Tag Archives: 1991 rewind

1991 Rewind: Game Seven


Date:  Monday, April 15.

Batting stars:  Brian Harper was 3-for-4.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Shane Mack was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer.

Pitching stars:  Larry Casian pitched 4.1 innings of relief, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks and striking out two.  Terry Leach pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Harold Reynolds was 2-for-3 with a double, two walks, and two RBIs.  Edgar Martinez was 2-for-4 with a home run (his second), a walk, two runs, and three RBIs.  Tracy Jones was 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs.  Dave Valle was 2-for-4.  Randy Johnson pitched a complete game, giving up four runs on seven hits and four walks and striking out six.  He threw 126 pitches.

The game:  The Mariners jumped on Twins starter Allan Anderson right away.  Reynolds and Jones led off with singles and Martinez followed with a three-run homer to give Seattle a 3-0 lead after the first three batters of the game.  The Twins got on the board in the third.  Chuck Knoblauch doubled and Mack homered to cut the margin to 3-2.

The Mariners regained control in the bottom of the third.  Jones led off with a home run.  Martinez singled and Ken Griffey walked.  The next two batters went out, but RBI singles by Pete O'Brien and Valley made the score 6-2.

The Twins again tried to come back.  In the fourth, Chili Davis led off with a walk and Harper singled, putting men on first and third.  A run scored on a ground out, there was a balk, and a sacrifice fly brought the lead down to two at 6-4.

That was as good as it would get, though.  With one out in the sixth, Valle and Jeff Schaefer singled and Reynolds delivered a two-run double to make the score 8-4.  The Twins never really threatened after that, never getting a man past second base.

WP:  Johnson (1-1).  LP:  Anderson (1-1).  S:  None.

NotesMack remained in center, with Puckett in right.  Dan Gladden was dropped to the seventh spot in the batting order, with Knoblauch leading off and Mack batting second.

Puckett raised his average to .407.  Knoblauch was 1-for-4 and was batting .375.  Harper raised his average to .375.  Greg Gagne was 0-for-5 and was batting .353.

Gladden was 0-for-2 with a walk and was batting .043.  Kent Hrbek was 0-for-3 and was batting .115.  Mack raised his average to .118.

Anderson pitched just 2.2 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and a walk and striking out one.  His ERA was 6.30.

I suspect the attitude of most Twins fans at this point of the season was "same old Twins".  They were scoring runs, but couldn't score as many as their pitchers could give up.  They'd try to come back, but no sooner would they get back into a game than their pitchers would take them out of it again.  This, of course, would change.

Another guy I have no memory of is Tracy Jones.  A corner outfielder, he came up with Cincinnati in 1986. Unfortunately for him, the Reds had Eric Davis and Dave Parker manning their corner outfield spots, so he only got 92 plate appearances.  He made the most of them, batting .349 with an OPS of .860.  In 1987 the Reds moved Davis to center, but Jones had to split time with Kal Daniels in left.  He again hit well, batting .290 with an OPS of .771.  He was again a reserve in 1988 when he was traded to Montreal.  That didn't do him much good, either, as the Expos had Tim Raines and Hubie Brooks at corner outfield positions.  He bounced around the rest of his career, playing for San Francisco, Detroit, and Seattle.  1991 would be his last major league season.  For his career, he batted .273/.329/.388 in 1434 plate appearances over six seasons.  Not a bad career, really.  Had he been able to play center he might have had a much better career, but as he only played fifty-two games there it's clear that teams didn't think he was good enough to do that.  He had a radio talk show for a while--his b-r.com biography says that his approach was "if you haven't played the game then you don't understand it enough to talk about it", which would've made it hard for him to have conversations with callers.  He apparently lost that gig in 2017 and is now the owner of Tracy Jones Financial, a financial planning firm.  I don't know whether he tells people that if they haven't played the markets then they don't understand them enough to talk about them.  His brother Terry was a minor league infielder for California and Kansas City.  His son Hunter has been in the minors since 2010 and spent last season with AA Harrisburg in the Washington organization.

Record:  The Twins were 2-5, fifth in the American League West, four games behind the White Sox.

1991 Rewind: Game Six


Date:  Sunday, April 14.

