Tag Archives: 1969 rewind

1969 Rewind: Game Eighteen


Date:  Monday, April 28.

Batting stars:  Rich Reese was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, his second.  Johnny Roseboro was 2-for-4 with a double.  Harmon Killebrew was 0-for-0 with three walks.

Pitching star:  Jim Perry pitched a complete game shutout, giving up seven hits and one walk and striking out six.

Opposition stars:  Mike Fiore was 2-for-4 with a double.  Future Twin Tom Burgmeier pitched three shutout innings, giving up two hits and three walks and striking out one.

The game:  An error, a walk, and a single loaded the bases for the Twins with none out in the first inning.  Killebrew hit a sacrifice fly, but it was the only run the Twins got in the inning.  It did not come back to haunt them.  Killebrew and Graig Nettles started the fourth with walks and Reese delivered a three-run homer to make it 4-0.

The Royals threatened in the fifth.  Ellie Rodriguez doubled and Juan Rios had a bunt single, putting men on first and third with one out.  Ed Kirkpatrick struck out, however, and Pat Kelly flied out to end the inning.  The Twins had men on first and second in both the fifth and the sixth, but were turned aside each time.  No more runs were needed, however, as Perry did not allow more than one baserunner in any inning after the fifth.

WP:  Perry (2-1).  LP:  Mike Hedlund (1-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Carew was 1-for-3 with a walk to "drop" his batting average to .409.  Oliva was 1-for-3 and was batting .351.  Cardenas was 0-for-3 with a walk and was batting .329.  Uhlaender was 0-for-4 and was batting .318.

Frank Quilici and Cesar Tovar were again used as defensive replacements for Killebrew and Graig Nettles, respectively.

Perry was making just his second start of the season.  He had started the third game of the season, then made five appearances out of the bullpen, the last one an outing of 2.1 innings just three days earlier on April 25.  He would make one more start on May 3, then go back to the bullpen.

Reese was caught stealing for the third time this season.  For the year he would go 1-for-6 in stolen bases, indicating that Billy Martin eventually figured out that having him try to steal bases might not be a good idea.

Hedlund, the Royals starter, was in his first full season in the majors, having gotten cups of coffee with Cleveland in 1965 and 1968.  He started 16 games and relieved in 18, and really did pretty well--only 3-6, but with an ERA of 3.24 and a WHIP of 1.30.  He wasn't bad as a starter, but was excellent as a reliever, posting an ERA of 1.69 and a WHIP of 1.03 out of the pen.  His best year in the majors was 1971, when he was in the Kansas City rotation all season.  He went 15-8, 2.71, 1.17 WHIP that year.  The next year, however, he went 5-7, 4.78 and was through as a big-leaguer.  He played in AAA two more seasons, but was done after 1974.  Just looking at his record, one suspects he may have had injury problems.  His career numbers are 25-24, 3.56, 1.30 WHIP.  He pitched 465.2 innings in 113 games, 62 of them starts.

Record:  The Twins had won three in a row and were 11-7, in first place, leading Oakland by one game.

1969 Rewind: Game Seventeen


Date:  Sunday, April 27

Batting stars:  Frank Quilici was 2-for-4.  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-5.  Harmon Killebrew was 1-for-2 with a home run (his third), a walk, and a hit-by-pitch.  Rod Carew was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his second.

Pitching stars:  Dave Boswell pitched an eight-inning complete game (see below), giving up three runs on six hits and four walks and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Buddy Bradford was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and two RBIs.  Gail Hopkins was 2-for-4.  Wilbur Wood pitched two perfect innings of relief, striking out one.

The game:  Killebrew homered in the first inning to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  The White Sox got the run back in the bottom of the first, as Aparicio singled, went to third on a stolen base-plus-error, and scored on a Hopkins single.

