MINNESOTA 3, SEATTLE 2 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Saturday, September 20.
Batting stars: Rod Carew was 3-for-4 with a walk and two runs. Ted Uhlaender was 3-for-5 with a triple. Cesar Tovar was 2-for-3 with a walk. Tony Oliva was 2-for-5 with a double.
Pitching star: Jim Perry pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks and striking out eight.
Opposition stars: John Kennedy was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer, his third. Steve Whitaker was 2-for-4. Gene Brabender pitched 6.1 innings, giving up two runs on nine hits and three walks and striking out four.
The game: John Dondaldson and Whitaker started the game with singles, but Perry came back to strike out the next three batters. The Pilots broke through in the second, though. Jerry McNertney walked and Kennedy followed with a two-run homer, putting Seattle ahead 2-0.
Then came some frustration. The Twins got two-out singles from Tovar and Johnny Roseboro in the second but did not score. In the third the Twins got one-out singles from Uhlaender and Carew and again did not score. In the fourth the Pilots got one-out singles from McNertney and Kennedy and did not score. In the fifth, the Twins got a one-out single by Uhlaender followed by a walk to Carew and could not cash it in. In the sixth, Killebrew walked and Tovar got a one-out single, but it again came to nothing.
Finally, in the seventh, the Twins got on the board. Uhlaender tripled with one out and scored on a single by Carew. Oliva followed with another single. With two out, Rich Reese delivered an RBI single to tie the score 2-2.
It was still tied going to the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Carew singled. Oliva followed with a double, scoring Carew from first base with the deciding run.
WP: Perry (20-6). LP: Diego Segui (11-6). S: None.
Notes: Carew was restored to the second spot in the batting order and raised his average to .334. Reese was 1-for-4 and was batting .321. Oliva was batting .313. Perry's ERA was 2.90.
This was the first time Perry won twenty games. He would do it again in 1970, leading the league in wins with twenty-four. He finished third in Cy Young voting in 1969 (behind Mike Cuellar and Denny McLain) and would win the award in 1970.
The Twins stranded eleven runners, going 2-for-10 with men in scoring position.
Record: The Twins were 91-60, in first place in the American League West, eleven games ahead of Oakland. The Athletics lost to California 7-3. The Twins had clinched a tie for first place, which of course means their magic number was now one.