MINNESOTA 7, OAKLAND 5 IN OAKLAND
Date: Tuesday, October 1.
Batting stars: A. J. Pierzynski was 4-for-4 with a triple. Michael Cuddyer was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4 with a walk.
Pitching stars: Johan Santana struck out two in 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk. J. C. Romero pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and striking out one. Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Ray Durham was 2-for-5 with two doubles. Eric Chavez was 2-for-5. David Justice was 2-for-5.
The game: A walk and an error put men on first and second with one out in the first for the Athletics. Chavez then hit a single-plus-error that scored two runs, giving Oakland a 2-0 lead. Justice delivered an RBI single that made it 3-0. The Twins got on the board in the second on doubles by Torii Hunter and Cuddyer, but the Athletics scored two in the the bottom of the second to make it 5-1. Their first two batters went out in that inning, but Durham doubled, Hatteberg singled him in, and error put men on first and third, and Chavez singled in a run. So, through two innings, the Twins had made three errors and allowed four unearned runs. Koskie hit a two-run homer in the third to make it 5-3. The Twins opened the fourth with a walk and a single, but did not score. Doug Mientkiewicz opened the sixth with a home run to cut the lead to 5-4. With one out, Pierzynski and Luis Rivas singled and Jones doubled to tie it 5-5. A walk loaded the bases and Koskie's grounder to first put the Twins ahead 6-5. Oakland put men on first and second with one out in the sixth, but did not score. With two out in the seventh, Cuddyer singled and scored on a Pierzynski triple to bring home an insurance run at 7-5. With two out in the ninth, a single and a walk put two Athletics on with two out, but Guardado retired pinch-hitter Adam Piatt on a fly to left to end the game.
WP: Brad Radke LP: Ted Lilly. S: Guardado.
Notes: Ron Gardenhire made kind of a daring move by playing the rookie Cuddyer in right field, rather than Bobby Kielty or Dustan Mohr. As you can see, it paid off.
It was also kind of a daring move to use Radke as the game one starter. He'd had an injury plagued season and did not appear to be the best starter on the team that year. He gave up five runs in five innings, but only one of the runs was earned. He allowed eight hits and a walk and struck out three. It's a matter of opinion whether it "paid off" or if they just got away with it, but either way, it worked out.
Oakland starter Tim Hudson did have a fine season, going 15-9, 2.98, 1.26 WHIP. He was not really the best starter on his staff either, though--Barry Zito went 23-5, 2.75, 1.13. Mark Mulder was just about as good, too. The Athletics definitely appeared to have stronger starting pitchers than the Twins. Still, in this game, Hudson pitched just 5.1 innings and gave up four runs on eight hits and two hits, striking out four.
Ted Lilly was primarily a starting pitcher throughout his career. He did, however, make six relief appearances in 2002, including one for Oakland after his trade from the Yankees. He pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk and struck out one. Coincidentally, he was traded from Oakland to Toronto after the 2003 season for Bobby Kielty,
Record: The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.