The Twins got a pair of two-out hits in the second, but did not score.  They took the lead in the fourth, however, as Bob Allison led off the inning with a double and scored on a Leo Cardenas single.  The lead lasted until the sixth.  Hopkins and Duane Josephson singled, leaving men on first and second with two out.  Bradford then came through with a two-run double, putting Chicago up 3-2.

The Twins took the lead back in the seventh.  With two out, Tovar singled and Carew followed with a two-run homer to put the Twins up 4-3.

The White Sox went down in order in the seventh, and the Twins did the same in the top of the eighth.  In the bottom of the eighth the White Sox put men on first and second with two out, but Don Pavletich was caught looking to end the inning.  The Twins went down in order in the top of the ninth.

And oddly, that's where the game appears to end.  Everything in the box score indicated that the bottom of the ninth was not played, but no reason is given for that.  One supposes that the most likely explanation is that the game was rained out, but that's a strange time to call the game--with a one-run difference going to the bottom of the ninth.  The start time weather indicates 68 degrees and cloudy, which doesn't tell us much of anything.  If someone has the time and inclination to research what happened, it would be interesting to know.

WP:  Boswell (2-2).  LP:  Gary Peters (1-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  This looks like Billy Martin's version of a Gardy-style B lineup, although Martin had some better players to use when he did it.  Tovar was in center rather than Ted Uhlaender.  Allison was in left. only his fifth start of the season.  George Mitterwald was behind the plate rather than Johnny Roseboro, and Quilici was at third base.

Killebrew was batting third in this game and Tony Oliva fourth, something Martin sometimes did against left-handed pitchers.

Boswell had started just three days earlier, on April 24, and had lasted just 2.2 innings.

Bradford had a heck of a series against the Twins, going 6-for-11 with a home run, two doubles, and a walk, driving in four runs.

I have no memory of Gail Hopkins.  He was the mostly-regular first baseman for the White Sox in 1969.  It was his first full year with the team.  He played for Chicago from 1968-1970, Kansas City from 1971-1973, and the Dodgers in 1974.  He never hit for much power, but in his good years posted decent batting averages and OBPs.  His best year looks like 1971, when he batted .278/.364/.431 in 295 at-bats.  His career numbers are .266/.352/.376.  He played in Japan for three seasons and hit with power there, belting 69 home runs over three years.  He had a successful career after baseball, first getting Ph. D. in biology and then graduating from medical school.  He practiced medicine for many years in Lodi, California and in Hinsdale, Illinois.  He has two children, both of whom are also doctors.  At last report, he was also the chairman of the Board of Trustees of Ohio Valley University.

Record:  The Twins were 10-7, in first place, leading Oakland by a half game.

1969 Rewind: Game Sixteen


Date:  Saturday, April 26.

Batting stars:  Rod Carew was 4-for-5 with a double.  Charlie Manuel was 3-for-3 with a three-run homer a double, and a walk, scoring twice and driving in four.  Ted Uhlaender was 3-for-5 with a home run, scoring twice and driving in two.  Leo Cardenas was 2-for-5 with a home run and a double, driving in three.  Rich Reese was 2-for-5 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Dean Chance pitched six shutout innings, giving up three hits and no walks and striking out two.  Joe Grzenda pitched three innings, giving up one run on four hits and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Buddy Bradford was 3-for-4 with a double.  Luis Aparicio was 1-for-2 with a double and two walks.

The game:  The Twins got on the board in the second inning as Manuel walked, took third on a single, and scored on a Cardenas ground out.  They made it 3-0 in the fourth, as Tony Oliva walked and scored from first on a Harmon Killebrew double.  Manuel then singled to score Killebrew.

The Twins took control of the game in the fifth.  Johnny Roseboro singled, stole second, and went to third on a wild pitch.  Uhlaender scored him on a bunt single and scored from first on Carew's double.  With two out, Killebrew was intentionally walked, but Manuel hit a three-run homer, making the score 8-0.

