NEW YORK 2, MINNESOTA 1 IN NEW YORK
Date: Wednesday, June 10.
Batting star: Tony Oliva was 2-for-4 with a triple.
Pitching stars: Bert Blyleven pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out three. Ron Perranoski pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Thurman Munson was 2-for-3 with a double. Horace Clarke was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fourth. Mel Stottlemyre pitched a complete game, giving up one run on four hits and a walk and striking out seven.
The game: Neither team advanced a man past second, and neither team had more than one man on base, until the fourth, when Oliva led off with a triple and scored on a ground out to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. With two out in the fifth, Stottlemyre singled and Clarke hit a two-run homer, putting the Yankees up 2-1.
And that was it. The Twins did not get a hit after Oliva's triple and the 2-1 score held up.
WP: Stottlemyre (6-4).
LP: Blyleven (1-1).
Notes: Jim Holt was again in left field in place of Brant Alyea. Charlie Manuel pinch-hit for Blyleven in the eighth.
Rod Carew was 0-for-3 and was batting .377. Oliva was batting .335. Harmon Killebrew was 0-for-4 and was batting .313. Blyleven had an ERA of 1.93. Perranoski had an ERA of 2.12.
What a frustrating way to lose a game. Two out, no one on, the pitcher up. He gets a hit, but no problem. Horace Clarke, the player who would become emblematic of the state of the Yankees in the mid-60s to mid-70s, was next up. And he hits a home run, the last homer he would hit all season and one of twenty-seven for his career.
Getting only one run is frustrating, too, but Stottlemyre was a fine pitcher. 164-139, 2.97, 1.22 WHIP, five all-star appearances, twenty-game winner three times. A torn rotator cuff brought his career to an end at age thirty-two. If he'd pitched longer, or pitched in an era where the Yankees were good, he'd have had a shot at the Hall of Fame.
Record: The Twins were 34-17, in first place in the American League West, two games ahead of California.