2003 Rewind: Game Ninety-nine


Date:  Tuesday, July 22.

Batting stars:  Shannon Stewart was 3-for-5 with a home run, his eighth.  Luis Rivas was 2-for-4.

Pitching star:  James Baldwin pitched 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up no hits and three walks and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Randy Winn was 3-for-5 with a two-run homer (his fourth) and two runs.  Dan Wilson was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and two RBIs.  Mark McLemore was 2-for-5 with a double, a walk, and two runs.  John Olerud was 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs.  Julio Mateo pitched 4.1 innings of relief, giving up one run on three hits and no walks and striking out three.

The game:  The Mariners loaded the bases with none out in the second.  They scored one on a ground out and Wilson then delivered a two-run double, giving Seattle a 3-0 lead.  The Twins came right back with two in the bottom of the second.  A. J. Pierzynski doubled and scored on a Jacque Jones single.  Chris Gomez singled to put runners on the corners and a ground out cut the margin to 3-2.

The Twins appeared to take control of the game in the third.  A single, a walk, and an infield single tied the score.  A hit batsman loaded the bases, Justin Morneau walked to force in a run, another scored on a wild pitch, one more scored on a sacrifice fly, and Cristian Guzman hit an RBI single to give the Twins a seemingly comfortable 7-3 lead.

The Marines did not agree, however.  Bret Boone hit a two-run homer in the fifth to make it 7-5.  In the sixth, a walk and two singles loaded the bases.  Olerud had a single-plus-error to bring home three runs and Winn followed with a two-run homer, putting Seattle up 10-7.

The Twins got one back in the bottom of the sixth when Stewart homered, but that was as good as it got.  The Twins got only one more hit after that, Stewart's leadoff single in the ninth.  A double play erased him and a ground out ended the game.

WP:  Mateo (2-0).  LP:  Joe Mays (8-7).  S:  Shigetoshi Hasegawa (7).

Notes:  Gomez remained at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was in right field.  Morneau was the DH.

Todd Sears, who was back up for a couple of weeks, pinch-hit for Rivas in the ninth.

Jones was 1-for-3 and was batting .307.  Stewart went up to .306.

Rick Reed started and pitched five innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks.  He struck out five.  His ERA was 5.06.  Mays allowed five runs in two-thirds of an inning, raising his ERA to 6.77.  Baldwin lowered his ERA to 2.57.

Freddy Garcia started for the Mariners but lasted just 2.2 innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits and two walks.  He struck out two.  His ERA jumped to 5.05.  By game scores this was only his third-worst game of the season.  His ERA would reach a high of 5.57 on August 1.  He would then turn things around, and gave up just two earned runs in his last four starts of the season (27 innings) to end with an ERA of 4.51.

I can't think of Shigetoshi Hasegawa without remembering how Bert Blyleven struggled to pronounce his name.

The loss snapped the Twins' five-game winning streak and dropped them back below .500.  It also dropped them back into third place.

Record:  The Twins were 49-50, in third place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were a half game behind second-place Chicago.

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