Tag Archives: 2003 rewind

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fourteen

BALTIMORE 5, MINNESOTA 3 IN BALTIMORE

Date:  Thursday, August 7.

Batting stars:  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Luis Rivas was 2-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch.  Corey Koskie was 2-for-4 with a double.  Torii Hunter was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his twentieth.

Pitching star:  Rick Reed pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up five runs on eight hits and a walk and striking out six.

Opposition stars:  Jeff Conine was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Jack Cust was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer.  Rodrigo Lopez pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk and striking out six.

The game:  With two out in the first, Conine doubled and scored on a Jay Gibbons single to put the Orioles up 1-0.  The Twins took the lead in the second when Koskie doubled and Hunter hit a two-run homer.  They got an insurance run in the third when Stewart doubled and scored on a Rivas single.

It wasn't enough.  In the fourth Conine and Batista singled and Cust hit a three-run homer to give Baltimore a 4-3 lead.  They got an insurance run of their own later in the inning when Deivi Cruz doubled and scored on Larry Bigbie's single.

And that was it.  The Twins put men on first and second with one out in the fifth but did not score.  They also had men on first and third with two out in the seventh but did not score.  That was the last time they got the tying run on base.

WP:  Lopez (5-6).  LPReed (5-11).  S:  Jorge Julio (27).

Notes:  Denny Hocking was at short in place of Cristian Guzman.  Stewart was in right field.

Jacque Jones was apparently injured, as Dustan Mohr replaced him in left field in the fourth inning.  He would miss one game, then be back in the lineup.  Chris Gomez pinch-hit for Mohr in the ninth.  Todd Sears pinch-hit for Hocking in the ninth.

Stewart was batting .318.  Jones was 0-for-2 and was batting .305.  Koskie was batting .302.  Doug Mientkiewicz and A. J. Pierzynski each slipped back to .299.

This was the last complete game of Reed's career.

This was Cust's first homer as a Baltimore Oriole.  It was only the second game he'd played for them.  It was also the second homer of his career, as he'd hit one for Colorado in 2002.  He would not become a regular player until 2007, when he went to Oakland.  He would end up with 105 career home runs.  He was a three true outcomes guy--he had over 90 walks three years in a row, leading the league once; he led the league in strikeouts three times, and he hit 84 homers over three seasons.  His final numbers were .242/.374/.439.  Even in his last season, when he batted just .213 with three home runs, he had an OBP of .344.

The Twins again failed to stay above .500.

Record:  The Twins were 57-57, in third place in the American League Central, 3.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were three games behind Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Thirteen

MINNESOTA 7, BALTIMORE 3 IN BALTIMORE

Date:  Wednesday, August 6.

Batting stars:  Torii Hunter was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer (his nineteenth) and two runs.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4.  Shannon Stewart was 1-for-5 with a home run, his eleventh.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk and striking out three.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out one.  Juan Rincon pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Brian Roberts was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Deivi Cruz was 2-for-4.  Luis Matos was 2-for-5 with a double.

The game:  In the second Tony Batista doubled, went to third on Cruz' bunt single, and scored on a sacrifice fly to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead.  It was still 1-0 through three, but in the fourth the Twins broke through for five runs.  Stewart led off with a home run.  Consecutive singles by Luis RivasDoug Mientkiewicz, and Corey Koskie followed giving the Twins a 2-1 lead.  There was a fly out, but Hunter then hit a three-run homer, putting the Twins up 5-1.

Baltimore got one back in the sixth when Roberts singled and scored on a Matos double.  They got one more in the eighth when Batista was hit by a pitch and singles by Jose Morban and Cruz plated a run.  The lead was cut to 5-3.

The Twins put it away with two in the ninth.  With one out, singles by A. J. Pierzynski and Hunter were followed by Jacque Jones getting hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Matthew LeCroy then hit a two-run double to make it 7-3.  The Orioles went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  Lohse (8-9).  LP:  Pat Hentgen (4-6).  S:  None.

Notes:  Jones was back in left field, with Stewart moving to right.

Stewart was batting .315.  Jones was batting .306.  Pierzynski was batting .303.  Koskie was batting .300.

Lohse lowered his ERA to 5.06.

James Baldwin did not give up a run in two-thirds of an inning to lower his ERA to 2.13.  Hawkins went down to 2.38.

