CHICAGO 6, MINNESOTA 1 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Wednesday, September 25.
Batting star: Brian Harper was 3-for-4.
Pitching stars: David West struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up a walk. Tom Edens pitched a perfect inning. Rick Aguilera pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Alex Fernandez pitched 7.2 innings, giving up one run on eight hits and six walks and striking out seven. He threw 135 pitches. Bo Jackson was 2-for-4 with a walk.
The game: With two out and none on in the second, Lance Johnson walked and Mike Huff and Scott Fletcher hit back-to-back RBI doubles to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the second, Kent Hrbek doubled, Chili Davis walked, and Harper singled, loading the bases with none out. Shane Mack struck out but Mike Pagliarulo singled. One run scored, but Harper was trapped off third and that pretty much killed the rally with the Twins still trailing 2-1.
Chicago put the game out of reach in the fourth. A walk, a single, and a ground out put men on second and third with one out. A sacrifice fly scored one, then Tim Raines had an RBI double, Robin Ventura walked, Frank Thomas reached on an error to score a run, and Jackson had an RBI single. It was 6-1 White Sox, and that was where it would stay. The Twins had two on in the third, two on in the fourth, two on in the fifth, and two on in the eighth, but they did not score again.
WP: Fernandez (9-12). LP: Allan Anderson (5-10). S: None.
Notes: Randy Bush pinch-hit for Greg Gagne in the eighth, but after a pitching change Pedro Munoz pinch-hit for Bush. Al Newman went to shortstop in the ninth.
Kirby Puckett was 1-for-4 and was batting .321. Harper raised his average to .315. Mack was 0-for-4 and was batting .306.
Carl Willis gave up two unearned runs in 1.2 innings. His ERA went to 2.43. Aguilera's ERA was 2.10. Edens lowered his ERA to 5.57.
The Bo Jackson here is post-injury Bo Jackson. He missed most of 1991, playing six minor league games and getting a September call-up. He did not play at all in 1992, then was a part-time player in 1993 and 1994 before having to give it up.
Anderson pitched 3.1 innings, giving up four runs on four hits and three walks and striking out two. He got a pretty quick hook--he was pulled in the fourth with the score 2-1, runners on second and third, and one out. His line looks worse because Willis allowed both of the runners to score.
This was Alex Fernandez' first full year in the majors. He's pretty much been forgotten about now, but he was a really good pitcher for several years. From 1993-1997 he was 74-46, 3.53, 1.23 WHIP, averaging 220 innings per year. He then got injured, missed all of 1998, and was able to make just 32 more starts from 1999-2000 before his career ended. For five years there, though, he was about as good as anyone.
Record: The Twins were 91-61, in first place in the American League West, eight games ahead of Chicago.
Toronto won and Boston did not play, so the Blue Jays' lead in the East was 2.5 games.