 7-1.
WP: Boswell (15-10). LP: Hargan (5-12). S: None.
Notes: It was what appears now to be the more-or-less regular lineup, with Carew back at second, Tovar in center, and Uhlaender in left. Johnny Roseboro started the game at catcher, but left after lining out to end the second inning. Mitterwald came in to replace him. Roseboro would be back in the lineup the next day.
Carew was batting .351. Reese went 1-for-4 and was batting .327. Oliva was batting .315.
Hargan was struggling through an injury-plagued 1969 season. That could be said of several of his seasons. In his first three years, 1965-1967, he was an excellent pitcher. He made the all-star team in 1967 and led the league in shutouts that year. He really only had two good seasons after that, 1970 (11-3, 2.90) and 1974 (12-9, 3.95). He hung on as a reliever/spot starter through 1977.
I don't have time to write it up properly, but Juan Pizarro had a pretty interesting career. It was a long career, stretching from 1957 through 1974. He made two all-star teams, 1963 and 1964, but for most of his career was just a pretty good pitcher. He was a starter through 1965 and mostly a reliever after that, although he would still make ten or so spot starts every year. His career numbers are 131-105, 3.43 with 28 saves. Again, not a star, not a Hall-of Famer, but a good pitcher for a long time.
Record: The Twins were 82-52, in first place in the American League West, 6.5 games ahead of Oakland.