The Twins didn't stop there.  Cardenas led off the sixth with a home run.  In the seventh, consecutive doubles by Manuel, Reese, and Cardenas made it 11-0.  Uhlaender homered leading off the eighth.

The lone White Sox run came in the bottom of the eighth.  Aparicio drew a two-out walk and scored from first on a Pete Ward double.

WP:  Chance (2-0).  LP: Joel Horlen (2-2).  S:  Grzenda (1).

Notes:  Carew took over the team batting lead, raising his average to .424.  Oliva was 0-for-3 with two walks and was batting .371.  Manuel raised his average to .353.  Cardenas was up to .349.  Uhlaender went up to .339.

I said earlier that Billy Martin's pitching philosophy seemed to be to leave a pitcher in the game as long as he was getting people out, regardless of innings, pitch counts, or anything else.  Chance seems to have been the exception.  He came out of his previous start after seven innings, having given up just an unearned run.  Here he came out after six shutout innings.  It appears that he was battling an injury--he would not pitch again until May 9, made only four appearances in May (two in relief), and then did not pitch again until August.  He was very effective when he did pitch, though.

The stolen base by Roseboro wasn't as rare a thing as I had thought.  He twice had double-digit stolen bases, swiping eleven in 1958 and twelve in 1962.  1962 was the only year he had a good percentage, however, going 12-for-15.   He stole 67 bases in his career, but was caught 56 times.  He would go 5-for-10 in 1969.

The Twins remained a little under .500 in base-stealing, as Reese was caught stealing second in the fourth inning.

This was the first save of Grzenda's career.  He would get three in 1969.  He had fourteen in his career, with the remaining eleven coming for Washington in 1970-1971.  He might have had a fifteenth--he was on the mound for the last Senators game in Washington with two out in the ninth, trying to protect a 7-5 lead, when the crowd stormed the field, causing the game to be forfeited.  He kept the baseball and presented it to the Washington Nationals on their first opening day.

The White Sox starter, Horlen, pitched just 4.1 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out two.

Record:  The Twins were 9-7, tied for first with the White Sox.

1969 Rewind: Game Fifteen


Date:  Friday, April 25.

Batting stars:  Tony Oliva was 3-for-4.  Leo Cardenas was 3-for-5 with a triple and two RBIs.  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-5.  Graig Nettles hit a pinch-hit three-run homer, his second.

Pitching stars:  Dick Woodson pitched five shutout innings of relief, giving up two hits and no walks and striking out one.

Opposition star:  Buddy Bradford was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fourth.

The game:  The Twins scored two batters into the game, as Tovar singled and Cardenas tripled.  But despite Harmon KillebrewOliva, and Bob Allison coming up next, the Twins could not do any more damage, so the score stayed 1-0.

It would come back to haunt them, as the White Sox scored four in the bottom of the first.  A walk, a single, and a wild pitch put men on second and third with one out.  Don Pavletich hit a two-run single, and with two out Bradford homered to put Chicago up 4-1.

The Twins got another run in the fifth when Woodson walked, Tovar singled, and Cardenas had an RBI single, but they ran themselves out of the inning when Cardenas was thrown out at second.  They came back to take the lead in the eighth, however.  Oliva led off with a single and Allison followed with a double.  Bob Locker came in to replace starter Tommy John and Nettles, pinch-hitting for George Mitterwald, hit a three-run homer to make it 5-4 Minnesota.

The Twins couldn't hold the lead.  With a man on first and one out in the ninth, Ron Perranoski came in once again, and this time the overuse finally caught up to him.  He gave up singles to Walt Williams and Ron Hansen to tie it 5-5.  A passed ball put men on second and third and led to an intentional walk to Woodie Held.  Carlos May then singled to left to bring home the deciding run.

WP:  Locker (1-0).  LP:  Perranoski (3-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Tovar made only his fifth start of the season, replacing Ted Uhlaender in center.  Tovar would get more playing time as the season went on, both in the infield and the outfield.

