MINNESOTA 3, TORONTO 1 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Saturday, October 5.
Batting stars: Shane Mack was 3-for-4 with two doubles. Chili Davis was 2-for-4 with a home run, his twenty-ninth. Kent Hrbek was 2-for-4.
Pitching stars: Scott Erickson pitched six shutout innings, giving up four hits and four walks and striking out two. He threw 92 pitches. Rick Aguilera pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk and striking out one.
Opposition star: Roberto Alomar was 2-for-2 with a home run (his ninth) and two walks.
The game: The Twins took the lead in the first inning when Chuck Knoblauch walked and scored from first on a Kirby Puckett double. Each team got a man to third base in the second inning, but neither scored. Each team put men on first second with one out in the fifth, but each was taken out of the inning by a double play.
The Twins stretched their lead to 2-0 in the sixth when Davis homered. They scored again in the seventh when Knoblauch was hit by a pitch, stole second, and scored on a Hrbek single.
The Blue Jays got on the board in the eighth when Alomar led off the inning with a home run, but did not get a hit after that.
WP: Erickson (20-8). LP: Juan Guzman (10-3). S: Aguilera (42).
Notes: The Twins used their regular starting lineup. Junior Ortiz was behind the plate in place of Brian Harper, but that always happened when Erickson pitched.
Paul Sorrento pinch-hit for Ortiz in the sixth. Lenny Webster replaced him in the seventh and went behind the plate. Jarvis Brown pinch-ran for Puckett in the seventh and stayed in the game in center field. Scott Leius pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the eighth.
Puckett was 1-for-3 and was batting .319. Mack raised his average to .309. Erickson lowered his ERA to 3.18. Carl Willis pitched two-thirds of an inning without allowing a run and lowered his ERA to 2.63. Aguilera lowered his ERA to 2.35.
The Blue Jays essentially treated this like a spring training game. Alomar was the only Toronto player to play the entire game. The regulars pretty much all came out after two turns through the batting order. Starter Guzman pitched just three innings, giving up one run on three hits and a walk and striking out two.
Each team stranded eight runners. They combined to go 1-for-15 with men in scoring position, with Hrbek's eighth-inning single as the one hit.
Record: The Twins were 95-66, in first place in the American League West, nine games ahead of Chicago.
Toronto was 90-71, in first place in the American League East, six games ahead of Boston.