Batting stars:  Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and two runs.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Gary Wayne pitched a scoreless inning.  Rick Aguilera pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Luis Polonia was 3-for-4 with a walk, three stolen bases (his second, third, and fourth), three runs, and two RBIs.  Dick Schofield was 2-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.  Ex-Twin Gary Gaetti was 2-for-4 with four RBIs.  Lance Parrish was 2-for-5 with a home run (his second) and two RBIs.

The game:  The Angels got on the board in the first inning when Polonia singled, stolso-ce second, went to third on a ground out, and scored on Gaetti's sacrifice fly.  In the second Jack Howell doubled, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a ground out to make it 2-0.  California added two more in the third when Polonia walked and stole second, Donnie Hill got an infield hit, and Gaetti and Parris had RBI singles.  In the fourth, Junior Felix got an infield hit, stole second, and scored on Polonia's single to make it 5-0.

The Twins finally got on the board in the fifth on back-to-back doubles by Knoblauch and Puckett.  The got back into the game in the sixth.  Shane Mack led off with a triple and scored on a ground out.  Scott Leius and Greg Gagne walked.  With two out, Knoblauch singled to cut the lead to 5-3.

And just like yesterday, they were quickly back out of the game again.  In the sixth, Max Venable doubled, Schofield got an infield hit, and Polonia delivered an RBI single.  With two out, a double steal put men on second and third and Gaetti drove them both home with a single.  It was 8-3 and the game was gone.  Parrish homered leading off the seventh to make it 9-3 and the Twins added one in the eighth when Knoblauch walked, went to second on Puckett's single, and scored on a pair of ground outs.  And that was it.

WP:  Chuck Finley (2-0).  LP;  Jack Morris (0-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Puckett was back in right field with Mack in center.  Puckett moved to center in the ninth after Randy Bush pinch-hit for Mack.  Junior Ortiz caught in place of Brian Harper.

Gagne was 1-for-2 with a walk to raise his average to .429.  Knoblauch went up to .400 and Puckett improved to .375.  Chili Davis was 0-for-4 to drop below .300 at .286.

Dan Gladden was 0-for-4 and dropped his average to .048.  Mack got his first hit of the season, a triple, going 1-for-2 with a walk to make his average .077.  Ortiz was still batting zero (0-for-7).  Kent Hrbek was 0-for-4 and was batting .130.

Morris pitched 5.2 innings, giving up eight runs on thirteen hits and two walks.  He did strike out six.  Five of the hits were infield singles, which indicates some bad luck.  Still, in his first two starts as a Twin, Morris had an ERA of 9.58.  Twins fans must have wondered what was going on with their so-called ace, who had been signed with much ballyhoo over the off-season.  It's doubtful too many people were upset about the 2-4 start, though.  The team had finished in last place the year before, and Morris or not, very little was expected of them this season.

People have forgotten what a fine pitcher Chuck Finley was.  Not Hall of Fame worthy, but a solid starter for many years.  His best years were 1989-1990, when he went 34-18, 2.48 in 435.2 innings.  He made the all-star team in both of those years and finished seventh in Cy Young voting in 1990.  He didn't keep that up, but he was a steady contributor from 1991-2000.  He had double-digit wins each of those years except 1992 and posted an ERA between 3.80 and 4.43 in each year but two, when he did considerably better (3.15 in 1993 and 3.39 in 1998).  He was with the Angels through 1999, then went to Cleveland through July of 2002, when he finished the season (and his career) with St. Louis.  He was still effective over those last couple of months, going 7-4, 3.80, 1.16 WHIP in fourteen starts.  For his career, he was 200-173, 3.85, 1.38 WHIP.  He pitched 3197.1 innings and appeared in 524 major league games, 467 of them starts.  That's a career to be proud of.  He is a member of the Angels Hall of Fame, and he certainly should be.

Record:  The Twins were 2-4, fifth in the American League West, three games behind the White Sox.

1991 Rewind: Game Five


Date:  Saturday, April 13.

Batting stars:  Chuck Knoblauch was 3-for-3 with two walks, a stolen base, and two runs.  Greg Gagne was 2-for-4 with a double.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4 with a double.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-5 with a home run, two runs, and three RBIs.  Kent Hrbek was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer.