Allison made only his fourth start of the season, playing left field.  He would be a part-time player most of the season, although he would play more down the stretch.

Frank Quilici made his fourth start of the season, his second at second base.  He was used as a defensive replacement for much of the season, generally replacing Killebrew at third base.

Ron Clark made his second start of the season, playing third base.  This would be his last appearance as a Twin.  He was sent to AAA Denver and was sold to Seattle in mid-July.

Rod Carew was used as a pinch-hitter and went 1-for-1, raising his average to .389.  Oliva went up to .388.  Cardenas raised his average to .345.  Nettles went up to .300.

From April 11-18, Hall made three appearances and pitched sixteen shutout innings, including a complete game shutout on the 18th.  Since then, he has made two starts and pitched just 3.2 innings, allowing nine runs on seven hits and two walks.  His ERA went from 0.42 to 3.55.

Perranoski had now appeared in ten of the Twins' fifteen games.  These were the first earned runs he had allowed on the season.

White Sox starter Tommy John pitched seven innings, giving up four runs on ten hits and two walks with two strikeouts.

Record:  The Twins were 8-7, tied for third with Kansas City, one game behind the White Sox.

1969 Rewind: Game Fourteen


Date:  Thursday, April 24.

Batting stars:  Rod Carew was 3-for-5.  Leo Cardenas was 2-for-4 with a double.  Graig Nettles was 2-for-4.  Charlie Manuel was 2-for-4.  Tony Oliva was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer, his fourth.

Pitching stars:  Charley Walters pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.  Bob Miller struck out three in 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk.  Jim Perry pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Rick Monday was 3-for-4 with three doubles and two RBIs.  Reggie Jackson was 2-for-2 with two home runs (his third and fourth) and three RBIs.  Danny Cater was 2-for-4.  Sal Bando was 1-for-4 with a home run, his third.

The game:  Oakland jumped on Twins starter Dave Boswell for three runs in the first inning.  Jackson hit a two-run homer and Bando made it back-to-back with a solo shot.  The Twins put two on with two out in the bottom of the first, but Nettles grounded out to end the inning.  The Twins again threatened in the second, putting men on second and third with none out, but Johnny Roseboro fanned, Boswell popped up, and Ted Uhlaender struck out.

Oakland scored two more in the third.  Jackson hit his second home run, followed by a Cater single.  He then scored from first on Monday's double to make it 5-0.  Monday had another RBI double in the fifth to increase the lead to 6-0.

The Twins finally got on the board in the fifth, when Carew's two-out single was followed by an Oliva home run.  The Twins opened the sixth with consecutive singles by NettlesManuel, and Cardenas to cut the lead to 6-3, but Paul Lindblad came in to replace Blue Moon Odom and retired the side on a fly out and a double play.

The Twins opened the seventh with singles by Uhlaender and Carew.  With Oliva and Killebrew coming up, it looked like they would get back into the game, but Oliva lined to left and Killebrew was caught looking.  Nettles delivered a single to make the score 6-4, but that was as good as it would get.  The Twins did not get another hit the rest of the game.

WP:  Odom (3-1).  LP:  Boswell (1-2).  S:  Lew Krausse (2).

Notes:  Carew took over the team batting lead, raising his average to .377.  Oliva fell to .365.  Cardenas went up to .321.  Uhlaender went 1-for-5 and dropped to .316.  Killebrew was 1-for-4 with a walk and was batting .308.

Nettles started at third base for only the second time of the season.  Killebrew was at first.  Manuel made only his second start of the season, playing left field.  It was his rookie season.

Twins starting pitching was definitely running hot-and-cold.  In this game, Boswell lasted just 2.2 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits and no walks.  He struck out one.

Ron Perranoski made another appearance, although this time it was just for one batter.  He came in with two on and two out in the eighth, with the Twins trailing 6-4, and got Jim Pagliaroni to ground out, ending the inning.  He had appeared in nine of the Twins' fourteen games and had still not allowed an earned run.

