2003 Rewind: Game Eight

NEW YORK 2, MINNESOTA 1 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Wednesday, April 9.

Batting stars:  A. J. Pierzynski was 3-for-3.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-4 with a double.  Bobby Kielty was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching star:  Kyle Lohse pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk and striking out five.

Opposition stars:  Mike Mussina struck out eight in eight innings, giving up an unearned run on six hits and two walks.  Jorge Posada was 1-for-2 with a home run (his third) and a walk.  Raul Mondesi was 1-for-3 with a home run.

The game:  With one out in the second, Kielty got to second on a single-plus-error and scored on Pierzynski's two-out single to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  The Twins missed a chance to add to their lead in the fifth.  Kielty led off with a walk.  Pierzynski hit a one-out single and Luis Rivas walked, loading the bases.  But Jacque Jones hit back to the pitcher for a force at home and Cristian Guzman grounded out, ending the inning.

It cost the Twins, as the Yankees took the lead in the bottom of the fifth.  Posada hit a one-out homer and Mondesi hit a two-out homer, putting New York ahead 2-1.

And that's where it stayed.  Mientkiewicz hit a two-out double in the sixth.  Pierzynski singled with one out in the seventh and was erased by a double play.  Mientkiewicz hit a one-out single in the ninth.  But the Twins could not tie it up, and it was another loss.

WP:  Mussina (2-0).  LP:  Lohse (1-1).  S:  Juan Acevedo (2).

Notes:  Kielty was the DH in place of Matthew LeCroy.

The Twins made no lineup substitutions.

Kielty was batting .368.  Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .344.  Corey Koskie was 0-for-4 and was batting .300.

Rivas was 0-for-2 and was batting .105.  Hunter was 0-for-4 and was batting .148.

By game scores this was Lohse's fourth-best game of the season, topped by his first game, a game in May, and one in September.

If you were around at that time, you remember how the Twins struggled against Mussina.  For his career, Mussia was 22-9 against the Twins with an ERA of 3.09 and a WHIP of 1.17.  He struck out 186 batters in 230.1 innings (33 starts) against the Twins.  But the Twins were not the only team that struggled against him, because Mussina was just a darn good pitcher.  He actually won more games against Toronto (23) and had a lower ERA against Detroit (2.91) and Kansas City (3.00).  He also had a lower ERA against several National League teams, although just in a few starts.  He had a lower WHIP against several teams, too.  He wasn't hard on the Twins because he had some sort of hex on them or something.  He was hard on the Twins because he was really good.

After winning their first three, the Twins had now lost their next five.  They would have one more chance to break their losing streak against the Yankees.

Record:  The Twins were 3-5, in fourth place in the American League Central, four games behind Kansas City.

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