2003 Rewind: Game Fifty-one

MINNESOTA 6, OAKLAND 5 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, May 28.

Batting stars:  Doug Mientkiewicz was 3-for-4 with a three-run homer (his fourth), a double, and two runs.  Jacque Jones was 1-for-4 with a home run, his fourth.  Dustan Mohr was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his sixth.

Pitching star:  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Aaron Harang pitched four shutout innings of relief, giving up one hit and two walks and striking out two.  Mark Ellis was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Scott Hatteberg was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Erubiel Durazo was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Terrence Long was 2-for-5.  Chris Singleton was 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk.

The game:  The Athletics jumped on starter Joe Mays for three runs in the first inning.  With one out, Hatteberg and Eric Chavez singled, Miguel Tejada hit an RBI double, and Durazo walked to load the bases.  A sacrifice fly brought home a second run and Long's RBI single brought home the third.

The Twins tied it with three in the second.  Bobby Kielty reached on an error, Torii Hunter singled, and Mientkiewicz hit a three-run homer to make it 3-3.  The Twins took the lead in the third when Jones homered, but Singleton homered leading off the fourth to tie it again at 4-4.  The Twins took the lead again in the bottom of the fourth when Mientkiewicz singled and Mohr hit a two-run homer.  It was 6-4 Twins.

Oakland did not threaten again until the seventh.  Hatteberg led off with a double, but was still on second with two out.  Durazo then hit an RBI single to cut the lead to 6-5.  Ramon Hernandez singled, moving the tying run to second, but Long flied out to end the inning.

The Athletics threatened again in the eighth.  Ellis singled, Singleton walked, and Hatteberg was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with one out.  But a foul out and a ground out ended the inning.  Durazo had a leadoff single in the ninth, but a double play took them out of the inning and the game.

WP:  Mays (6-3).  LP:  John Halama (2-4).  S:  Guardado (15).

Notes:  Denny Hocking was at second base in place of Luis Rivas.  Chris Gomez was at shortstop in place of Cristian Guzman.  Kielty was the DH.

Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .333.  Mohr was 1-for-4 and was batting .316.  Hocking was 0-for-3 and was batting .163.

Mays pitched six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks and striking out two.  His ERA was 5.48.  Johan Santana gave up a run in two-thirds of an inning to make his ERA 2.88.  LaTroy Hawkins was unscored upon in two-thirds of an inning to drop his ERA to 1.52.  J. C. Romero retired both men he faced to make his ERA 2.82.  Guardado's ERA dropped to 1.59.

Halama pitched four innings, giving up six runs (five earned) on five hits and no walks and striking out five.

This was Harang's first major league appearance in 2003.  He had pitched in sixteen games in 2002.   It was his only relief appearance of the season.

The Twins had won four in a row, six out of seven, nine of eleven, eleven of fourteen, and seventeen of twenty-two.

Record:  The Twins were 31-20, in first place in the American League Central, 4.5 games ahead of Kansas City.

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