Jackson hit two home runs, but apparently was still bothered by something, as he came out of the game after four innings.  Mike Hershberger again replaced him in right.

Odom pitched five innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and one walk with six strikeouts.  The Twins stranded nine runners and went 2-for-11 with men in scoring position.

Record:  The Twins were 8-6, tied for first place with the White Sox and Kansas City.

1969 Rewind: Game Thirteen


Date:  Wednesday, April 23.

Batting stars:  Ted Uhlaender was 4-for-5 with a double.  Rod Carew was 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs.  Leo Cardenas was 2-for-4 with a double and scored twice.  Johnny Roseboro hit a two-run homer.

Pitching stars:  Jim Perry struck out four in 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk.  Ron Perranoski pitched 2.1 innings, giving up an unearned run on two hits and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Danny Cater was 3-for-5 with a double.  Mike Hershberger was 2-for-3 with a stolen base.  Bert Campaneris was 2-for-4 with a stolen base (his third), scoring twice.  Rick  Monday was 2-for-5.

The game:  Oakland again jumped out early, scoring two in the first on a run-scoring ground out and an RBI double by Cater.  The Twins got both runs back before a man was retired, with Uhlaender leading off with a single and Carew following with a two-run homer.  The Twins went up 3-2 in the second, with Carew laying down a squeeze bunt to score Jim Kaat, who'd reached base with an infield single.

Oakland took the lead back in the third, as two singles and an error, all with two out, plated two runs.  The Athletics put together another two-out rally in the fourth, getting singles from Campaneris, Hershberger, and Tommie Reynolds to go ahead 5-3.  The Twins cut the margin to 5-4 in the bottom of the fourth, when Cardenas doubled and scored on a pair of fly outs.

It remained 5-4 until the sixth, when Cardenas hit a one-out single and scored on a two-run homer by Roseboro.  The Twins put together a two-out rally of their own in the eighth, as they got consecutive singles by PerranoskiUhlaender, and Carew for an insurance run to make the score 7-5.

Oakland wasn't done, as Monday delivered a two-out single in the ninth to cut the lead to 7-6.  Perranoski then struck out Dave Duncan to end the game.

WP:  Perry (1-1).  LP:  Catfish Hunter (1-2).  S:  Perranoski (2).

Notes:  Oliva was 1-for-3 with two walks to make his average .379.  Carew raised his average to .354.  Uhlaender raised his average to .327.  Killebrew was 1-for-3 with a walk and was batting .313.  Roseboro was 1-for-4 and was batting .308.  Cardenas raised his average to .306.

As you can see above, six of the Twins' eight starters had batting averages over .300.

Twins' starter Kaat pitched just 3.2 innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits and a walk and striking out two.  He would not pitch again until May 7.  It appears that Perry took his spot in the rotation until then.

Perranoski had now pitched 17.1 innings without allowing an earned run.

I had speculated that Reggie Jackson was just given a day off yesterday, but Hershberger started in his place again in this game.  Jackson again pinch-hit.  Perhaps Jackson had a minor injury.

This would be the next-to-last major league appearance for Oakland pitcher John Wyatt.  He had a nine-year big league career, playing for the Kansas City Athletics, Boston, the Yankees, and Detroit before finishing his career in 1969 with Oakland.  He played from 1961-1969 and was almost exclusively a relief pitcher, making the only nine starts of his career in 1962.  He made the all-star team in 1964, when he led the league in appearances with eighty-one.  He also set the record for most home runs allowed by a relief pitcher that season, twenty-three.  For his career, he was 42-44, 3.47, 1.38 WHIP in 435 games (687.1 innings).

Record:  The Twins were 8-5, in first place, leading the White Sox and Kansas City by a half game.



1969 Rewind: Game Twelve


Date:  Tuesday, April 22.

