MINNESOTA 11, NEW YORK 4 IN NEW YORK
Date: Friday, July 14.
Batting stars: Pedro Munoz was 3-for-4 with a double and four RBIs. Marty Cordova was 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs. Jeff Reboulet was 2-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch and four runs. Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-4 with a triple, a stolen base (his twenty-first), a walk, and two runs. Dan Masteller was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Kirby Puckett was 2-for-5 with a double and a stolen base, his third.
Pitching stars: Mark Guthrie pitched three shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out two. Dave Stevens pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Jim Leyritz was 2-for-5 with a home run, his fifth. Luis Polonia was 2-for-4 with a walk. Don Mattingly was 2-for-4.
The game: In the first inning Reboulet reached on an error, went to second on Puckett's single, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. It lasted until the bottom of the first. Polonia singled and scored on a double by Dion James. James went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead. The Twins tied it in the top of the second on singles by Scott Leius and Matt Walbeck and another sacrifice fly, but New York again took the lead in the bottom of the second when Leyritz led off the inning with a home run.
The Twins wasted a leadoff triple by Knoblauch in the third. In the fourth, however, Cordova led off with a double, went to third on a ground out, and scored on Masteller's single to tie it 3-3. The Twins took the lead in the fifth when Knoblauch singled, Reboulet was hit by a pitch, and Munoz delivered a two-run double. The Yankees cut the lead to 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth when Wade Boggs doubled and scored on a Paul O'Neill single.
The Twins took control of the game in the sixth. Walbeck led off with a single, but was still on first with two out. Knoblauch walked. Reboulet had an RBI single, Puckett hit a run-scoring double, Munoz drove in a run with a single, and Cordova hit a two-run double. It was 10-4 Twins.
The Twins got their last run in the eighth on singles by Reboulet, Munoz, and Cordova. The Yankees did not threaten to get back into the game.
WP: Brad Radke (6-7). LP: Sterling Hitchcock (3-6). S: None.
Notes: Masteller was at first base. Twins first basemen in 1995 included Scott Stahoviak (69 games), Masteller (48), Ron Coomer (22), David McCarty (18), Reboulet (17), and Jerald Clark (11), along with four others who played less than ten games there. It was Coomer's rookie season, and he did not come up until August 1. it's saying something that he would be the best player out of that group.
Reboulet was at shortstop in place of Pat Meares. Reboulet played all over the infield in 1995--39 games at shortstop, 22 at third base, 17 at first base, and 15 at second base. This was his best season in the majors: .292/.373/.398 in 246 plate appearances.
Knoblauch was leading the team in batting at .319. He would finish at .333. Munoz was batting .303. He would finish at .301.
Radke pitched five innings, allowing four runs on nine hits and one walk and striking out none. It was his rookie season, and at age 22 he was not ready, going 11-14, 5.32 in 28 starts. That was actually above average for Twins starters in 1995, though--others who had a significant number of starts were Kevin Tapani (6-11, 4.92), Mike Trombley (4-8, 5.62), Frankie Rodriguez (5-6, 5.38), Scott Erickson (4-6, 5.95), and Jose Parra (1-5, 7.95). The Twins had thirteen pitchers start games in 1995--other than Tapani, the only one to have an ERA below five was Rich Robertson, who only made four starts.
Hitchcock pitched just four innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits, with no walks and no strikeouts. Other Yankee pitchers were Scott Bankhead, Dave Pavlas, and Bob MacDonald. Ah, the good old days.
The 1995 season did not start until late April due to a strike or a lockout, I forget which. Thus, the Twins were only on their seventieth game on July 14.
Record: The Twins were 23-47, in fifth (last) place in the American League Central, 25.5 games behind Cleveland. They would finish 56-88, in fifth place, 44 games behind Cleveland.
The Yankees were 32-37, in fourth place in the American League East, 7.5 games behind Boston. They would finish 79-65, in second place, seven games behind Boston, but winning the wild card.