Pitching star:  Steve Bedrosian struck out three in two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Dave Winfield was 5-for-6 with three home runs, a double, four runs, and six RBIs.  Ex-Twin Gary Gaetti was 4-for-6 with a double.  Wally Joyner was 3-for-5 with a double, a walk, three runs, and three RBIs.  John Orton was 2-for-4 with a double.  Scott Bailes struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

The game:  With two out in the first inning, Joyner singled, Winfield homered, and Lance Parrish homered to put the Angels up 3-0.  The Twins responded in the bottom of the first, as Knoblauch drew a one-out walk and Puckett hit a two-run homer, cutting the margin to 3-2.

California seemed to take control of the game in the third.  Dick Schofield led off with a single and Luis Sojo followed with an RBI triple.  With one out, Winfield hit a two-run homer.  It did not kill the rally, as Parrish walked, Gaetti doubled, and Junior Felix had an RBI single to make the score 7-2 Angels.  Winfield homered again leading off the fifth, and California led 8-2.

The Twins got back into the game in the bottom of the seventh.  With one out, Gagne doubled and scored on a Dan Gladden single-plus-error.  Knoblauch had an RBI single, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Puckett's single.  Hrbek then hit a two-run homer, and the Twins trailed by just 8-7.

But as quickly as the Twins got back into the game, they were back out of it.  Orton led off the sixth with a single and went to second on a wild pitch.  With one out, Donnie Hill doubled to score Orton and Joyner singled to score Hill.  Winfield followed with a double, Parrish was intentionally walked, Gaetti drove in a run with a single, and Felix hit a sacrifice fly.  The Angels were back up by five at 12-7.

The Twins again tried to come back.  Harper doubled to lead off the bottom of the sixth.  Randy Bush walked.  Gagne had an RBI single to make it 12-8.  A double play threatened to take them out of the inning, but Knoblauch walked and a wild pitch made it 12-9.  Puckett grounded out, however, and the inning ended.

That was the last threat the Twins would have.  California added three in the ninth, as Dave Gallagher had a bunt single, Hill drew a two-out walk, Joyner delivered a two-run double, and Winfield added an RBI single.

WP:  Bailes (1-0).  LP:  Mark Guthrie (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Puckett was in center field.  Bush was in right, replacing Shane Mack.

Gagne raised his average to .417.  Chili Davis was 1-for-4 and was batting .353.  Knoblauch raised his average to .353.  Puckett was batting .350.  Scott Leius pinch-hit and was 0-for-1, making his average .333.

On the other end, Gladden got his first hit of the season and was batting .059.  Hrbek was batting .158.  Bush was 0-for-2 with a walk and was batting .167.

Guthrie pitched just 2.1 innings, giving up six runs on seven hits.  He did not walk anyone (maybe he should have) and struck out three.  This would be his last year as a starter, and by the end of June he would become a full-time reliever.  He went on to have a long career in the bullpen, lasting through 2003.  In addition to the Twins, he played for the Dodgers, Boston, the Cubs, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Oakland, the Mets, and the Cubs again.  He would reach the post-season five times.

I have zero memory of John Orton.  He was a backup catcher for parts of five seasons, all with the Angels.  He appears to have been your standard no-hit backup backstop.  In AA he batted .230/.314/.406.  In AAA he batted .230/.315/.354.  In the majors he batted .200/.265/.274.  His career spanned 1989-1993.  In his five big-league years, he appeared in 156 games and had 448 plate appearances.  He stayed in baseball after his playing career ended, managing in the White Sox organization from 2001-2005.  He became the Sox' minor league catching coordinator in 2011 and continues to hold that position.

Record:  The Twins were 2-3, in fifth place in the American League West, 2.5 games behind California.

1991 Rewind: Game Four


Date:  Friday, April 12.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 3-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Scott Leius was 2-for-4 with a triple.  Chili Davis was 2-for-4.

PItching star:  Kevin Tapani struck out nine in a complete game shutout, giving up seven hits and no walks.  He threw 113 pitches.

Opposition stars:  Luis Sojo was 2-for-4.  Floyd Bannister pitched two perfect innings of relief.

