BOSTON 3, MINNESOTA 2 IN BOSTON
Date: Friday, May 30.
Batting stars: Rod Carew was 3-for-5 with a double. Tony Oliva was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch. Harmon Killebrew was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer (his tenth) and a walk.
Pitching stars: Dave Boswell struck out eight in five innings, giving up two runs on four hits and no walks. Bob Miller pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.
Opposition stars: Reggie Smith was 2-for-3. Jim Lonborg struck out seven in 6.1 innings, giving up two runs on six hits and four walks.
The game: With one out in the first, Carew singled and Oliva doubled, putting men on second and third. It went for naught, as Killebrew and Charlie Manuel both fanned. Boston took advantage of the failure, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first. Mike Andrews was hit by a pitch, Smith hit a two-out single, and Rico Petrocelli followed with a double to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead.
Boston missed a chance to add to their lead in the third, as two singles put men on first and third with none out. A strikeout, a popup, and a strikeout ended the inning. The Twins got a pair of walks in the fourth that were similarly fruitless.
Minnesota threatened in both the fifth and the sixth. Carew hit a one-out double in the fifth and Oliva walked, but Killebrew hit into a forceout and Manuel flied to center. In the sixth, a walk and a hit batsman put men on first and second with two out, but Ted Uhlaender grounded out to end the inning.
The Red Sox got an insurance run in the sixth, as Smith reached second on a single-plus-error and Tony Conigliaro singled him home. They needed it, because with one out in the seventh, Oliva singled and Killebrew hit a two-run homer, cutting the margin to 3-2.
The Twins had their chances to tie the score. In the eighth pinch-hitter Rick Renick drew a one-out walk, Carew hit a two-out single, and a wild pitch moved them to second and third. Oliva struck out to end the inning. In the ninth, Killebrew drew a leadoff walk and was replaced on the basepath by Jim Perry. A passed ball moved him to second and a line out to right advanced him to third with one out. Cesar Tovar grounded to second and pinch-hitter Rich Reese struck out to end the game.
WP: Lonborg (4-0). LP: Boswell (5-6). S: Vicente Romo (9).
Notes: Manuel was back in left field. Tovar was at third base.
Reese made his first appearance since May 22 when he pinch-hit with two out in the ninth. Quite a spot to make your return in.
Carew raised his average to .407. Oliva raised his average to .303.
Dean Chance pitched an inning and a third and allowed an unearned run, lowering his ERA to 2.32. He would not pitch again until August 1.
Perranoski faced one batter, Dalton Jones, and got him to line into a double play. His ERA fell to 1.93.
Joe Grzenda had a box score line of 0-0-0-0-0-0. He faced two batters: the first reached on an error and the second was hit by a pitch. Miller came in to retire the side with no damage done.
Miller pitched really well in the month of May. In 9.1 innings, he gave up no runs on four hits and four walks and struck out four. His ERA dropped from 4.05 to 1.69 in May.
This was the Twins' third straight loss. They were 5-10 in their last fifteen games. They had scored thirty-nine runs in those games. Fifteen of them came in two games, which means they scored twenty-four runs in the other thirteen games.
Eleven of the fifteen games were on the road. The Twins would play two more games on the road, then come home for a sixteen-game homestand. Maybe that's how they did things back then. That homestand would be followed by a sixteen-game road trip, then a fifteen-game homestand. They would go on the road for eight, be home for seven, then be back on the road for fifteen. I don't know if that would be better or worse than they way they do things now. A sixteen-game road trip would be really long, but a sixteen-game homestand would give you a chance to really get settled in. It might be better than being on the road for a short time but also being at home for a short time. I don't know.
Record: The Twins were 24-19, in first place in the American League West, leading Oakland by one game.