2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-three

MINNESOTA 14, KANSAS CITY 5 IN KANSAS CITY

Date:  Saturday, August 16.

Batting stars:  Doug Mientkiewicz was 3-for-5 with a walk and two RBIs.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4 with a double, a stolen base (his second), two runs, and two RBIs.  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and two runs.  Luis Rivas was 2-for-5 with a walk and three runs.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-5 with three RBIs.

Pitching star:  Juan Rincon pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Carlos Beltran was 3-for-4 with two home runs (his nineteenth and twentieth) and three RBIs.  Mendy Lopez was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his second.

The game:  The first two Twins batters went out.  Then Mientkiewicz walked, Corey Koskie singled, Jacque Jones and Hunter had RBI singles, and Pierzynski hit a two-run double, putting the Twins up 4-0.  The Royals responded in the bottom of the first, as Aaron Guiel doubled and Beltran hit a two-run homer, leaving the score 4-2 after one.

The Twins gradually pulled away.  In the second Mientkiewicz had an RBI single and Koskie hit a sacrifice fly to make it 6-2.  Cristian Guzman hit an RBI triple in the third to make it 7-2.  Hunter had a two-run single in the fourth to make it 9-2.  Shannon Stewart's RBI single in the fifth made it 10-2.

Beltran homered again in the sixth to cut the lead to 10-3.  The Twins responded with three in the seventh.  A single and two walks loaded the bases with one out.  MIentkiewicz had an RBI single, Pierzynski was hit by a pitch to force home a run, and a third run scored on a ground out.  Lopez hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh.  The game's final run scored on Michael Ryan's sacrifice fly in the eighth.

WP:  Kyle Lohse (10-9).  LP:  Runelvys Hernandez (7-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  Stewart was again in left, Mohr in right, and Jones at DH.  Denny Hocking replaced Koskie at third base in the seventh.  Ryan replaced Stewart in left in the seventh.  Michael Restovich entered the game in the ninth, going to right with Mohr going to center and Hunter coming out of the game.

Stewart was 1-for-3 and was batting .310.  Jones was 1-for-6 and was batting .309.  Koskie was 1-for-2 and was batting .302.

Lohse pitched seven innings, allowing five runs on six hits and no walks and striking out four.  He pitched well if you don't count the home runs, but of course the home runs do count.  His ERA went to 5.03.

This would be the last start of the season for Hernandez.  He would go on the disabled list, would not pitch at all the next season, and never really be any good again.  In this game he pitched 3.1 innings and allowed nine runs on nine hits and three walks, striking out one.

Pierzynski stole fifteen bases in his career.  His high for a season was three, set in this season and matched in 2010.  He was caught stealing twenty-three times in his career but only once in this season.

The Twins were not only getting back over .500, they had two consecutive wins over the first-place team in their ballpark.  They also caught up to second-place Chicago.  Could the Twins get a sweep?

Record:  The Twins were 63-60, tied for second with Chicago, two games behind Kansas City.

Leave a Reply