BALTIMORE 5, MINNESOTA 3 IN BALTIMORE
Date: Thursday, August 7.
Batting stars: Shannon Stewart was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Luis Rivas was 2-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch. Corey Koskie was 2-for-4 with a double. Torii Hunter was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his twentieth.
Pitching star: Rick Reed pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up five runs on eight hits and a walk and striking out six.
Opposition stars: Jeff Conine was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs. Jack Cust was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer. Rodrigo Lopez pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk and striking out six.
The game: With two out in the first, Conine doubled and scored on a Jay Gibbons single to put the Orioles up 1-0. The Twins took the lead in the second when Koskie doubled and Hunter hit a two-run homer. They got an insurance run in the third when Stewart doubled and scored on a Rivas single.
It wasn't enough. In the fourth Conine and Batista singled and Cust hit a three-run homer to give Baltimore a 4-3 lead. They got an insurance run of their own later in the inning when Deivi Cruz doubled and scored on Larry Bigbie's single.
And that was it. The Twins put men on first and second with one out in the fifth but did not score. They also had men on first and third with two out in the seventh but did not score. That was the last time they got the tying run on base.
WP: Lopez (5-6). LP: Reed (5-11). S: Jorge Julio (27).
Notes: Denny Hocking was at short in place of Cristian Guzman. Stewart was in right field.
Jacque Jones was apparently injured, as Dustan Mohr replaced him in left field in the fourth inning. He would miss one game, then be back in the lineup. Chris Gomez pinch-hit for Mohr in the ninth. Todd Sears pinch-hit for Hocking in the ninth.
Stewart was batting .318. Jones was 0-for-2 and was batting .305. Koskie was batting .302. Doug Mientkiewicz and A. J. Pierzynski each slipped back to .299.
This was the last complete game of Reed's career.
This was Cust's first homer as a Baltimore Oriole. It was only the second game he'd played for them. It was also the second homer of his career, as he'd hit one for Colorado in 2002. He would not become a regular player until 2007, when he went to Oakland. He would end up with 105 career home runs. He was a three true outcomes guy--he had over 90 walks three years in a row, leading the league once; he led the league in strikeouts three times, and he hit 84 homers over three seasons. His final numbers were .242/.374/.439. Even in his last season, when he batted just .213 with three home runs, he had an OBP of .344.
The Twins again failed to stay above .500.
Record: The Twins were 57-57, in third place in the American League Central, 3.5 games behind Kansas City. They were three games behind Chicago.