Hentgen pitched eight innings for Baltimore and did well other than the fourth inning.  His line, though, was five runs, seven hits, no walks, and three strikeouts.  Hentgen was an excellent pitcher through 1997, but didn't do much after that.  2003 was his last decent season.  He went 7-8, 4.09, 1.30 WHIP in 160.2 innings.  He struggled through a bad season with Toronto the next year, then was done.

The Twins were again a game above .500.  Could they stay there this time?  We shall see.

Record:  The Twins were 57-56, in third place in the American League Central, 3.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 2.5 games behind third-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twelve

BALTIMORE 3, MINNESOTA 2 IN BALTIMORE

Date:  Tuesday, August 5.

Batting star:  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Kenny Rogers pitched seven innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on nine hits and a walk and striking out three.  Juan Rincon pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Brook Fordyce was 2-for-3 with two runs.  Jose Leon was 2-for-3.  Brian Roberts was 2-for-4.  Jason Johnson pitched six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks and striking out one.

The game:  The Twins put men on second and third in the first inning but did not score.  In the third Fordyce singled, Larry Bigbie walked, an error scored one run, Brian Roberts singled, and a ground out made it 2-0 Orioles.

The Twins got on the board in the fifth.  Jacque Jones singled, stole second, went to third on a ground out, and scored on Stewart's single to cut the lead to 2-1.  But Baltimore got the run right back in the bottom of the fifth when Fordyce singled, was balked to second, and scored on a Luis Matos single.

The Orioles loaded the bases in the sixth but did not score.  In the seventh, A. J. Pierzynski singled, Michael Restovich walked, and a bunt put men on second and third.  But all the Twins could do is score one on a ground out, cutting the margin to 3-2.  And that's where it stayed.  The Twins put a man on second with two out in the ninth, but a fly out ended the game.

WP:  Johnson (9-5).  LP:  Rogers (8-6).  S:  Jorge Julio (26).

Notes:  Stewart was again in left, Restovich in right, and Jones at DH.  Matthew LeCroy pinch-hit for Jones in the eighth.  Todd Sears pinch-hit for Cristian Guzman in the ninth.

Restovich was 1-for-2 and was batting .333.  Stewart was batting .317.  Jones was batting .309.  Pierzynski was 1-for-4 and was battinb .304.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-4 and was batting .301.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 0-for-2 and was batting .300.

Rogers lowered his ERA to 5.03.  The Twins really had a poor starting rotation in 2003.  And yet it took them until past mid-season to find room there for Johan Santana.

The Twins had gotten over .500, but couldn't stay there.  Would they get back over .500 tomorrow?  We'll see.

Record:  The Twins were 56-56, in third place in the American League Central, 4.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 2.5 games behind second-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Eleven

MINNESOTA 3, BALTIMORE 2 IN BALTIMORE

Date:  Monday, August 4.

Batting stars:  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-3 with a home run (his tenth) and a walk.  Corey Koskie was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Brad Radke pitched 6.1 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk and striking out three.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and striking out one.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Luis Matos was 3-for-4 with a double.  Tony Batista was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Damian Moss pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on six hits and five walks and striking out three.  Eric DuBose retired all seven men he faced, striking out three.

The game:  Mientkiewicz homered in the first inning to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  The Orioles had men on first and second with none out in the second but did not score.  Gibbons homered in the fourth, however, tying the score 1-1.

In the sixth, Mientkiewicz drew a one-out walk and went to third on a Koskie single, with Koskie taking second on the throw to third.  Torii Hunter was intentionally walked, loading the bases.  A force out at the plate followed, but with two down an error by second baseman Brian Roberts brought two runs home to give the Twins a 3-1 lead.

Matos scored in the bottom of the sixth, leading off with a double and scoring on a pair of ground outs.  The Twins loaded the bases with two out in the seventh but did not score.  Baltimore had two on in the seventh and two on in the eighth, but did not score either time.  So, it stayed 3-2, and that's where it ended.

WP:  Radke (8-9).  LP:  Moss (9-8).  S:  Guardado (25).

Notes:  Chris Gomez was at second base in place of Luis Rivas.  Shannon Stewart was in left, Michael Restovich in right, and Jacque Jones at DH.

Koskie made his return to the lineup at third base.  It was his first game since July 11.

Restovich was 0-for-4 and was batting .320.  Stewart was 0-for-4 and was batting .316.  Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .309.  A. J. Pierzynski was 1-for-3 and was batting .304.  Mientkiewicz was batting .301.  Koskie was batting .301.  If you're not counting, that's six Twins in the starting lineup with averages over .300.