Batting star:  Leo Cardenas was 2-for-3.

Pitching stars:  Charley Walters pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit.  Jim Perry struck out three in three shutout innings, giving up one hit and three walks.

Opposition stars:  Bert Campaneris was 3-for-4 with a double, a stolen base (his second) and three runs.  Danny Cater was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.  Rollie Fingers pitched a complete game shutout, giving up five hits and one walk and striking out two.

The game:  The Athletics got in going in the first inning.  With two out and a man on second, Sal Bando tripled and Cater singled to give Oakland a 2-0 lead.  They struck again with two out in the third inning.  With men on first and second, Cater again singled home a run, making it 3-0 and chasing Twins' starter Tom Hall.  Dick Woodson came in and could not get anything accomplished, allowing RBI singles to Dick Green and Rick Monday and a run-scoring double to future Twin Phil Roof.  It was 6-0 after three and would never be a game again.

The Twins threatened in the fourth, putting men on second and third with one out.  Graig Nettles popped up and Rich Reese grounded out to end the inning.  Nettles had a one-out triple in the seventh, but Reese and Johnny Roseboro each grounded out to end the threat.

Oakland's final run came in the ninth, when Campaneris walked and scored from first on a double by Reggie Jackson.

WP:  Fingers (1-0).  LP:  Hall (1-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Tony Oliva was 1-for-4 and was batting .382.  Carew was 0-for-3 with a walk, dropping to .341.  Roseboro was 0-for-3 and was batting .318.  Killebrew was 1-for-4 with a double and was batting .311.

Hall, who had thrown a complete game shutout on April 18, could not get out of the third inning, although just looking at the play-by-play it seems like a pretty quick hook.  His line was 2.2 innings, five runs, five hits, one walk, one strikeout.  It was made worse, of course, by the fact that Woodson couldn't get anybody out.

Jackson did not start the game.  He was used as a pinch-hitter for Mike Hershberger, who started in right field.  Presumably, Jackson was just being given the day off.

The Athletics' starting left fielder and number three batter was Tommie Reynolds, of whom I have no recollection.  He played in parts of eight seasons from 1963-1972.  He was with the Kansas City Athletics, the Mets, Oakland, California, and Milwaukee.  This was his only season with the Oakland A's, but he appeared in 107 games for them, mostly in left.  It would also be his best season, but he still only batted .257/.343/.308.  He played in AAA with the Brewers from 1973-1978 and did very well, batting over .300 four times and hitting twenty or more home runs three times, but did not get another chance in the majors.

The Twins' loss put an end to their seven-game winning streak.

Record:  Minnesota was 7-5, in first place, a half game ahead of Kansas City and Oakland.

1969 Rewind: Game Eleven


Date:  Monday, April 21.

Batting stars:  Ted Uhlaender was 3-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base (his second), scoring three times.  Graig Nettles was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.  Rich Reese was 2-for-4.  Tony Oliva was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Dean Chance pitched seven innings, giving up an unearned run on two hits and a walk and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Rick Monday was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk, driving in two.  Tommie Reynolds was 2-for-4 with a double.  Ex-Twin Jim Roland struck out three in 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up no hits and three walks.

The game:  It was scoreless until the third.  With the bases loaded and one out, Oliva had an RBI single, Killebrew had a two-run single-plus-error, and Nettles had a two-run single to make the score 5-0.

It stayed there until the sixth.  Chance had a no-hitter through five innings, but Monday led off the sixth with a double.  An error put men on first and third and Ramon Webster had a sacrifice fly to put the Athletics on the board.

That was all Oakland got, though, and the Twins came back with two in the bottom of the sixth.  With Uhlaender on second, Carew reached on a three-base error to make it 6-1.  Oliva followed with a single to increase the lead to 7-1.  The Twins added a run in the eighth on an RBI triple by Cesar Tovar.

