MINNESOTA 5, SEATTLE 4 IN MINNESOTA (10 INNINGS)
Date: Thursday, August 22.
Batting stars: Randy Bush was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer (his fifth) and a walk. Brian Harper was 2-for-4. Kent Hrbek was 2-for-5 with a double. Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-5. Kirby Puckett was 2-for-5.
Pitching stars: Jack Morris struck out seven in 6.1 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and five walks. Rick Aguilera pitched two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk.
Opposition stars: Rick DeLucia pitched 6.1 innings, giving up one run on six hits and two walks and striking out three. Greg Briley was 3-for-5 with two stolen bases, his seventeenth and eighteenth. Pete O'Brien was 2-for-4 with a walk. Jay Buhner was 2-for-5 with a double. Edgar Martinez was 2-for-6 with a double and two runs. Harold Reynolds was 2-for-6 with a double.
The game: Martinez led off the game with a single, went to second on a ground out, and scored on an O'Brien single to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead. Each team missed a chance in the second. In the third O'Brien hit a two-out single and scored on Buhner's double to make it 2-0 Seattle.
Each team put a man on second in the fourth but neither scored. The Twins had two on in the sixth and the Mariners loaded the bases in the seventh, but the score remained 2-0. The Twins finally got on the board in the seventh when Mike Pagliarulo doubled and scored on Knoblauch's two-out single. Seattle came right back in the eighth. Dave Cochrane singled, and with two out Martinez had an RBI double and Reynolds had a run-scoring single, putting the Mariners ahead 4-1.
It was still 4-1 going to the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Al Newman walked, Knoblauch singled, and Bush hit a three-run homer to tie the score 4-4. Seattle went down in order in the top of the tenth. With two out and none on in the bottom of the tenth, Leius hit a walkoff home run to win the game for the Twins.
WP: Aguilera (4-4). LP: Mike Schooler (0-1). S: None.
Notes: Shane Mack was in left field, with Dan Gladden out of the lineup. Gene Larkin took Mack's place in right. Knoblauch was the leadoff batter, with Bush batting second. Bush replaced Chili Davis in the DH slot. Newman was again at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne.
The Twins again made liberal use of their bench. Gagne pinch-ran for Brian Harper in the eighth. Davis pinch-hit for Larkin in the eighth and stayed in the game in left field, with Mack moving to right. Junior Ortiz replaced Gagne in the ninth and was the catcher. Gladden pinch-hit for Pagliarulo in the ninth and stayed in the game in left field, replacing Davis. Leius entered the game in the tenth at third base.
Puckett raised his average to .330. Harper went up to .312. Mack was 0-for-4 and was batting .306. Aguilera lowered his ERA to 2.38.
The Twins stranded nine men and went 2-for-12 with men in scoring position. The Mariners stranded fourteen men and went 2-for-19 with men in scoring position.
Morris threw 137 pitches in his 6.1 innings.
It seemed odd that Schooler had not had a decision before this game, but he missed the first half of 1991, not appearing in his first game until July 12. He had five saves to this point.
Edgar Martinez was the leadoff batter for Seattle in this series. It was his second full season, and he was still primarily a third baseman at this point. He batted leadoff 67 times in 1991 and was good at it. He didn't steal any bases, which is no surprise, but he batted .307 as a leadoff batter with an OBP of .405. He would move down to (primarily) the number two spot in 1992 and would not return to the number one position.
The White Sox did not play and Oakland defeated California 2-1, so those two teams moved in to a "virtual tie" for second place.
Record: The Twins were 74-49, in first place in the American League West, six games ahead of Chicago and Oakland.