1970 Rewind: Game Sixty

MINNESOTA 11, KANSAS CITY 2 IN KANSAS CITY

Date:  Sunday, June 21.

Batting stars:  Bob Allison was 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base, and three runs.  Rod Carew was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Leo Cardenas was 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs.  Rich Reese was 2-for-5.  Harmon Killebrew was 1-for-4 with a home run (his seventeenth) and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Jim Perry struck out seven in 6.2 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and no walks.  Ron Perranoski pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Joe Keough was 2-for-4 with a double.  Lou Piniella was 2-for-4.  Al Fitzmorris pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

The game:  The Twins opened the scoring in the second.  Allison led off with an infield hit.  While Rick Renick was batting, Allison somehow went to second on an error on the shortstop.  He then stole third and scored on a throwing error on the catcher, giving the Twins a 1-0 lead.

The Twins put two on in the third but did not score.  In the fourth, however, the Twins took control of the game.  Allison reached on an error and Renick walked.  Cardenas delivered a two-run single-plus error, taking second on the play.  Reese singled, putting men on first and third, and George Mitterwald singled home a run.  A bunt moved the runners up and a sacrifice fly brought home one more, making it 5-0 Twins.  Killebrew homered leading off the fifth to make it 6-0.

The Royals had only one hit through the first six innings.  In the seventh, consecutive two-out singles by Bob Oliver, Keough, Piniella, and Ed Kirkpatrick brought home two runs and chased Perry from the game.  Perranoski came in to retire Hawk Taylor and keep the score 6-2.

The Twins put it away with five in the ninth.  Cesar Tovar doubled and scored on a Carew single.  Killebrew walked and Allison was hit by a pitch, loading the bases.  An error brought home one run and Cardenas hit a three-run double to bring us to the final score of 11-2.

WP:  Perry (10-5).

LP:  Bill Butler (2-6).

S:  Perranoski (16).

NotesAllison was in right field, giving Tony Oliva his first day off of the season.  Renick was in left in place of Brant Alyea.  Jim Holt replaced Renick in the seventh inning.  Frank Quilici pinch-ran for Killebrew in the ninth and stayed in the game at third base.

Carew was 7-for-12 in his last three games and raised his average to .378.  Perry was 1-for-2 and was batting .368.  Killebrew was batting .305.  Perry had an ERA of 2.82.  Perranoski had an ERA of 1.82.

I really don't know how Allison got to second in the second inning.  The play-by-play says "Baserunner Advance; Allison to 2B/Adv on E6".  My best guess is that he was trying to steal second and would've been out, but the shortstop dropped/missed the throw.  The catcher should get an assist on that, though, and nothing indicates that he did.

It seems strange to bring your closer into a game in the seventh inning of a 6-2 game, but of course it would not have been nearly has strange in 1970.  Plus, the game was arguably on the line--Kansas City had just scored two runs and had two men on.  On the other hand, the batter was Hawk Taylor, who wasn't exactly Babe Ruth--a career .218 average with a career OPS of .578.  Today they surely would've brought someone else in to pitch the ninth, with the Twins leading 11-2, but that just wasn't the way they did things back then.  At that time, they figured, Perranoski hasn't pitched since June 15, he's all warmed up, he might as well finish it up.

The Royals starter, Butler, would pitch for the Twins in 1974-1975 and 1977.  In this game, he pitched six innings, giving up six runs (three earned) on eight hits and three walks and striking out three.  Kansas City made five errors in the game, leading to four unearned runs.  They had made three errors in yesterday's game and two in the game before that, making ten for the series.  Yet, they won two out of three.

The Twins would now head for Milwaukee for the next leg of their three-city road trip.

Record:  The Twins were 39-21, in first place in the American League West, four games ahead of California.

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