Oakland scored three off Joe Grzenda in the ninth to make the final score look better.  Danny Cater had an RBI single and Monday drove in two with a single.  Bob Miller came on to get the last two outs of the game.

WP:  Chance (1-0).  LP:  Chuck Dobson (1-2).  S:  Miller (2).

Notes:  I seem to recall that the save rule was different for awhile than it is now.  That would be the only reason Miller would get a save.  He came into the game with the score 8-2, two runners on, and one out.

After watching George Mitterwald do the majority of the catching the first couple of weeks of the season, Johnny Roseboro took over as the regular.  This was his third consecutive game as the starter.  Perhaps Roseboro had a minor injury at the start of the season.

This would be Chance's second-best game of the season.  It would be bettered only by a complete game against Kansas City in September.  Chance was injured for much of the season but did well when he could pitch, posting an ERA of 2.95 and a WHIP of 1.26.

Oliva raised his average to .392.  Roseboro was 1-for-4 and was batting .368.  Carew was 1-for-5 and was batting .366.  Killebrew was 1-for-3 with a walk and was batting .317.  Uhlaender raised his average to .302.  The first four men in the Twins order (UhlaenderCarewOliva, and Killebrew) all had averages over .300.

Dobson was the starter for Oakland but lasted just 2.2 innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk and striking out one.

The Twins went 1-for-2 in stolen bases and remained below .500 in that category, going 7-for-15.

After losing their first four games, the Twins had now won seven in a row.

Record:  The Twins were 7-4 and in sole possession of first place for the first time all season, leading the White Sox by a half game.

1969 Rewind: Game Ten


Date:  Sunday, April 20.

Batting stars:  Rod Carew was 3-for-5 with a double and two runs.  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and three RBIs.  Tony Oliva was 2-for-4 with a home run (his third) and a walk, scoring twice and driving in two.  Dave Boswell was 2-for-4 with a triple and scored twice.  Johnny Roseboro was 2-for-4 with a double.  Ted Uhlaender was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Boswell pitched a complete game, giving up an unearned run on five hits and six walks, striking out four.

Opposition star:  Aurelio Rodriguez was 2-for-4 with a double.

The game:  The Twins scored five in the first and led all the way.  Their first five batters reached base:  Uhlaender walked, Carew singled, Oliva had an RBI single, Killebrew had a two-run double, and Graig Nettles walked.  The Angels then replaced starter Andy Messersmith with Clyde Wright.  He struck out Rich Reese, but Leo Cardenas walked and Roseboro had a two-run single-plus-error.  The Twins led 5-0 through one inning.

California threatened to get back into it in the second, loading the bases with one out, but a pair of foul popups ended the inning.  Oliva homered in the second and Uhlaender had a run-scoring single in the third to make the score 7-0.  They added three more in the fifth, when Boswell hit an RBI triple, Uhlaender scored him with a single, and Killebrew drove in another run with a single later in the inning.

The lone Angels run scored in the sixth.  They again loaded the bases with one out.  Boswell nearly got out of it again, getting a popup for the second out, but an error on third baseman Frank Quilici (who had replaced Killebrew at the start of the inning) brought home a run.

The Twins completed the scoring in the seventh.  With a man on second and two out, Carew circled the bases on a double-plus-error.

WP:  Boswell (1-1).  LP:  Messersmith (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Nettles was again in left, with Killebrew on third and Reese on first.  Cesar Tovar replaced Nettles at the start of the seventh.

Roseboro made consecutive starts behind the plate for the first time all season.  He was batting .400.

Oliva was batting .391.  Carew was right behind him at .389.  Killebrew topped .300 for the first time, at .316.

Wright had both started and relieved to this point in his career.  You might think that, coming into the game in the first inning, the Angels would have him go five or six to save the bullpen.  They didn't.  He pitched one inning and was pinch-hit for by Vic Davalillo.  The situation makes it understandable--the Angels had the bases loaded with two out and were only down 5-0.  A big hit or two could've gotten them back into the game.

