2003 Rewind: Game Fifty

MINNESOTA 4, OAKLAND 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, May 27.

Batting stars:  Corey Koskie was 1-for-3 with a home run, his seventh.  Bobby Kielty was 1-for-1 with a three-run homer, his eighth.

Pitching stars:  Kenny Rogers pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and no walks and striking out five.  Eddie Guardado struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Eric Byrnes was 2-for-4 with a double.  Scott Hatteberg was 2-for-4 with a double.  Barry Zito struck out ten in an eight inning complete game, giving up four runs on three hits and two walks.  Ramon Hernandez was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his sixth.

The game:  Neither team did much on offense until the fourth, when Koskie hit a two-out homer to put the Twins up 1-0.  The Athletics had a couple of two-out singles in the sixth, but did not get on the board until the seventh, when Miguel Tejada led off with a double and Hernandez hit a one-out two-run homer, giving Oakland a 2-1 lead.  It went to 3-1 in the eighth on back-to-back doubles by Byrnes and Hatteberg.

The Koskie homer was the only hit the Twins had for seven innings.  In the eighth, however, Dustan Mohr hit a one-out double and Doug Mientkiewicz was hit by a pitch.  Kielty then pinch-hit for Luis Rivas and hit a three-run homer, giving the Twins a 4-3 advantage.  The Athletics went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  J. C. Romero (1-0).  LP:  Zito (6-4).  S:  Guardado (14).

Notes:  Mientkiewicz returned to the lineup at first base.  Denny Hocking went in to play second base after Kielty pinch-hit for Rivas.

Jacque Jones was 0-for-4, dropping his average to .335.  Mohr was 1-for-3 and was batting .318.  Matthew LeCroy was 0-for-3 and was batting .303.

This was Rogers' first game score over 50 in a month and his first over 60 since April 17.

Zito had four complete games in 2003.  Three of them were losses, two of them to the Twins.  He had only three more complete games after 2003.

The Twins had won three in a row, five of six, eight of ten, ten of thirteen, sixteen of twenty-one, and twenty of twenty-five.

Record:  The Twins were 30-20, in first place in the American League Central, 3.5 games ahead of Kansas City.

3 thoughts on “2003 Rewind: Game Fifty”

  1. There was chatter before this series about the A's wanting to get even with A.J. after he "bumped" into Eric Chavez during the playoffs the previous year. A.J., of course, was only egging things on as the classic heel.

    I was home from DC and went to this game by myself. I sat quietly keeping score in lower deck general admission near the foul pole. When A.J. got hit by a pitch, the crowd really got into it despite it clearly being unintentional).

    When Kielty stepped up to pinch hit, I turned to the guys next to me (to whom I'd said nothing all day) and said, "Kielty is homering here."

    Sure enough, Kielty crushed one right at us. But it hooked foul by a few feet. One of the strangers said, "You were so close." I reassured him Kielty was still homering. Sure enough, a few pitches later, he hit the game-winner. Got a few amazed high-fives.

  2. The Koskie homer was the only hit the Twins had for eight innings.

    Nitpick, it was for seven innings. This paragraph had me a bit confused with Kielty hitting his home run in the ninth, the Pirate attending the game at home, and Zito having an eight inning complete game.

    1. I occasionally put errors like that in deliberately, just to see if people are reading.

      No, that was just a mistake. I thank you for pointing it out, and I have corrected it.

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