MINNESOTA 4, DETROIT 3 IN DETROIT
Date: Sunday, August 10.
Batting stars: Shannon Stewart was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his third. Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-5.
Pitching stars: Kenny Rogers struck out seven in seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk. J. C. Romero pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk. Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit.
Opposition stars: Craig Monroe was 2-for-4 with a home run, his thirteenth. Matt Walbeck was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer. Nate Cornejo pitched a complete game, giving up four runs on nine hits and three walks and striking out three. He threw 124 pitches.
The game: The Twins got all of their runs in the first inning, and it was (barely) enough. Stewart led off the game with a single, Denny Hocking walked, and Mientkiewicz had a bunt single, loading the bases with none out. Corey Koskie then hit a two-run double. The next two batters went out, but Dustan Mohr hit a two-run single to make it 4-0 Minnesota.
Rogers was in control for the first four innings, giving up just a few harmless singles. But in the fifth Eric Munson singled and Walbeck hit a two-run homer, cutting the lead to 4-2. Monroe homered in the sixth, making it 4-3.
But that was it. The Tigers did not get a man past first after that, and the Twins held on for the victory.
WP: Rogers (9-6). LP: Cornejo (5-11). S: Guardado (27).
Notes: Chris Gomez was at second base in place of Luis Rivas. Hocking was at short in place of Cristian Guzman. Stewart was in left, Mohr in right, and Jacque Jones at DH.
Stewart was batting .319. Jones was 0-for-4 and dropped to .305. Koskie was 1-for-3 and was at .303. A. J. Pierzynski was 0-for-3 and was batting .301. Mientkiewicz raised his average back up to .300.
Rogers got his ERA back below five at 4.97.
I'd forgotten that the Twins had Jones at DH that much after trading for Stewart.
I wonder what the record is for most runs scored in the first inning in a game where you didn't score after the first inning. I'm pretty sure it's more than four, but I wonder what it is.
This was one of two complete games Cornejo pitched in 2003. Both were losses. This was the only season he was a rotation starter for the full season. He went 6-17, 4.67, 1.51 WHIP. Both the ERA and the WHIP were the best he ever had in the major leagues. For his career he was 12-29, 5.41, 1.66 WHIP in 313 innings. He appeard in 56 games, all starts.
The Twins had won three in a row, giving hope that they had left the .500 mark behind for good. Now, could they make up ground on the division leaders?
Record: The Twins were 60-57, in third place in the American League Central, 2.5 games behind Kansas City. They were two games behind second-place Chicago.