Radke lowered his ERA to 5.02.  Hawkins went down to 2.43.

DuBose lowered his ERA to 1.29.  That was as low as it would get.  He would pitch well at times the rest of the season, but not consistently, so his ERA would end up at 3.79.  He would not have a good year in the majors after 2003.

The Twins finally got over .500.  The next question was, could they stay there?  We shall see.

Record:  The Twins were 56-55, in third place in the American League Central, 4.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 1.5 games behind second-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Ten

MINNESOTA 7, DETROIT 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, August 3.

Batting stars:  Luis Rivas was 3-for-5 with a triple and a stolen base, his eleventh.  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-4 with a home run (his tenth), a walk, and two runs.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his thirteenth.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  Johan Santana struck out seven in six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks.  J. C. Romero struck out three in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Warren Morris was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Craig Monroe was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Bobby Higginson was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his seventh.

The game:  The Tigers put men on first and second with two out in the first but did not score.  In the bottom of the first Stewart walked, Rivas tripled, and Mientkiewicz singled, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead.  Stewart homered in the second to make it 3-0.  In the third Torii Hunter and A. J. Pierzynski singled and Michael Restovich walked, loading the bases with none out.  A double play scored one run and Guzman singled home another, increasing the lead to 5-0.

Detroit got a leadoff double from Ben Petrick in the fifth but could do nothing with it.  They finally got on the board in the sixth when Morris singled and Higginson hit a two-run homer.  But that was as good as it got for the Tigers.  The Twins got the two runs back in the seventh.  Mientkiewicz and Jacque Jones singled and Restovich walked, loading the bases with two out.  Chris Gomez then doubled home two runs to make the score 7-2.  Detroit got men to second and third with two out in the eighth, but the score remained 7-2.

WP:  Santana (5-3).  LP:  Matt Roney (1-7).  S:  None.

Notes:  Gomez was again at third in the absence of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was in left, Restovich in right, and Jones at DH.

Restovich was 0-for-1 with three walks and was batting .381.  Stewart was batting .319.  Jones was 1-for-3 and was batting .309.  Pierzynski was 1-for-4 and was batting .304.

LaTroy Hawkins pitched two-thirds of an inning and was not scored on, making his ERA 2.50.

Roney was the Tigers starter.  He lasted just two innings and allowed five runs on six hits and four walks and struck out three.  He would finish the year 1-9, 5.45, 1.49 WHIP.  He would make just three major league appearances after the 2003 season, and those were with Oakland in 2006.

The Twins once again got back to .500.  Could they finally get back over the hump?  They would make the attempt in Baltimore.

Record:  The Twins were 55-55, in third place in the American League Central, 4.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 2.5 games behind second-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Nine

DETROIT 9, MINNESOTA 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, August 2.

Batting stars:  Michael Restovich was 2-for-4 with a double.  Denny Hocking was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching star:  Joe Mays pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Alex Sanchez was 2-for-3 with two stolen bases (his thirty-first and thirty-second) and a walk.  Craig Monroe was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, a double, a walk, and two runs.  Ramon Santiago was 2-for-4 with a stolen base (his fifth) and two RBIs.  Warren Morris was 2-for-5 with a triple, a double, and three RBIs.  Mike Maroth pitched 5.1 innings, giving up one run on nine hits and three walks and striking out three.

The game:  The Twins loaded the bases in the first and had men on first and third in the second, but were turned aside each time.  It cost them, as the Tigers scored four in the third.  Morris doubled and scored on a Bobby Higginson single.  Kevin Witt singled and Monroe hit a three-run homer to make it 4-0 Detroit.

The Twins put two on in the third and again in the fourth but remained scoreless.  They finally broke through in the sixth when Restovich singled and scored from first on a Hocking double.  They got another run in the seventh when Doug Mientkiewicz walked and scored from first on an A. J. Pierzynski double, cutting the lead to 4-2.

That was as good as it got for the Twins, though.  The Tigers put it away in the eighth, scoring five times.  Carlos Pena hit a one-out triple.  A walk and a hit batsmen loaded the bases with two out.  Ramon Santiago scored two with a single, a walk re-loaded the bases, and Morris hit a three-run triple.  It was 9-2, and that's how it ended.

WP:  Maroth (6-15).  LP:  Rick Reed (5-10).  S:  None.

