Random Rewind: 2007, Game Fifty-one

MINNESOTA 9, CHICAGO 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, May 29.

Batting stars:  Justin Morneau was 3-for-4 with a home run (his sixteenth), two doubles, a walk, and four RBIs.  Michael Cuddyer was 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, and three runs.  Luis Castillo was 3-for-5 with a walk and a stolen base, his third.  Jason Bartlett was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Jeff Cirillo was 2-for-5 with a double.  Jason Kubel was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer (his second), a walk, and two runs.

Pitching stars:  Boof Bonser pitched 6.2 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on seven hits and three walks and striking out six.  Carmen Cali pitched a perfect inning.  Ramon Ortiz pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Alex Cintron was 2-for-5.  Boone Logan pitched 1.2 perfect inning.

The game:  The White Sox scored first.  In the first inning Darin Erstad and Jim Thome singled and Jermaine Dye walked, loading the bases with one out.  Paul Konerko hit a sacrifice fly to put Chicago up 1-0.

The Twins took over from there.  With two out in the second, Jason Kubel walked and Bartlett and Castillo each singled to tie it 1-1.  Cuddyer led off the third with a double and Morneau hit a two-run homer.  That worked so well the Twins did it again later in the inning:  with two out Cirillo doubled and Kubel hit a two-run homer to give the Twins a 5-1 lead.

The Twins added a run in the fourth when Cuddyer singled, Morneau doubled, and Torii Hunter walked, loading the bases, and Mike Redmond hit a sacrifice fly.  They put it away in the fifth.  With two out and none on Castillo and Nick Punto singled, Cuddyer walked, a wild pitch brought home a run, and Morneau doubled home two more.  It was a 9-1 lead for the Twins.

The White Sox made one last attempt to get back in the game in the seventh.  Juan Uribe hit a one-out single, Andy Gonzalez reached on an error, and Cintron singled, loading the bases.  Dye drew a two-out walk to make it 9-2, but that was all Chicago could do.  Their last seven batters were retired.

WP:  Bonser (4-1).  LP:  John Danks (3-5).  S:  None.

Notes:   Redmond was behind the plate in place of Joe Mauer, who was out with an injury.

Cirillo was the DH.  The Twins did not have a regular DH in 2007, with eight players seeing double digit games there.  Kubel had the most with 36.  Others were Jason Tyner (26), Cirillo (24), Mauer (19), Rondell White (19), Redmond (18), Morneau (14), and Garrett Jones (13).

Lew Ford pinch-hit for Hunter in the seventh and stayed in the game in center field.  Chris Heintz pinch-ran for Redmond in the eighth and stayed in the game at catcher.

Castillo was the leading batter for the Twins at .335.  He finished at .304 as a Twin; he actually finished as a New York Met, traded there at the July deadline.  Redmond was batting .320--he finished at .294.  Hunter was batting .314--he finished at .287.

On the other hand, Ford was batting just .184.  He finished at .233.  This would be his last year as a Twin.  He bounced around, played independent ball for a while, and battled his way back to play 25 games for Baltimore in 2012.

Morneau hit 31 homers to lead the team and Hunter 28.  Cuddyer had 16 homers and Kubel 13.  They still were next-to-last in team home runs with 118.

Bonser did not have a good year in 2007.  He did well in this game, but for the season he was 8-12, 5.10, 1.53 WHIP.  The Twins had a pretty good rotation:  Johan Santana (15-13, 3.33), Matt Garza (5-7, 3.69), Carlos Silva (13-14, 4.19), and Scott Baker (9-9, 4.26).  The struggled to find a fifth starter, though, with Kevin Slowey doing the best of the rest at 4-1, 4.73.

This was the third of a five-game winning streak for the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 26-25, in fourth place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Cleveland.  They would finish 79-83, in third place, 17 games behind Cleveland.

The White Sox were 24-23, in third place with Minnesota in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Cleveland.  They would finish 72-90, in fourth place, 24 games behind Cleveland.

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