MINNESOTA 4, SEATTLE 3 IN MINNESOTA (10 INNINGS)
Date: Thursday, April 25.
Batting stars: Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-4 with a walk. Gene Larkin was 2-for-4. Brian Harper was 2-for-4. Kirby Puckett was 2-for-5. Chili Davis was 1-for-2 with two walks and a hit-by-pitch.
Pitching star: Allan Anderson pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and four walks and striking out three.
Opposition stars: Erik Hanson pitched seven innings, giving up one run on eight hits and three walks and striking out one. Edgar Martinez was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch. Jay Buhner was 2-for-4 with a double.
The game: In the first inning, Ken Griffey, Jr. drew a two-out walk and scored on Martinez' double to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead. They got a man to third in the second and again in the third, but couldn't score him. Meanwhile, the Twins did not get a man past first base for five innings. They threatened in the sixth, putting men on first and third, but remained scoreless.
That changed in the seventh. Davis and Harper opened the inning with singles and Larkin delivered a one-out single to tie the score. The Twins would load the bases with two out, but could do no more damage. Seattle got the lead back in the eighth, as Martinez singled and Buhner had an RBI double. The Twins tied it in the eighth. Kent Hrbek singled and Davis was hit by a pitch. With two out, Mike Pagliarulo came through with an RBI single, but Davis was thrown out at third to prevent the Twins from taking the lead. It remained 2-2 through ten.
The Mariners took the lead in the tenth without getting a hit. Martinez was hit by a pitch with one out and Alvin Davis walked. A ground out moved the runners to second and third, an intentional walk to Pete O'Brien loaded the bases, and a wild pitch brought home the go-ahead run. But the Twins were not done. In the bottom of the tenth, Knoblauch singled and Al Newman doubled, putting men on second and third. An intentional walk to Davis loaded the bases with one out. A wild pitch tied the score, and when pitcher Mike Jackson missed the return throw from the catcher the winning run scored. The Twins had scored two runs on a walkoff wild pitch-plus-error to win the game.
WP: Steve Bedrosian (2-0). LP: Jackson (1-2). S: None.
Notes: Shane Mack's slow start and Larkin's hot start meant that Larkin was again in right field, with Kirby Puckett in center. Mack pinch-ran for Larkin in the ninth and stayed in the game in center, with Puckett moving to right.
Newman was in the game to hit the double in the tenth because he pinch-ran for Hrbek in the eighth. He played shortstop, with Randy Bush entering the game at first base to replace Greg Gagne.
My recollection is that Larkin was a really bad outfielder. Memory is a funny thing, of course, but I remember him playing a few steps in front of the warning track, because he couldn't go back on the ball. He also played somewhat facing the right field foul line, because he couldn't go to his left.
He was batting .438 at this point in the season, though, and .438 will make up for a lot of defensive mistakes. Harper raised his average to .359. Puckett was up to .328. Knoblauch raised his average to .321. Gagne was 1-for-3 and was batting .302.
Gladden was 0-for-4 and was batting .111. Bush was 0-for-1 and was batting .136. Newman was 1-for-1 and was batting .154. Hrbek was 1-for-4 and was batting .164.
After a 2-9 start, the Twins had won four out of five games.
Record: The Twins were 6-10, in seventh (last) place in the American League West, 4.5 games behind Chicago, two games behind Kansas City, Seattle, and Texas, who were tied for fourth.