Notes:  Matthew LeCroy started behind the plate in place of Pierzynski.  Hocking was at third in the continuing absence of Corey Koskie.  Dustan Mohr was in left, Restovich in right, and Stewart at DH.

Pierzynski pinch-hit for LeCroy in the seventh and stayed in the game at catcher.  Jacque Jones pinch-hit for Mohr in the seventh and stayed in the game in left field.  Todd Sears repalced Mientkiewicz at first base in the ninth.  Alex Prieto pinch-hit for Luis Rivas in the ninth.

Restovich was batting .400.  Stewart was batting .317.  Jones was 0-for-1 and was batting .309.  Pierzynski was 1-for-2 and was batting .305.

Reed pitched seven innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and one walk and striking out five.

Mays lowered his ERA to 6.42.

As you can see above, the Twins missed lots of scoring chances in this game.  They stranded twelve and were 1-for-15 with men in scoring position.

I'd forgotten how hot Restovich was when he first came up.  He obviously didn't bat .400, but he had a fine season and one would've thought he'd be in line for more playing time in 2004.  Instead he started the season in Rochester.  He was up for about two months but got just 47 at-bats.  Granted that the Twins had JonesHunter, and Stewart, along with Lew Ford, to play the outfield.  Still, given that their most-used DH in 2004 was Jose Offerman, it seems like there should've been more at-bats available for Restovich.

Tiger players with a Twins connection include Warren Morris, Craig Monroe, Eric Munson, Matt Walbeck, and Maroth.

The Twins again missed a chance to go over .500.

Record:  The Twins were 54-55, in third place in the American League Central, 4.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 3.5 games behind second-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Eight

MINNESOTA 10, DETROIT 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, August 1.

Batting stars:  A. J. Pierzynski was 3-for-4 with two doubles.  Shannon Stewart was 3-for-5 with a home run (his ninth), a double, and two RBIs.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4 with a double.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-4 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse pitched six innings, giving up three runs on six hits and no walks and striking out two.  James Baldwin pitched three innings, giving up one run on five hits.

Opposition stars:  Ben Petrick was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer.  Carlos Pena was 2-for-4.  Alex Sanchez was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his thirtieth.

The game:  Sanchez led off the game with a single, went to third on a pair of ground outs, and scored on a Kevin Witt single to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.  The Twins responded with five in the bottom of the first.  Stewart led off with a home run. Rivas singled, stole second, and scored on a Mientkiewicz single.  Jacque Jones singled to put men on first and third and then stole second.  A sacrifice fly scored a run, Michael Restovich walked, and Denny Hocking delivered a single-plus-error that scored two runs, making the score 5-1 Minnesota.

The Twins added three more in the third.  Torii Hunter and Pierzynski singled and Restovich followed with a two-run triple.  Hocking then hit a sacrifice fly to make it 8-1.

It was pretty much over from there.  Petrick hit a two-run homer in the fourth to make it 8-3.  Ramon Santiago homered in the seventh to make it 8-4.  The Twins added a run in the seventh when Hunter walked and scored on a Pierzynski double.  The last run came in the eighth when Guzman doubled and scored on a Stewart single.

WP:  Kyle Lohse (7-9).  LP:  Jeremy Bonderman (4-15).  S:  Baldwin (1).

Notes:  Hocking was at third in the continuing absence of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was in left and Restovich in right.  Jones was the DH.

Alex Prieto pinch-hit for Rivas in the eighth and stayed in the game at second base.

Restovich was batting .375.  Stewart was batting .319.  Jones was 1-for-5 and was batting .310.  Pierzynski was batting .303.

Lohse's ERA was 5.15.  Baldwin's ERA was 2.25.  The three-inning save was the first save of Baldwin's career.  He would get one more, with Texas in 2005.

Stewart was 27-for-56 in his last thirteen games.

Pierzynski was 7-for-10 in his last two games.

Kevin Witt was the Tigers' cleanup hitter.  If you don't remember him, it's understandable.  2003 was the only year he got significant major league playing time, playing in 93 games and getting 270 at-bats.  He wasn't awful, batting .263/.301/.407 with 10 homers, but he wasn't really good, either.  He was 27 that year, so that was probably as good as it was going to get, and as first baseman/DH he wasn't going to contribute enough on defense to get by with that level of offense.  He played a couple of years in Japan and really didn't get much accomplished there, either.  He has been a minor league coach for several seasons, and was with the Jupiter Hammerheads at last report.

When your team needed to get well in 2003, it was good to play Detroit.