The game:  The Twins took the lead in the first inning.  With one out, Chuck Knoblauch walked, Puckett doubled, and Davis had an RBI infield single, putting the Twins up 1-0.  In the second, back-to-back triples by Leius and Greg Gagne made it 2-0.

The Angels put me on first and third with one out in the third, but Sojo lined to second and Wally Joyner struck out.  The Twins opened the bottom of the third with singles by Puckett and Davis, who went to second on an error.  Brian Harper hit a sacrifice fly which also advanced Davis to third, and a ground out made the score 4-0.  The Twins added two more in the fifth.  Knoblauch and Puckett singled, a one-out intentional walk to Harper loaded the bases, and with two out Kent Hrbek delivered a two-run single, increasing the Twins lead to 6-0.  California never threatened to get back into the game.

WP:  Tapani (1-0).  LP:  Jim Abbott (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Shane Mack remained in center with Puckett in right.

Leius was batting .400.  Davis was batting .385.  Gagne was 1-for-3 and was batting .375.  Puckett was batting .333.

On the other end of the scale  Dan Gladden and Mack were both batting zero.  Harper was at .125.  Hrbek was at .143.

Floyd Bannister was near the end of a pretty good career.  He broke in with Houston in 1977 and finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting (behind Andre Dawson, Steve Henderson, and Gene Richards).  He was traded to Seattle after the 1978 season, and in four seasons there he went 40-50, 3.75, 1.29 WHIP.  He made the all-star team in 1982, when he led the league in strikeouts with 209.  He became a free agent after that season and signed with Chicago, where he played for five seasons.  He was 66-60, 4.05, 1.29 WHIP in those seasons.  The 1983 season was probably his best:  16-10, 3.35, 1.21 WHIP.  He had another good year in 1987, but was traded to Kansas City after that season.  He had a poor season in 1988, missed more than half of 1989 due to injury, pitched in Japan in 1990, then came back to pitch for the Angels.  He again missed time with injuries, although he did okay when he was able to pitch.  He had a poor year with Texas in 1992, then was done.  For his career, he was 134-143, 4.06, 1.33 WHIP in 2388 innings (431 games, 363 starts).  His son, Brian, was a major league pitcher from 2006-2010.  At last report, Floyd Bannister was managing Brian's professional photography studio in Phoenix.  He was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008, a Hall of Fame class that also included ex-Twin Eddie Bane.

Record:  The Twins were 2-2, in fifth place in the American League West, 1.5 games behind the White Sox.

1991 Rewind: Game Three


Date:  Thursday, April 11.

Batting stars:  None.  The Twins had five hits, all singles, and no Twin had more than one.

Pitching star:  Scott Erickson pitched seven innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on eight hits and a walk and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Joe Slusarski pitched seven shutout innings, giving up five hits and three walks and striking out two.  Dennis Eckersley pitched two perfect innings and struck out one.  Mike Gallego was 2-for-3 with a triple.  Jamie Quirk was 2-for-4.

The game:  The Athletics threatened in the second, as Willie Wilson reached on an error and Quirk singled him to third, but a strikeout and a ground out ended the threat.  The Twins mounted a small threat in the fourth.  Randy Bush led off with a single but was erased on a double play.  With two out, Kent Hrbek singled and Chili Davis walked, but Mike Pagliarulo lined out to end the inning.

Oakland broke through in the fourth, scoring when Mark McGwire doubled, went to third on a ground out, and scored on a passed ball.  They got singles from Gallego and Ernie Riles in the fifth, but could not add to the lead.  The Twins had their biggest threat in the seventh.  Davis led off with a walk, went to second on a ground out, and reached third with two out on a wild pitch.  Junior Ortiz then walked, but Al Newman hit back to the pitcher for the third out.

The Athletics got insurance runs in the eighth and ninth.  Quirk led off the eighth with a single and scored on Gallego's triple.  In the ninth, Jose Canseco walked and scored from first on a Harold Baines double.  The Twins did not get a baserunner after the seventh.

WP:  Slusarski (1-0).  LP:  Erickson (0-1).  S:  Eckersley (1).

