WASHINGTON 5, MINNESOTA 2 IN WASHINGTON
Date: Monday, July 19.
Batting star: Rich Reese was 1-for-1.
Pitching star: Stan Williams pitched a perfect inning.
Opposition stars: Jackie Brown pitched five innings, giving up one run on four hits and a walk and striking out one. Paul Lindblad pitched 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and striking out one. Frank Howard was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Don Mincher was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. Del Unser was 2-for-3 with two runs. Dick Billings was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his third.
The game: It was cruising along in a scoreless tie until the third. Brown and Unser led off with singles and a pickoff error moved the runners to second and third. Mincher's sacrifice fly brought home the first run, Howard doubled in another, and Billings hit a two-run homer to make it 4-0 Senators.
The Twins were limited to three singles over the first five innings. In the sixth, however, Reese and Cesar Tovar led off with singles and Rod Carew reached on an error, loading the bases with none out. Jim Holt struck out, but Harmon Killebrew delivered a two-run single, cutting the deficit in half at 4-2. With men on first and third the Twins had a chance for more, but Leo Cardenas grounded out and Jim Nettles popped up, ending the threat.
The Twins had only one hit the rest of the game. Washington added a run in the seventh when Unser walked and scored from first on Mincher's double.
WP: Brown (3-2). LP: Jim Perry (12-9). S: Lindblad (6).
Notes: Nettles started the game in center in place of Holt. Tony Oliva was either injured or ill, because he came out of the game in the second inning. The game log does not reveal a play that would appear likely to have caused an injury, but he had missed some time recently, so without going back to check the write-ups of the game it's hard to say. At any rate, Holt entered the game in left field, with Tovar moving from left to right.
Danny Thompson pinch-hit for Holt in the eighth and stayed in the game at third base, with Steve Braun moving from third to left field. Reese and George Thomas pinch-hit for pitchers.
Oliva was batting .377. He would finish at .337. Nettles was batting .314. He would finish at .250. Carew was at .284, but would finish at .307. Tovar was at .295 but would finish at .311.
Perry lasted just five innings, allowing four runs on nine hits and no walks and striking out two. Perry led the team in starts with 39. Bert Blyleven and Jim Kaat made 38. After that it was Steve Luebber (12), Ray Corbin (12), and Tom Hall (11). As we discussed recently, Hall was the best of the three, but it was felt that he was needed in the bullpen.
The Twins had an awful July, going 9-17. The month included a six-game losing streak and two three-game losing streaks. This loss was the fifth game of a stretch in which they would lose eight of ten.
Record: The Twins were 42-50, in fourth place in the American League West, 16 games behind Oakland. They would finish 74-86, in fifth place, 26.5 games behind Oakland.
The Senators were 37-54, in sixth (last) place in the American League East, 20.5 games behind Baltimore. They would finish 63-96, in fifth place, 38.5 games behind Baltimore.
Random record: The Twins are 35-28 in Random Rewind games.