MINNESOTA 7, BALTIMORE 3 IN BALTIMORE
Date: Wednesday, August 6.
Batting stars: Torii Hunter was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer (his nineteenth) and two runs. Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4. Shannon Stewart was 1-for-5 with a home run, his eleventh.
Pitching stars: Kyle Lohse pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk and striking out three. LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out one. Juan Rincon pitched a perfect inning.
Opposition stars: Brian Roberts was 2-for-4 with a walk. Deivi Cruz was 2-for-4. Luis Matos was 2-for-5 with a double.
The game: In the second Tony Batista doubled, went to third on Cruz' bunt single, and scored on a sacrifice fly to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. It was still 1-0 through three, but in the fourth the Twins broke through for five runs. Stewart led off with a home run. Consecutive singles by Luis Rivas, Doug Mientkiewicz, and Corey Koskie followed giving the Twins a 2-1 lead. There was a fly out, but Hunter then hit a three-run homer, putting the Twins up 5-1.
Baltimore got one back in the sixth when Roberts singled and scored on a Matos double. They got one more in the eighth when Batista was hit by a pitch and singles by Jose Morban and Cruz plated a run. The lead was cut to 5-3.
The Twins put it away with two in the ninth. With one out, singles by A. J. Pierzynski and Hunter were followed by Jacque Jones getting hit by a pitch to load the bases. Matthew LeCroy then hit a two-run double to make it 7-3. The Orioles went down in order in the ninth.
WP: Lohse (8-9). LP: Pat Hentgen (4-6). S: None.
Notes: Jones was back in left field, with Stewart moving to right.
Stewart was batting .315. Jones was batting .306. Pierzynski was batting .303. Koskie was batting .300.
Lohse lowered his ERA to 5.06.
James Baldwin did not give up a run in two-thirds of an inning to lower his ERA to 2.13. Hawkins went down to 2.38.
Hentgen pitched eight innings for Baltimore and did well other than the fourth inning. His line, though, was five runs, seven hits, no walks, and three strikeouts. Hentgen was an excellent pitcher through 1997, but didn't do much after that. 2003 was his last decent season. He went 7-8, 4.09, 1.30 WHIP in 160.2 innings. He struggled through a bad season with Toronto the next year, then was done.
The Twins were again a game above .500. Could they stay there this time? We shall see.
Record: The Twins were 57-56, in third place in the American League Central, 3.5 games behind Kansas City. They were 2.5 games behind third-place Chicago.