Notes:  Bush was in left, replacing Dan Gladden.  Yes, it was a day game.  Gene Larkin was in right, replacing Shane Mack, with Kirby Puckett playing center.  Gladden pinch-ran for Larkin in the fifth and took over in left, with Bush moving to right.  Larkin was apparently injured running the bases, as he would not play again until April 20.

Ortiz was behind the plate in place of Brian Harper.  Newman was at short in place of Greg Gagne.  In addition to this being a day game, TK always liked to get his bench players into a game within the first few days of the start of the season, which makes good sense to me.

Davis was 0-for-2 with two walks, making his average 333.  Newman was 1-for-3 and so was also batting .333.

Rickey Henderson was caught stealing in the third inning.  For the series he was 1-for-3 in stealing bases.

It has also been many a year since I thought about Joe Slusarski.  This was his major league debut, and A's fans must have thought they really had something.  They didn't.   He pitched well through April, but he finished 5-7, 5.27, 1.58 WHIP.  It was the only year in which he pitched more than a hundred innings or made more than fifteen starts.  He started 1992 in the Oakland rotation but was sent back to the minors in late June and would never be part of a major league rotation again.  He bounced around, playing in the organizations of Philadelphia, Cleveland, Milwaukee, California, and Milwaukee again, appearing in two major league games for Oakland in 1993 and twelve for Philadelphia in 1995.  He was moved to the bullpen in 1995 and stayed there the rest of his career.  He played in Taiwan in 1997, then came back to sign with Houston for 1998.  He got three games with the Astros in 1999 and was actually in the majors for most of 2000, appearing in 54 games and going 2-7, 4.21, 1.33 WHIP.  He would appear in twelve more games in 2001, eight for Houston and four for Atlanta, then his playing career was over. He was a minor league pitching coach from 2003-2009.  For his career, he was 13-21, 5.18, 1.53 WHIP in 305.2 innings (118 games, 34 starts).  It sounds like he was often trying to pitch through injuries, and that it worked about as well as it usually does.  At last report, Joe Slusarski was living in Austin, Texas and working in contract sales.

Record:  The Twins were 1-2, in fifth place in the American League West, two games behind California.

1991 Rewind: Game Two


Date:  Wednesday, April 10.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.  Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-4.  Brian Harper was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer and a hit-by-pitch.

Pitching stars:  Allan Anderson pitched 7.1 innings, giving up one run on two hits and six walks and striking out two.  Rick Aguilera struck out three in 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Bob Welch pitched a complete game, giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk and striking out five.  He threw 107 pitches.  Mark McGwire was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

The game:  The Twins opened the scoring in the second when Davis led off with a single and Harper followed with a two-run homer.  With one out in the third Knoblauch singled, Kirby Puckett reached on an error, and Kent Hrbek walked to load the bases.  Davis then delivered a two-run single to make the score 4-0.

The Athletics twice got a man to second in the fourth, but did not score.  Rickey Henderson walked and stole second, but was cut down trying to steal third.  With two out Jose Canseco walked and stole second, but Terry Steinbach struck out to end the inning.  Oakland got a one-out double from McGwire in the fifth, but did not advance him.

The Athletics got on the board in the eighth.  McGwire led off with a walk.  With one out, Walt Weiss singled and Mike Gallego walked to load the bases.  That was it for Anderson.  Aguilera came in and gave up a run on a ground out but otherwise escaped.  Oakland threatened in the ninth, as a Canseco single was followed by a Steinbach double.  But Harold Baines was caught looking, McGwire fouled out, and Ernie Riles was caught looking to end the game.

WP:  Anderson (1-0).  LP:  Welch (0-1).  S:  Aguilera (1).

Notes:  In this game and in the previous one, Shane Mack was in center field and Puckett was in right.  It would not stay that way all season.  It'll be interesting to see when they switched.

Davis was batting .429 (3-for-7).

Who remembered that Anderson started the second game of the season?  Not me.  Part of the reason was that TK wanted to hold Kevin Tapani out for the home opener, which would be game four.  Even so, I'm not sure I remembered that Anderson was even still on the team in 1991.  He wasn't very good (4.96 ERA, 1.41 WHIP), but he did have a few very good games, including this one.

Aguilera would only have six appearances all season that were longer than 1.2 innings.  Four of those were extra inning games.