The Twins had once again gotten back to .500.  Could they get over the hump this time?

Record:  The Twins were 54-54, in third place in the American League Central, 3.5 games behind Kansas City and Chicago, who were in a virtual tie for first.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Seven

MINNESOTA 10, BALTIMORE 9 IN MINNESOTA (10 INNINGS)

Date:  Thursday, July 31.

Batting stars:  A. J. Pierzynski was 4-for-6.  Luis Rivas was 3-for-5 with a stolen base (his ninth), two runs, and three RBIs.  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-5 with a double, a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and two RBIs.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-5 with two walks.  Michael Restovich was 2-for-6 with two runs.

Pitching stars:  Juan Rincon struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Robert Machado was 4-for-5.  Jay Gibbons was 3-for-6 with a home run (his seventeenth) and three runs.  Jose Leon was 3-for-5.  Deivi Cruz was 2-for-5 with a home run (his thirteenth), a double, two runs, and five RBIs.  Brian Roberts was 2-for-5 with a double and a hit-by-pitch.

The game:  The Twins loaded the bases in the second but did not score.  In the third, Rivas led off with a single, stole second, and scored on a pair of infield grounders to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  The Orioles came right back in the fourth on singles by Jeff Conine and Gibbons and Cruz' three-run homer.  But the Twins came back in the bottom of the fourth.  Singles by RestovichCristian GuzmanStewart, and Rivas plated two runs to tie it 3-3.

The Twins went back into the lead in the fifth.  Singles by PierzynskiRestovich, and Guzman plated one run, Stewart was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and a sacrifice fly made it 5-3 Twins.  But Baltimore came back in the sixth inning.  Gibbons and Jose Leon singled, and both scored on a Cruz double to tie it.  Machado's RBI single put the Orioles ahead.  A walk and a hit batsman loaded the bases and a sacrifice fly made it 7-5 Baltimore.

The Orioles added to their lead in the seventh.  Gibbons led off with a homer, and two-out singles by Machado, Larry Bigbie, and Roberts increased the margin to 9-5.  But the Twins came back in the bottom of the seventh.  Chris Gomez walked and scored from first on Stewart's double.  Stewart went to third on the throw home and scored on a ground out to make it 9-7.  The Twins loaded the bases in the eighth but did not score.

In the ninth Rivas led off with a single and Mientkiewicz walked.  The next two batters struck out, but Pierzynski singled in a run to make it 9-8 and move the tying run to second.  Restovich struck out, but the third strike was not held and catcher Brook Fordyce threw wildly to first, allowing Mientkiewicz to score the tying run.  Twins baseball!

Baltimore went down in order in the top of the tenth.  Guzman led off the home half with a single and Stewart walked.  A bunt moved the runners up, an intentional walk loaded the bases, and Jacque Jones delivered a single to bring home the deciding run.

WP:  Hawkins (9-3).  LP:  Travis Driskill (3-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Gomez was at third in the continued absence of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was in left.  Dustan Mohr was in center in place of Torii Hunter.  Restovich was in right.

Todd Sears pinch-hit for Gomez in the eighth but did not bat, as a pitching change prompted Ron Gardenhire to use Matthew LeCroy to pinch-hit for Sears.  Denny Hocking then pinch-ran for LeCroy and stayed in the game at third base.  Hunter pinch-hit for Mohr in the ninth and stayed in the game in center field.

Restovich was batting .385.  Stewart was batting .315.  Jones was 1-for-5 and was batting .311.

Kenny Rogers pitched five innings and allowed seven runs on ten hits and a walk and struck out three.  His ERA was 5.24.  Joe Mays allowed two runs in 1.2 innings to raise his ERA to 6.50.  Hawkins lowered his ERA to 2.53.

Jason Johnson started for the Orioles.  He pitched 4.2 innings, allowing five runs on eleven hits and two walks and striking out two.  He's another guy who pitched for years without ever accomplishing anything.  His lowest ERA in a season was 4.09, in 2001.  In his eleven years in the majors he ERA was over 5.00 seven times and was 6.00 or more three times.  His career numbers are 56-100, 4.99, 1.49 WHIP.  Yet, he pitched 1357 innings and appeared in 255 games, starting 221 of them.

The Twins finished July on a bit of a high note, winning their last two.  However, they were still below .500 and in third place with only two months of the season left.

