MINNESOTA 3, BALTIMORE 2 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Monday, June 3.
Batting stars: Chili Davis was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Kent Hrbek was 2-for-4 with a home run (his fifth) and a double.
Pitching stars: Jack Morris pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk and striking out five. Rick Aguilera pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Cal Ripken was 3-for-4 with a double. David Segui was 2-for-4. Todd Frohwirth retired all seven batters he faced, striking out one.
The game: The Twins got a one-out double from Chuck Knoblauch in the first and from Pedro Munoz in the third, but could not bring either of them home. With one out in the fourth, however, Hrbek hit a home run to make it 1-0. The Twins added to their lead in the fifth. Greg Gagne singled with one out. With two down, Puckett reached on a single-plus-error, scoring Gagne, and Hrbek followed with a double to make it 3-0.
The Orioles got on the board in the sixth when Tim Hulett drew a two-out walk and scored on Ripken's double. They threatened in the seventh when Ernie Whitt hit a one-out double, but the score stayed 3-1 going to the ninth.
Morris started the ninth inning, but came out after giving up a leadoff single to Ripken. He had thrown 129 pitches. Aguilera came in to strike out Joe Orsulak, but Sam Horn delivered an RBI double, cutting the lead to 3-2 and putting the tying run in scoring position. David Segui hit into a fielder's choice, with pinch-runner Chris Hoiles out trying to advance to third on a ground ball to the pitcher. But Ernie Whitt walked, putting the tying run back in scoring position and the lead run on base. Jeff McKnight then fouled to third to end the game.
WP: Morris (6-5). LP: Jeff Robinson (3-5). S: Aguilera (12).
Notes: Dan Gladden was again out of the lineup, with Pedro Munoz in left and Gene Larkin in right. Gladden entered the game as a pinch-runner in the fourth when Larkin was hit by a pitch. He remained in the game in left field, with Munoz moving to right. Gagne manned the leadoff spot in the batting order.
Al Newman entered the game in the seventh inning as a defensive replacement for Mike Pagliarulo at third base.
Puckett was 1-for-4 and was batting .333. Brian Harper was 0-for-4 and dropped to .324. He was 1-for-17 in his last five games. Gagne was 1-for-4 and was batting .317. Aguilera's ERA fell to 1.75.
Morris' 129 pitches were the most he had thrown in a game to this point in the season. He would top that number only once. It was, however, the seventh consecutive game and tenth of twelve in which he had thrown more than a hundred pitches. His low to this point was ninety-six, on April 28. His average was one hundred eleven.
It was the fifth appearance of the season for Todd Frohwirth. In those five appearances, covering six innings, he had not allowed a baserunner. No hits, no walks, no hit batsmen, nothing. He would give up a walk in his next appearance, but would not give up a hit or a run June 8, when he surrendered two of each to Toronto.
The Twins had won three in a row to climb back over .500. Could they stay there? We'll see.
Record: The Twins were 26-25, in fifth place in the American League West, 4.5 games behind Oakland. They were two games ahead of sixth-place Chicago and a game behind fourth-place Seattle.