1991 Rewind: Game Fifteen

MINNESOTA 7, OAKLAND 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, April 24.

Batting stars:  Chuck Knoblauch was 3-for-4 with a triple, a walk, a stolen base (his second) and three RBIs.  Junior Ortiz was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a triple.  Gene Larkin was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Jack Morris pitched 7.2 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and four walks and striking out six.  Rick Aguilera struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a walk.

Opposition stars:  Harold Baines was 2-for-4 with a triple.  Lance Blankenship was 1-for-2 with a walk.

The game:  The Twins missed a chance in the first.  With one out, Knoblauch walked and Puckett singled.  With two out, Chili Davis walked to load the bases, but a fly out ended the inning.  Each team put men on first and second in the fourth, but it remained scoreless until the fifth.

In the bottom of the fifth, Puckett tripled and scored on a ground out to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  The Athletics then broke through with four in the top of the sixth.  Willie Wilson doubled and scored on a Jose Canseco single to tie it 1-1.  Baines then tripled to give Oakland a 2-1 lead.  Terry Steinbach singled him home, and singles by Mark McGwire and Blankenship plated another run, making it 4-1 Athletics.

The Twins responded in the bottom of the sixth.  Mike Pagliarulo led off with a single.  Singles by Larkin and Greg Gagne loaded the bases with one out.  Dan Gladden singled one home, Knoblauch cleared the bases with a triple to give the Twins the lead, and Hrbek singled him home to provide an insurance run at 6-4.

Oakland did not get a hit the rest of the game.  The Twins got an insurance run in the eighth when Gladden was hit by a pitch, Knoblauch singled, and Puckett hit a sacrifice fly.

WP:  Morris (1-3).  LP:  Dave Stewart (1-2).  S:  Aguilera (4).

Notes:  Puckett started in center, with Larkin in right.  Shane Mack came in for defense in the eighth, playing center with Puckett moving to right.

Larkin raised his average to .417.  Puckett went up to .322.  Knoblauch raised his average to .308.  Gagne was 1-for-4 and was batting .300.

Aguilera had an ERA of 1.23.

Gladden was 1-for-4 and raised his average to .120.  Hrbek was 1-for-5 and was batting .157.  Morris got his ERA down to 5.88.

Morris threw 124 pitches.  Stewart was allowed to give up all seven runs in seven innings. giving up twelve hits and three walks while striking out six.  He threw 134 pitches.  Yes, men were men in those days.

There were three triples in this game.  I'm sure that's nowhere near a record, but it's not exactly common, either.  I would think the Oakland Mausoleum would be conducive to triples, although I didn't look it up to check.

Record:  The Twins were 5-10, in seventh (last) place, five games behind the White Sox, 2.5 games behind sixth-place Kansas City.

9 thoughts on “1991 Rewind: Game Fifteen”

  1. Morris's seventh inning strikeout of Jose Canseco was the 2000th of his career.

    Morris hit Steinbach with a pitch in the second inning. Steinbach walked towards the mound, and there was a lot of shouting before calmer heads prevailed. Steinbach: "Was I there to go brawling? No. Was I there to let him know I was mad? Yes."

    Apparently Junior Ortiz promised his teammates before the game that he would get two hits. Not exactly Kirby in Game Six, but still oddly impressive.

    Clubhouse scuttlebutt is that the players were trying to agree upon a nickname for Knoblauch. He preferred "Knobber," but some were pushing for either Skippy or Ed Grimley. Morris was lobbying for Munchkin to which Knoblauch responded with "choice words."

    Third base coach Ron Gardenhire said he would have sent Knoblauch to try for an inside-the-park homerun if his triple had been hit with two outs. It was a blooper down the right field line to which Jose Canseco performed his best Jake Cave impression.

    Chris Isaak sang "The Star-Spangled Banner."

    (All these notes courtesy of the STrib)

    1. Munchkin would’ve been epic. Knoblauch’s response is about what I’d expect from him. Who knows what he was like in reality all those years, but at the time, I really liked feisty Knobby.

      Apparently nobody in the clubhouse spoke German, because “Garlic” would’ve been fitting, too.

    1. Seven games with three or more triples in 2019. There were five last year and 11 the year before. 1980 was the last year with at least 20 (it had 20). 1972 had only a single game. 1956 was the first year with fewer than ten, with nine, down from 17 the year before and ten in 1957. 1936 was the last year with at least 30, at 32, and 1933 was the first year under 30, at 29. 1921's 84 games is tops since 1908. Lot of 40-70 each season in the '10s-'20s.

  2. Morris threw 124 pitches. Stewart was allowed to give up all seven runs in seven innings. giving up twelve hits and three walks while striking out six. He threw 134 pitches. Yes, men were men in those days.

    Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.

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