MINNESOTA 3, NEW YORK 2 IN MINNESOTA (10 INNINGS)
Date: Saturday, September 7.
Batting stars: Chuck Knoblauch was 3-for-5. Chili Davis was 2-for-4 with two doubles. Gene Larkin was 2-for-4 with a double. Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with two runs.
Pitching stars: Jack Morris pitched 8.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits and three walks and striking out five. Carl Willis struck out two in a perfect inning.
Opposition stars: Pascual Perez pitched six innings, giving up one run on seven hits and a walk and striking out two. Matt Nokes was 2-for-4 with two doubles.
The game: The Yankees took the lead in the first inning. Leadoff batter Bernie Williams walked, stole second, was bunted to third, and scored on a two-out double by Nokes to make it 1-0. The Twins put two on with one out in the bottom of the first, but Kent Hrbek hit into a double play. Davis led off the second with a double, but was thrown out at third trying to advance on a short passed ball. The Twins put two on with two out in the third but again could not score.
The Twins finally broke through in the sixth. Larkin led off with a double and scored on Knoblauch's single, tying it 1-1. The Twins again missed a chance, though, as Puckett reached on an error to put two on with none out and nothing came of it.
The Twins took the lead in the eighth. Puckett hit a one-out single, went to second on a ground out, and scored on a Davis double. The Yankees came right back to tie it in the ninth. Their first two batters went out, but Nokes doubled. Morris came out of the game and Rick Aguilera came in, but he gave up an RBI single to Roberto Kelly, tying the score at two and sending the game to extra innings.
In the tenth, Puckett again hit a one-out single. He again went to second on a ground out. Pedro Munoz pinch-hit and delivered a game-winning single, giving the Twins the victory.
WP: Carl Willis (8-3). LP: Lee Guetterman (3-3). S: None.
Notes: Dan Gladden was out of the starting lineup. Shane Mack went to left, with Larkin playing right. Larkin batted leadoff.
The Twins made extensive use of the bench. Paul Sorrento pinch-hit for Greg Gagne in the seventh. Al Newman then came in to play shortstop. Jarvis Brown pinch-ran for Davis in the eighth. He was officially the DH at that point, but Munoz pinch-hit for him when his spot in the order came up in the tenth. Gladden came in for defense at the start of the ninth. He went to left field, with Mack moving to right. Scott Leius pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the ninth and stayed in the game at third base.
Puckett raised his average to .332. Brian Harper was 0-for-4 and was batting .316. Mack was 1-for-4 and was batting .308.
Aguilera officially pitched a third on an inning and was not charged with a run, lowering his ERA to 2.23. Willis' ERA fell to 2.26.
Morris threw just 98 pitches in his 8.2 innings.
Steve Howe pitched a scoreless inning. This was his first year with the Yankees, and it was a really good one--3-1, 1.68, 3 saves, 0.95 WHIP. This, however, would be the last game he would pitch for the Yankees this season. I could not quickly find whether he was injured or if this was one of the numerous times he got into trouble. He would go on to pitch very well in 1992, struggle in 1993, and pitch very well again in 1994, which was his last good season.
The White Sox defeated Texas 11-6, so the distance between them and the Twins remained the same.
Record: The Twins were 82-54, in first place in the American League West, 7.5 games ahead of Chicago.