KANSAS CITY 8, MINNESOTA 6 IN KANSAS CITY
Date: Wednesday, June 18.
Batting stars: A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4 with a triple. Corey Koskie was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs. Torii Hunter was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs. Justin Morneau was 2-for-5. A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-5.
Pitching star: Johan Santana struck out three in two shutout innings, giving up two hits.
Opposition stars: Carlos Beltran was 3-for-4 with a stolen base (his eighteenth), a walk, two runs, and two RBIs. Joe Randa was 3-for-5 with a double and two runs. Ken Harvey was 2-for-4 with a double. Michael Tucker was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
The game: The Twins got on the board in the first when Koskie doubled and scored on a Morneau single. The Royals tied it in the second on a walk, a single, and an error. They took the lead in the third. One out singles by Randa, Aaron Guiel, and Beltran scored one run, Harvey's double scored another, and Tucker had a two-run single, making it 5-1 Kansas City.
The Twins got two back in the fourth. Hunter doubled, Lew Ford had an RBI single, Denny Hocking walked, and Jacque Jones had an RBI single, cutting the lead to 5-3. But the Royals got the two right back in the bottom of the fourth when Desi Relaford singled, Randa had an RBI double, and Beltran had a run-scoring single, making it 7-3.
A sacrifice fly in the fifth cut it to 7-4 and Pierzynski tripled and scored in the sixth to make it 7-5. But in the bottom of the sixth Beltran walked, stole second, and scored on a Raul Ibanez single to increase the lead back to 8-5. The Twins scored in the seventh on two singles and a ground out to make it 8-6.
But that was it. The Twins got a man on in each of the last two innings, but did not advance him past first base.
WP: Chris George (8-4). LP: Rick Reed (3-7). S: Mike MacDougal (15).
Notes: Hocking was at second base in place of Luis Rivas. Ford was in right field. Morneau was the DH.
Ford was 1-for-4 and is batting .423. Morneau was batting .370. Jones was 1-for-5 and was batting .305. Pierzynski was batting .303. Mientkiewicz was batting .302.
Hocking was 1-for-3 and was batting .197.
Reed lasted just 3.2 innings, allowing seven runs (six earned) on nine hits and a walk and striking out one. Juan Rincon gave up a run in 2.1 innings and had an ERA of 3.45. Santana's ERA fell to 2.24.
The Twins had now lost five in a row, three of them to their closest rival.
Record: The Twins were 38-32, in first place in the American League Central, one game ahead of Kansas City.