NEW YORK 6, MINNESOTA 4 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Friday, August 12.
Batting stars: Kirby Puckett was 3-for-5 with a home run, his seventeenth. Brian Harper was 3-for-5. Greg Gagne was 2-for-3 with a walk. Randy Bush was 1-for-2 with a two-run homer, his twelfth.
Pitching star: Charlie Lea pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits and three walks and striking out three.
Opposition stars: Tommy John pitched 5.1 innings, giving up one run on eight hits and three walks and striking out three. Rickey Henderson was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and three stolen bases (his sixty-fifth, sixty-sixth, and sixty-seventh). Rafael Santana was 2-for-4. Ken Phelps was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his seventeenth.
The game: Each team missed a chance in the first. The Yankees put men on first and third with one out and the Twins had men on first and second with two out, but no one scored. In the third Henderson had a one-out single, Don Mattingly drew a two-out walk, and Phelps hit a three-run homer, putting New York up 3-0. The Twins opened the fourth with two singles, but a double play took them out of the inning. They had men on first and third with two out in the fifth, but again could not score.
The Twins finally got on the board in the sixth. With one out, Kent Hrbek walked, Gene Larkin singled, and John Christensen delivered an RBI double to make it 3-1. There were still men on second and third with one out, but there they stayed. Maybe they're still there, I don't know. Puckett homered in the seventh to cut the lead to 3-2. With two out in the eighth, Gagne singled and Bush hit a two-run homer, putting the Twins ahead 4-3.
Juan Berenguer, who had come in to start the eighth, remained in to start the ninth. He retired Mike Pagliarulo on a fly ball, but walked Don Slaught. That brought in Jeff Reardon. He gave up consecutive singles to Jack Clark, Santana, Henderson, and Claudell Washington, putting the Yankees back in front 6-4. The Twins didn't quit. In the bottom of the ninth, Harper and Puckett singled. Gary Gaetti was caught looking, but Hrbek walked to load the bases with one out. But Larkin hit into a double play and the game was over.
WP: Steve Shields (3-3). LP; Reardon (0-4). S: Dave Righetti (18).
Notes: Tim Laudner was still the primary catcher in 1988, with Harper as his backup. Christensen was in right field, where Bush had become the regular after the trade of Tom Brunansky. Al Newman was at second base in place of the injured Tom Herr.
Bush pinch-hit for Newman in the sixth. Steve Lombardozzi went to second base, with Bush going to right field. Mark Davidson replaced Bush in right field in the ninth. John Moses pinch-ran for Hrbek in the ninth.
I guess the Tom Kelly Twins were quite capable of blowing leads to the Yankees, too.
There are some names up there that I hadn't thought of for a long time outside of their birthday posts.
This was Lea's only season as a Twin, and the last season of his career. He did okay in this game, but overall was not very good in this season, going 7-7, 4.85, 1.59 WHIP. He'd been a fine pitcher for Montreal from 1982-1984, but he missed two seasons with injuries and was never the same pitcher again.
This was Christensen's third game as a Twin. He went 1-for-3, making him 3-for-7 (.429). For the season he was 10-for-38 (.263). This would be his last major league season.
Other than Christensen, the best batting average among players who played in this game was .355 by Puckett. The best OPS was Harper at .920, with Puckett right behind at .914, Gary Gaetti at .902, and Hrbek at .892.
The Yankees used three pitchers in the ninth inning. Shields started the inning and gave up the two singles. Neil Allen came in and struck out Gaetti. Righetti then came in to close it out.
Record: The Twins were 64-50, in second place in the American League West, 8.5 games behind Oakland. They would finish 91-71, in second place, thirteen games behind Oakland.
New York was 63-49, in third place in the American League East, four games behind Detroit. They would finish 85-76, in fifth place, 3.5 games behind Boston.