ANAHEIM 8, MINNESOTA 3 IN ANAHEIM
Date: Sunday, July 13.
Batting stars: A. J. Pierzynski was 3-for-4. Torii Hunter was 2-for-3 with a home run (his fourteenth), a walk, and two runs. Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-4. Chris Gomez was 2-for-5 with a triple.
Pitching star: Juan Rincon struck out four in three shutout innings, giving up one hit.
Opposition stars: Benji Gil was 2-for-3. Garret Anderson was 2-for-4 with a home run (his twenty-second), a stolen base (his fifth), and two runs. Bengie Molina was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Troy Glaus was 2-for-4 with two runs. John Lackey pitched six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out five.
The game: The Twins got a pair of one-out singles in the second, but a double play took them out of the inning. The Angels then got on the board in the third when Adam Kennedy walked, was bunted to second, and scored on a Scott Spiezio double.
The Twins took their only lead of the game in the fourth, when Bobby Kielty got a two-out single and Hunter followed with a two-run homer. The lead lasted until the first batter of the next half inning, as Anderson led off the bottom of the fourth with a home run. Later in the inning Glaus singled, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Molina's double. Gil followed with an RBI single, and that quickly it was 4-2 Anaheim.
The Twins stayed in the game thanks to Rincon's fine relief pitching. They got closer in the sixth, when Mientkiewicz singled, Hunter walked, and Pierzynski had an RBI single to cut the lead to 4-3. Hunter was thrown out trying to go third on the single, however, so the inning ended with the Twins still trailing by a run. In the seventh, the Twins managed to get a walk and three singles and not score. Justin Morneau drew the walk leading off the inning but was erased by a double play. Luis Rivas, Gomez, and Denny Hocking then got consecutive singles, but Rivas was thrown out trying to score on Hocking's single, so again the score remained 4-3. The Twins put men on first and third with two out in the eighth, but again could not tie the score.
The Angels finally put the game away in the bottom of the eighth. Singles by Tim Salmon, Anderson, and Glaus brought home one run. Jeff DaVanon walked to load the bases, Molina singled home a run, a wild pitch brought home another, and a sacrifice fly brought the score to 8-4. The Twins got a two-out triple in the ninth, but 8-4 was where it ended.
WP: Lackey (7-8). LP: Kyle Lohse (6-8). S: None.
Notes: Gomez was at short in place of Cristian Guzman. Hocking was at third in the continued absence of Corey Koskie. Dustan Mohr remained in left in the absence of Jacque Jones. Bobby Kielty was in right. Morneau was the DH.
Lew Ford pinch-ran for Morneau in the seventh and remained in the game at DH. Matthew LeCroy pinch-hit for Ford in the eighth. Guzman pinch-hit for Mohr in the ninth.
Ford was the only Twin with an average over .300, and he did not bat.
Lohse struck out four in four innings, but allowed four runs on five hits and a walk. LaTroy Hawkins pitched just a third of an inning, but also allowed four runs. His ERA jumped from 1.79 to 2.56. He would eventually get it back below two, but it would take a couple of months.
This would be Kielty's last game as a Twin. He would be traded to Toronto over the all-star break for Dave Gassner and Shannon Stewart.
There was probably no team happier to see the all-star break come than the Twins. They had lost eight in a row and twelve of thirteen. They had also finally fallen into third place.
Record: The Twins were 44-49, in third place in the American League Central, 7.5 games behind Kansas City. They were a half-game behind second-place Chicago.