1991 Rewind: Game Nine


Date:  Wednesday, April 17.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Brian Harper was 2-for-5 with two doubles.

Pitching stars:  Kevin Tapani struck out seven in seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits and no walks.  Steve Bedrosian pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Edgar Martinez was 3-for-5.  Ken Griffey, Sr. was 2-for-4 with a double.  Jay Buhner was 1-for-4 with a home run (his second) and a walk.  Scott Bankhead pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on nine hits and two walks and striking out three.  Mike Jackson pitched 3.2 scoreless innings, giving up only a walk.

The game:  The Twins put two on with two out in the first, but nothing came of it.  In the second, Haper doubled and scored on a Mike Pagliarulo single.  Pagliarulo was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double, but Shane Mack doubled, went to third on an error, and scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.  The Twins added to their lead in the fifth.  Chuck Knoblauch singled, took second on a ground out, and scored on a two-out single by Kent Hrbek to make it 3-0.

Unfortunately, that was as good as it would get for Minnesota.  Buhner led off the bottom of the fifth with a home run.  With one out, Dave Valle singled, Jeff Schaefer doubled, a ground out made it 3-2, and Griffey, Sr. singled to tie the score.

The Twins had chances.  They got a two-out double from Randy Bush in the seventh and a one-out double from Harper in the eighth, but neither man advances past second.  Seattle loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but a strikeout and a fly out turned them aside.

Neither team threatened again until the eleventh.  Davis led off with a single and was pinch-run for by Henry Cotto, who stole second.  Buhner walked, Pete O'Brien struck out, and Scott Bradley delivered an RBI single to win the game for the Mariners.

WP:  Jackson (1-1).  LP:  Rick Aguilera (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Bush was again in left in place of Dan Gladden.  Gladden pinch-ran for Bush in the seventh and remained in the game in left field.  Mack was again in center and Kirby Puckett in right.

Harper raised his average to .381.  Puckett was 1-for-4 with a walk and was batting .371.  Knoblauch was 1-for-4 and was batting .313.  Greg Gagne was 0-for-3 and was batting .300.  Tapani had an ERA of 1.64.  Bedrosian had an ERA of 2.84.  Aguilera pitched 1.1 innings, giving up a run on two hits and two walks and striking out two.  His ERA was 2.25.

At the other end, Carmelo Castillo was 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter and was batting zero.  Gladden was 0-for-1 and was batting .042.  Al Newman pinch-hit for Gagne, went 0-for-2, and was batting .111.  Hrbek was 1-for-4 with a walk and was batting .118.  Mack was 1-for-5 and was batting .160.  Scott Leius was 0-for-1 and was batting .182.

It was the fifth consecutive loss for the Twins and gave them sole possession of last place.  They had the worst record in all of baseball.  Given that they had finished last in 1990 this probably wasn't a huge surprise, but it must have been a disappointment.  They added Jack MorrisChili Davis, and Steve Bedrosian, they still had Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek, and yet they seemed to be the same old last-place Twins.

This was only the third game for Aguilera.  He had saved the Twins' first win, and was used in a mopup role in one of their losses to California.

If you're wondering, this is the same Mike Jackson who would pitch for the Twins in 2002.  He was twenty-six at this time, and would play until he was thirty-nine.

Record:  The Twins were 2-7, in seventh (last) place in the American League West, six games behind Oakland.