CALIFORNIA 7, MINNESOTA 5 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Wednesday, August 5.
Batting stars: George Mitterwald was 2-for-4 with a triple and a double. Tony Oliva was 2-for-5 with a double. Danny Thompson was 2-for-5.
Pitching star: Jim Kaat pitched six innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and one walk and striking out three.
Opposition stars: Jim Spencer was 3-for-4 with two home runs (his ninth and tenth) and four RBIs. Tommie Reynolds was 3-for-4 with three runs. Jarvis Tatum was 2-for-5 with a stolen base. Mel Queen pitched three shutout innings, giving up three hits and striking out two.
The game: The Angels had two men on in each of the first two innings but did not score. In the bottom of the second Rich Reese walked and scored when Jim Holt reached third on a single-plus-error. A ground out scored Holt. Mitterwald then doubled and scored on a Kaat single. Kaat went to second on a ground out and scored on a Thompson single to make it 4-0 Twins.
The Angels got on the board in the fourth when Reynolds singled, went to third on Spencer's single, and scored on a sacrifice fly. In the sixth Reynolds singled and Spencer followed with a two-run homer, cutting the lead to 4-3.
The Twins got an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Reese singled and scored on a Mitterwald triple. It wasn't enough. Ray Oyler led off the eighth with a single and Ken McMullen walked. A double play gave the Twins hope of getting out of the jam, but Reynolds hit an RBI single and Spencer followed with another two-run homer, putting California up 6-5. They added a run in the ninth when Sandy Alomar walked, went to third on Tatum's single, and scored on a squeeze bunt.
The Twins tried to rally in the bottom of the ninth. With one out Rick Renick and Cesar Tovar had consecutive singles, bringing the deciding run up to bat. But Thompson and Oliva flied out and the game was over.
WP: Queen (2-3).
LP: Ron Perranoski (7-3).
Notes: Holt was in center field, with Tovar moving to left and Brant Alyea on the bench. Charlie Manuel pinch-hit for Kaat in the seventh. Renick came in to play left in the ninth as part of a double switch, with Tovar moving to center and Holt coming out of the game.
Oliva was batting .329. Killebrew was 0-for-4 and was batting .301. Tovar was 1-for-5 and slipped back below .300 at .299. Tom Hall gave up a run in one inning and had an ERA of 2.80. Perranoski gave up three runs in 1.1 innings and had an ERA of 2.20. Stan Williams retired both men he faced and had an ERA of 1.77.
Angels starter Tom Murphy lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk and striking out none.
I find it odd that Bill Rigney would suddenly decide to put Holt in center and Tovar in left after having done it the opposite way all season. He presumably had a reason, but I have no idea what it might have been.
Record: The Twins were 66-38, in first place in the American League West, seven games ahead of California and Oakland.