MINNESOTA 10, KANSAS CITY 4 IN KANSAS CITY (GAME 2 OF DOUBLEHEADER)
Date: Monday, September 18.
Batting stars: Kirby Puckett was 4-for-5 with a double and three runs. Pedro Munoz was 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, and three RBIs. Marty Cordova was 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs. Pat Meares was 2-for-5 with two doubles.
Pitching star: Pat Mahomes pitched 3.1 scoreless innings of relief, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out two.
Opposition stars: Keith Lockhart was 3-for-4 with two runs. Wally Joyner was 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk. Jon Nunnally was 2-for-3 with a walk. Brent Mayne was 2-for-4 with a double. Tom Goodwin was 2-for-5 with a double and a stolen base, his forty-fourth.
The game: It was scoreless through three. In the fourth, Puckett doubled and Cordova reached on an error. Munoz had an RBI single to put the Twins on the board. A double play threatened to take them out of the inning, but Matt Walbeck had an RBI single, stole second (!), and scored on a Jeff Reboulet single to put the Twins up 3-0.
The lead lasted until the next time the Royals batted. Joyner led off the inning with a walk. He was still on first with two out, but Lockhart singled, Nunnally had an RBI double, and Greg Gagne (yes, that Greg Gagne) had a two-run single, tying the game at three.
It stayed tied until the Twins batted in the next inning, as the once low-scoring game got wild. Meares led off with a double and went to third on Brian Raabe's single. Puckett and Cordova had RBI singles and Munoz had a run-scoring double to put the Twins up 6-3. This time the lead would not only hold, but the Twins would add to it. In the sixth Meares walked, and with two out Puckett, Cordova, and Munoz all singled, plating two runs and making the score 8-3.
It was pretty much over at that point. Kansas City got a run in the sixth on singles by Lockhart, Nunnally, and Mayne. The Twins added two in the eighth. Raabe walked, Puckett singled, and Munoz walked, loading the bases. Ron Coomer then delivered a two-run single, making the final score 10-4.
WP: LaTroy Hawkins (1-3). LP: Dilson Torres (1-2). S: Mahomes (3).
Notes: 1995 was a strike year in which the season did not start until late April. Thus, game 131 was in the middle of September. The Twins would play 144 games.
Coomer was at first base in place of Scott Stahoviak. This was Coomer's rookie season, as he came up on August 1. He played both first and third that season, as he would do for much of his career.
Raabe was at second base in place of Chuck Knoblauch, as this was the second game of a doubleheader. Reboulet was at third in place of Scott Leius, presumably for the same reason. Puckett was the DH, with Munoz in right field. Most of the time, that was reversed.
Matt Lawton pinch-ran for Munoz in the eighth and stayed in the game in right field. It was Lawton's first season--he was a September call-up. Dan Masteller pinch-ran for Coomer in the eighth and stayed in the game at first base. This was Masteller's only season in the majors.
Puckett was batting .321. He would finish at .314. Munoz was batting .311--he would finish at .301. Reboulet was batting .300--he would finish at .292. Knoblauch, who did not play, would lead the team in batting at .333.
Starter Hawkins pinched 5.2 innings and allowed four runs on ten hits and one walk while striking out two. This was also Hawkins' first season. He would make six starts for the Twins and go 2-3, 8.67. He would, of course, have better seasons.
Mahomes pitched very well in this game. That didn't happen very often in 1995--he finished 4-10, 6.37. He would have better seasons, too, although, to be honest, not a lot of them. This was one of his five career saves.
The Walbeck stolen base was one of three he had for the season and one of 13 in his career (13-for-25). Three was his career high in stolen bases, which he attained three times.
It was quite a group of pitchers the Royals sent out there. Dave Fleming started, followed by Dilson Torres, Jim Converse, and Billy Brewer. Fleming and Brewer at least had a couple of decent seasons, but I suspect one would have to be as much of a die-hard Royals fan as I am a Twins fan to remember much about them.
No one knew it at the time, but this was one of the last games of Puckett's career. He would play ten more games in 1995, then be forced to retire.
This game started a four-game winning streak for the Twins.
Record: The Twins were 49-82, in fifth (last) place in the American League Central, 42 games behind Cleveland. They would finish 56-88, in fifth place, 44 games behind Cleveland.
The Royals were 68-64, in second place in the American League Central, 23.5 games behind Cleveland. They would finish 70-74, in second place, 30 games behind Cleveland.