2003 Rewind: Game Fifteen


Date:  Thursday, April 17.

Batting stars:  Chris Gomez was 3-for-4.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk.  Michael Cuddyer was 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, and two runs.  Bobby Kielty was 2-for-4 with two home runs, his second and third.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-4 with a home run and two runs.

Pitching stars:  Kenny Rogers struck out nine in eight shutout innings, giving up seven hits and no walks.  Tony Fiore pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Eugene Kingsale was 2-for-3.  Omar Infante was 2-for-4.

The game:  The Twins did not have a big inning, but just eased out to a comfortable lead.  In the first, a single by Cristian Guzman and a double by Hunter led to a run.  Kielty homered leading off the second to make it 2-0.  Koskie homered with one out in the third to make it 3-0.  In the fourth, Cuddyer led off with a triple and scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-0.

I don't know if there's ever been a game in which a team scored exactly one run in each inning, and sadly this would not be one.  The score remained 4-0 until the eighth.  The Tigers had a threat in the fifth when Infante led off with a double and Kingsale had an infield single with one out.  A strikeout and a ground out ended the threat, and Detroit would not threaten again.

The Twins got their final two runs in the eighth.  Kielty again lead off the inning with a home run.  With one out Cuddyer walked, went to third on a Gomez single, and scored on a sacrifice fly.

WP:  Rogers (2-0).  LP:  Jeremy Bonderman (0-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Gomez was at second base in place of Luis Rivas.  Kielty was in center field, with Hunter at DH.  Cuddyer was in right field.  The Twins made no position player substitutions.

Gomez was batting .467.  Kielty was batting .387.  Guzman was batting .347.  Jacque Jones was 0-for-4 and was batting .333.  Koskie was batting .306.

Rogers lowered his ERA to 3.50.  That was as low as it would get all season.  By game scores this was his second-best game of the season, topped only by a game in Kansas City in mid-August.

Six of the Tigers' starters had batting averages below .200:  Eric Munson (.175), Infante (.167), Carlos Pena (.167), Dean Palmer (.118), Brandon Inge (.091), and Hiram Bocachica (.045).

Jeremy Bonderman started for Detroit.  He pitched six innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on ten hits and a walk and striking out four.

This was the fifth consecutive series sweep the Twins were involved in at the start of the season.  They had been on the winning end of three and the losing end of two.  I don't know what the record is.  Of course, the year the Orioles started 0-21, they must have been on the losing end of several sweeps.

Record:  The Twins were 9-6, tied for second in the American League Central with Chicago, 2.5 games behind Kansas City.