Before I did yesterday's game, it had been many years since the name "Ernie Riles" had crossed my mind.  He actually had a solid career, playing nine seasons for Milwaukee, San Francisco, Oakland, Houston, and Boston.  He finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 1985, behind Ozzie Guillen and Teddy Higuera (long-time Twins minor league pitching coach Stew Cliburn finished fifth in the voting, and Twins catcher Mark Salas finished ninth).  He batted .286 that year, and I'm sure people expected that he would just get better, but that would be the highest average he would get.  For his career, he batted .254/.319/.365.  He was an infielder, mostly playing short and third, but also getting 88 games at second, 10 at first, and 5 in the outfield.  He's the uncle of major league outfielder Willie Harris.

Record:  The Twins were 1-1, tied for fourth, a game behind California and Chicago.

1991 Rewind: Game One


Date:  Tuesday, April 9.

Batting stars:  Greg Gagne was 2-for-2 with a home run, a double, and a walk.  Chili Davis was 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Terry Leach pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits and striking out one.  Larry Casian pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up three hits and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Dave Stewart pitched seven innings, giving up one run on three hits and two walks and striking out four.   Terry Steinbach was 3-for-5.  Dave Henderson was 2-for-3 with a home run, a double, two walks, two runs, and three RBIs.  Rickey Henderson was 2-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base, and two runs.  Mike Gallego was 2-for-4.

The game:  The Athletics took the lead in the first inning, as Rickey Henderson singled, stole second, and scored on a Steinbach single.  In the third, Rickey Henderson singled, went to second on a walk to Dave Henderson, but was retired at third on a force out.  But Steinbach delivered another RBI single, this time scoring Dave Henderson.  The Hendersons struck again in the fourth.  Ernie Riles started it with a single, but was replaced on the bases by Walt Weiss on a forceout.  Rickey Henderson walked and Dave Henderson followed with a three-run homer, making the score 5-0.

The Twins got on the board in the fifth when Gagne hit a two-out homer.  Oakland responded with two in the bottom of the fifth.  A Harold Baines single and one-out walks to Mark McGwire and Riles loaded the bases.  Weiss hit a sacrifice fly, Gallego singled to re-load the bases, and Rickey Henderson reached on an error to make the score 7-1.  The Athletics threatened in the sixth and seventh, but did not add to their lead.

The Twins had a chance to get back into it in the eighth.  With one out, Gagne doubled, and walks to Randy Bush and Chuck Knoblauch loaded the bases.  But Kirby Puckett struck out and Carmelo Castillo grounded out to end the inning.  Davis hit a leadoff homer in the ninth, but it was clearly too little and too late.

WP:  Stewart (1-0).  LP:  Jack Morris (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Dan Gladden was the starting left fielder, but was pinch-hit for by Bush in the eighth inning.  Kent Hrbek was the starting first baseman, but was pinch-hit for by Castillo in the eighth inning.  Both Bush and Castillo remained in the game, with Bush going to first and Castillo going to left.

Jack Morris was the starting pitcher and went 4.2 innings, allowing seven runs (three earned) on eight hits and five walks and striking out four.  One of the unearned runs, of course, came on the error in the fifth.  The three runs that scored on Dave Henderson's home run were also unearned because a foul fly ball that he hit prior to the home run was dropped by Puckett in right.

Two players with Twins connections played for Oakland in this game.  The obvious one is Steinbach.  Joe Klink pitched the final 1.1 innings, giving up the home run to Davis but nothing else.  It was one of two full seasons Klink had in the majors, and easily the best--he was 10-3, 4.35, 1.31 WHIP with two saves.  His other full year was with the expansion Florida Marlins in 1993, when he went 0-2, 5.02, 1.62 WHIP.

This was clearly not the kind of start the Twins had been hoping for when the signed Morris and proclaimed him their ace.  I don't recall if there was nervousness among Twins fans or if they simply wrote this off as one  bad game.  And of course, as the Twins had finished seventh in a seven-team division the previous year, expectations were not particularly high.

Record:  The Twins were 0-1, tied for fifth place in the American League West with Seattle and Texas, one game behind Oakland, California, and Chicago.