KANSAS CITY 10, MINNESOTA 4 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Wednesday, September 18.
Batting stars: Gene Larkin was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Mike Pagliarulo was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Pitching star: Willie Banks pitched three innings, giving up one run on four hits and two walks and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Jorge Pedre was 2-for-3. George Brett was 2-for-4 with a double. Todd Benzinger was 2-for-5 with a triple and two runs. Kurt Stillwell was 2-for-5 with a double.
The game: It was scoreless through three, with each team managing only one hit. In the fourth, however, Brett had a one-out double, Danny Tartabull walked, and Jim Eisenreich delivered a two-run triple. Eisenreich was then picked off third, but Twins catcher Junior Ortiz threw the ball away, allowing him to score and making it 3-0 Royals.
The Twins came back to tie it in the fifth. Chili Davis walked, Shane Mack was hit by a pitch, and Larkin walked, loading the bases with none out. Pagliarulo singled in two and a ground out brought home a third to make it 3-3. The tie only lasted until Kansas City batted in the sixth. Stillwell doubled and scored on a Tartabull single. Benzinger drove in Tartabull with a triple and Bill Pecota followed with an RBI double. David Howard singled to put men on first and third, and Pedre then circled the bases on a three-run single-plus-error, giving the Royals a 9-3 advantage.
It was pretty much over at that point Mike MacFarlane had an RBI single in the eighth to make it 10-3 and Greg Gagne had an RBI double in the ninth to make the final 10-4.
WP: Luis Aquino (8-3). LP: Scott Erickson (18-7). S: None.
Notes: Mack was in left and Larkin in right with Dan Gladden on the bench. Gagne moved into the leadoff spot. Ortiz was behind the plate in place of Brian Harper.
Lenny Webster came in to catch in the seventh, replacing Ortiz once Erickson was out of the game. Pedro Munoz pinch-hit for Pagliarulo in the ninth.
Kirby Puckett was 0-for-5 and was batting .321. He was 1-for-16 and 5-for-34 since September 8. Mack was 0-for-3 and was batting .308. Webster was 0-for-1 and was batting .391.
Erickson continued to try to pitch through his injury, and it continued to not work very well. He did well for three innings, but his line was 5.2 innings, seven runs (six earned), eight hits, one walk, four strikeouts. His ERA was up to 3.34, still quite good but nowhere near what it had been earlier in the season.
Carl Willis gave up two unearned runs in a third of an inning, making his ERA 2.34.
This was the fifth big league appearance of Banks' career, and his last of 1991. He would go on to pitch for the Twins through 1993 and would be in the big leagues through 2002.
I mentioned a few days back that Jorge Pedre played in fourteen major league games, going 5-for-23. Three of his five hits came against the Twins. He was 3-for-5 with a double against the Twins, for a slash line of .600/.600/.800. Against everyone else, then, he had a slash line of .111/.238/.222. Maybe if he'd played against the Twins more, he'd have had a longer career.
The White Sox defeated Oakland 6-0 to come a game closer to the Twins. The lead was not in serious jeopardy, but I suspect at least a few Twins fans were thinking "you never know..."
Record: The Twins were 87-60, in first place in the American League West, six games ahead of Chicago.
In the East, Toronto and Boston both won, keeping the Blue Jays' lead at 2.5 games.