MINNESOTA 7, MILWAUKEE 4 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Saturday, July 27.
Batting stars: Chuck Knoblauch was 3-for-3 with a triple, a double, a walk, and a stolen base (his twelfth). Dan Gladden was 2-for-5 with a three-run homer (his fifth) and two runs.
Pitching star: Paul Abbott pitched four innings of relief, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk and striking out three. Carl Willis retired all four batters he faced, striking out one.
Opposition stars: Candy Maldonado was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer, his third. Dale Sveum was 2-for-4 with a home run (his fourth) and two RBIs. Paul Molitor was 2-for-5 with a double. Dante Bichette was 2-for-5 with two runs.
The game: The Twins scored two in the first inning. Gladden singled and Knoblauch followed with a double. A pair of productive out made the score 2-0. Sveum hit a home run in the second to cut the lead to 2-1. In the fourth the Brewers got two singles, a bunt, and a sacrifice fly to tie the score 2-2.
The Twins took the lead back in the bottom of the fourth. Kent Hrbek walked, and Chili Davis and Brian Harper each singled, loading the bases with none out. A fielder's choice/error scored one run and a force out scored another, and the Twins led 4-2.
It stayed 4-2 until the eighth. Abbott had pitched three scoreless innings, but he gave up a leadoff single to Bichette followed by Maldonado's two-run homer, and the score was tied 4-4.
No problem. Milwaukee starter Bill Wegman was still in the game to start the ninth. He retired Mike Pagliarulo on a grounder, but gave up singles to Shane Mack and Randy Bush. Now approaching one hundred twenty pitches, he remained in the game to face Gladden. It was a mistake, as Gladden hit a walkoff three-run homer down the left field line.
WP: Willis (5-2). LP: Wegman (6-5). S: None.
Notes: This is the first time in a long time where the Twins completely used what one would call their standard lineup. No one injured, no one being rested. Bush pinch-hit for Greg Gagne in the ninth and Al Newman pinch-ran for Bush.
Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4 and was batting .333. Harper was 1-for-4 and was batting .318. Abbott's ERA was 3.43. Willis lowered his ERA to 2.36.
It seems really strange that Tom Trebelhorn left Wegman in to pitch a complete game. It's true that he hadn't given up a run since the fourth, but he wasn't exactly blowing people away, either. He'd given up a hit in each of the last three innings. He didn't have a low pitch count--he ended at one hundred twenty-two pitches. He was their best starter that year, and apart from Doug Henry their bullpen was nothing to brag about. Still, it was well-rested, and if you're not going to use them then there's no point in having them.
Gladden was 5-for-15 with two doubles and a home run since his return.
The Twins had won three in a row and seven out of nine. The White Sox won, so the Twins neither gained nor lost ground.
Record: The Twins were 58-40, in first place in the American League West, four games ahead of Chicago.