California used three other pitchers, pinch-hitting for each as their turn came up.  Phil Ortega pitched three innings, Pedro Borbon one, and Eddie Fisher three.

At this stage, it appears that manager Billy Martin had little hesitancy to remove a pitcher who was struggling, but if you were getting people out he'd leave you in there forever.  Complete games are rare these days anyway, but you'd never see one in a 12-1 game.  That's not a criticism or a compliment, just a comment that the game has changed.

Record:  After opening the season with four consecutive losses, the Twins had won six in a row to make their record 6-4.  They were tied for first place with the White Sox.

1969 Rewind: Game Nine


Date:  Saturday, April 19.

Batting stars:  Leo Cardenas was 3-for-4 with a home run.  Ted Uhlaender was 3-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base.  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  Dick Woodson pitched a perfect inning.  Ron Perranoski pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Aurelio Rodriguez was 3-for-4 with a home run, scoring twice.  Rick Reichardt was 2-for-4 with a double.

The game:  In the second, the Angels loaded the bases with one out on an error and two singles but only scored once, on a Bobby Knopp sacrifice fly.  The Angels again loaded the bases in the fourth, this time with two out, and pitcher Tom Murphy delivered a two-run single to put California ahead 3-0.

The Twins got on the board in the bottom of the fourth, but only with one.  Tony Oliva led off with a double and Killebrew followed with a single to put men on first and third, but Graig Nettles hit into a double play.  Oliva scored to make it 3-1.  California got the run back in the fifth, as Lou Johnson reached on a two-out error and scored on Reichardt's double.  The teams then traded leadoff home runs, as Cardenas hit one in the bottom of the fifth but Rodriguez hit one in the top of the sixth, leaving the score 5-2.  The Twins cut the lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth, as Nettles and Charlie Manuel hit back-to-back two-out doubles.

In the seventh, Uhlaender and Rod Carew hit one-out singles, ending up at second and third as Uhlaender went to third on the hit and Carew took second on the throw to third.  Hoyt Wilhelm cam in to replace Murphy on the mound.  Oliva's ground out scored Uhlaender and sent Carew to third, and with Killebrew up to bat and two out, Carew stole home for the second time of the season to tie the score.

The Twins put men on first and third with two out in the eighth, but Cesar Tovar fouled out.  In the ninth, Uhlaender led off with a walk and stole second.  With one out, Oliva was intentionally walked and Killebrew followed with an RBI single to win the game.

WP:  Ron Perranoski (3-0).  LP:  Eddie Fisher (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Oliva was 1-for-4 with a walk and is batting .381.  Johnny Roseboro was 1-for-4 and is batting .364.  Carew was 1-for-5 and is batting .355.

Manuel made his first start of the season, playing left field, after four pinch-hitting appearances.  He went 1-for-3 with a walk.

Nettles got the start at third base, his first start there of the season.

Jim Kaat, who had pitched 11 innings in his first start April 9 and 8.2 innings in his second start April 15, pitched five innings in this game.  He gave up four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks and struck out five.  Jim Perry, who had lasted just three innings in his start April 11, pitched two innings of relief.

Perranoski had now appeared in seven of nine Twins games.

The Twins were once again 2-for-2 in stolen bases, making them 6-for-13 on the season.

Murphy's two RBIs were half his season total and the first RBIs of his career.  He was in his second year, having made fifteen big league starts in 1968.  He had a twelve-year career, pitching for the Angels, Kansas City, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Boston, and Toronto.  He was a starter through 1971, both started and relieved in 1972-1973, and was a reliever the rest of his career, which lasted through 1979.  He got twenty saves in each of 1974-1975, while with Milwaukee, and led the league in games finished in 1974.

Record:  The Twins got over .500 for the first time all season, going to 5-4.  In two games they had moved from a tie for last to a tie for first,, tied for the top spot with Kansas City and Oakland.