2003 Rewind: Game Forty-six


Date:  Thursday, May 22.

Batting stars:  A. J. Pierzynski was 3-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Chris Gomez was 2-for-5 with a triple, a double, and two runs.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-5 with a double.  Bobby Kielty was 1-for-3 with a home run (his seventh), two walks, and three RBIs.

Pitching star:  Juan Rincon retired all five batters he faced.

Opposition stars:  Eric Brynes was 1-for-3 with a home run (his third) and two RBIs.  Mark Ellis was 1-for-2 with a home run (his fourth), two walks, and two runs.

The game:  The Twins had two on with two out in the second but did not score.  In the third, however, Jones led off with a double and Kielty hit a one-out two-run homer to put the Twins up 2-0.

The lead lasted until the bottom of the third.  Ellis led off with a walk and Chris Singleton doubled, putting men on second and third.  A sacrifice fly scored a run, Scott Hatteberg singled, and Eric Chavez hit a two-run triple to put the Athletics up 3-2.  That lead lasted until the top of the fourth.  Gomez led off with a double and scored on Pierzynski's single to tie it.  Luis Rivas reached on a fielder's choice and with one out Cristian Guzman and Kielty walked, putting the Twins up 4-3.  Torii Hunter then singled to make it 5-3.

Brynes led off the fifth with a home run to cut the lead to 5-4.  The Twins loaded the bases in the seventh but did not score.  They had two on with two out in the eighth but did not score.  In the ninth, however, Gomez hit a one-out triple and scored on Rivas' two-out single to give the Twins an insurance run at 6-4.  They needed it, as Ellis hit a two-out home run to make the score 6-5.  Adam Piatt then grounded out to end the game.

WP:  Joe Mays (5-3).  LP:  John Halama (2-3).  S:  Guardado (12).

Notes:  Matthew LeCroy was again at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz.  He was replaced, however, in the second inning by Denny Hocking.  There's no obvious reason revealed by the play-by-play, so one assumes it was either injury or illness.

Gomez was at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Kielty was the DH.

Jones raised his average to .341.  LeCroy was 0-for-1 and was batting .319.  Dustan Mohr was 1-for-5 and was batting .305.

Hocking was 1-for-4 and was batting .175.

Mays pitched five innings, giving up four runs on five hits and three walks and striking out two.  His ERA was 5.43.

Rincon lowered his ERA to 1.27.  J. C. Romero retired both men he faced and had an ERA of 3.00.  LaTroy Hawkins retired both men he faced and had an ERA of 1.25.  Guardado gave up a run in one inning and had an ERA of 1.83.

Halama started for Oakland.  He went six innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and four walks and striking out three.  I remember him as being a lot better than he actually was.  He had only one year with an ERA under four (3.56 in 2002) and four years with an ERA over five.  His best WHIP was 1.36 in 2004 and he only had one other season where it was under 1.40.  For his career, he was 56-48, 4.65, 1.45 WHIP in 911 innings.  He was in 262 games, 119 of them starts.

Chris Berman's nicknames eventually got old, but I did like John "Dalai" Halama.

The Twins had won five of six, seven of nine, thirteen of seventeen, and seventeen of twenty-two.

Record:  The Twins were 27-19, in first place in the American League Central, 1.5 games ahead of Kansas City.