MINNESOTA 3, KANSAS CITY 2 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Friday, May 24.
Batting stars: Chili Davis was 4-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Greg Gagne was 2-for-4.
Pitching star: Jack Morris pitched 8.1 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and four walks and striking out four.
Opposition stars: Kurt Stillwell was 1-for-3 with a walk. George Brett was 1-for-4 with a home run.
The game: The Royals got on the board in the second when Mike Macfarlane doubled and scored on a Stillwell single. Each team had a failed threat before the Twins took the lead in the fourth. Gagne led off with a single and Kent Hrbek drew a one-out walk. Davis then hit a two-run double-plus-error to give the Twins the lead. Brian Harper's sacrifice fly brough Davis home and gave the Twins a 3-1 advantage.
That was it for the Twins, but it was enough. Brett homered leading off the sixth to cut the margin to 3-2. The Twins loaded the bases with two out in the sixth and did not score. After the fourth, Kansas City only once got a man as far as second base. That was in the ninth, when Carmelo Martinez drew a one-out walk and pinch-runner Gary Thurman stole second with two out. Jim Eisenreich struck out to end the game.
WP: Morris (4-5). LP: Storm Davis (2-5). S: Rick Aguilera (9).
Notes: Pedro Munoz was again in right field. Chuck Knoblauch was back at second base but batted ninth, with Gagne moved up to number two.
Harper was 1-for-3 and was batting .368. After his big day yesterday, Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4 and dropped his average to .331. Munoz was 1-for-3 and was batting .314. With his big day, Davis raised his average to .310. Gagne went up to .301.
Aguilera struck out both batters he faced to lower his ERA to 1.77.
Morris' ERA was 4.93. It was the first time all season it had been under 5.00. He got started on a roll with this game, though, as he would not have a game score lower than 60 until July 5.
You probably know the story of Jim Eisenreich, so there's no need for me to repeat it. It's pretty amazing, though, the career he had when he never got over 214 at-bats in a season until he was thirty. He was a part-time player for most of the next ten seasons, playing with Kansas City, Philadelphia, Florida, and the Dodgers. In those ten seasons, he batted .300 or better five times and had an OPS of over .800 three times. He ended his career with nearly 4000 at-bats and 1160 hits. His career line is .290/.341/.404. On the one hand, you can think of what might have been, but on the other hand, what actually was, was pretty darn good.
Record: The Twins were 20-21, in sixth place in the American League West, 4.5 games behind Texas. The trailed fifth-place Chicago by a half game.