Record:  The Twins were 53-54, in third place in the American League Central, 4.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 3.5 games behind second-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Six

MINNESOTA 5, BALTIMORE 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, July 30.

Batting stars:  Jacque Jones was 2-for-3 with three RBIs.  Luis Rivas was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Brad Radke pitched 7.1 innings, giving up one run on six hits and a walk and striking out five.  Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition star:  Deivi Cruz was 2-for-3 with a double.

The game:  The Twins jumped out to a lead in the first inning.  Stewart doubled, Rivas had an infield single, and Doug Mientkiewicz walked to load the bases.  Jones responded with a two-run single.  They did no more damage that inning, but had a 2-0 lead.  They added a run in the fourth when Rivas doubled, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  It went to 5-0 in the seventh.  Michael Restovich doubled, Cristian Guzman tripled, and Stewart singled.

Meanwhile, the Orioles were doing very little on offense.  They didn't put two men on until the fifth, when an error and a single put men on first and second with one out.  Nothing came of it, however, and they did not again put two on until the eighth, when they got their lone run.  Cruz doubled, was bunted to third, and scored on a Luis Matos single.  That was the last hit Baltimore got, and it ended 5-1.

WP:  Radke (7-9).  LP:  Sir Sidney Ponson (14-6).  S:  None.

Notes:  Denny Hocking was at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was again in left, Restovich in right, and Jones at DH.

Restovich was batting .429.  Stewart was batting .314.  Jones was batting .313.

Radke lowered his ERA to 5.12.

Stewart stayed hot.  He was now 22-for-46 in his last 11 games.

This was the one good year Sir Sidney Ponson had, and he turned it into a twelve-year career.  He'd been decent the year before, 7-9, 4.09, 1.34 WHIP, but in 2003 he was 17-12, 3.75, 1.26.  It was the last year he would have an ERA below four.  In fact, it was the last year he would have an ERA below five.  He did manage to lead the league in complete games and shutouts in 2004, but he also led the league in hits allowed and earned runs allowed, as he compiled a record of 11-15, 5.30, 1.55.  Teams kept giving him chances for years, including, of course, the Twins in 2007.  He kept pitching until 2010 before he finally ran out of teams that would give him the ball.  For his career he was 91-113, 5.03, 1.48 WHIP in 1760.1 innings.  He appeared in 298 games, starting 278 of them.  I've said it before, but it always annoys me when somebody like Ponson keeps getting chances long after he's established that he's not good enough, while other guys dominate in AAA and get a cursory look if any at all.  Again, nobody said life or baseball would be fair.

The Twins gained a game on Kansas City, but not on Chicago.

Record:  The Twins were 52-54, in third place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 3.5 games behind second-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Five

BALTIMORE 7, MINNESOTA 5 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, July 29.

Batting stars:  Luis Rivas was 2-for-4 with a home run (his third), a walk, and three RBIs.  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Michael Restovich was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching star:  James Baldwin pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Jay Gibbons was 2-for-3 with a home run (his sixteenth), a walk, and three RBIs.  Tony Batista was 2-for-4 with a home run, his nineteenth.  Jeff Conine was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Luis Matos was 2-for-5 with a stolen base (his thirteenth) and two runs.

The game:  The Orioles jumped out to a lead in the first inning.  Matos singled and scored from first on Conine's double.  Gibbons hit a two-out two-run homer, and it was 3-0 Baltimore before the Twins even came to bat.

The Twins got on the board in the third when Stewart hit a two-out double and Rivas followed with a two-run homer.  Batista homered leading off the fourth to make it 4-2.  The Twins got that run back in the bottom of the fourth but missed a chance for more.  Torii Hunter led off with a double and went to third on A. J. Pierzynski's single, but Jacque Jones hit into a double play.  It scored the run but took the Twins out of the inning, leaving the Orioles ahead 4-3.

The Twins tied it in the fifth when Chris Gomez singled, was bunted to second, and scored on a Rivas single.  But Baltimore went right back into the lead in the sixth when Matos singled, stole second, and scored on a Gibbons single.  The Twins tied it again in the seventh when Restovich led off with a double and scored on Cristian Guzman's single.

But in the eighth the Orioles went into the lead to stay.  Singles by Conine and Batista put men on first and third and a wild pitch scored a run.  They added an insurance run in the ninth on singles by Larry Bigbie and Deivi Cruz and an error.  The Twins put men on first and second with none out in the eighth and with two out in the ninth, but did not score.

WP:  Hector Carrasco (1-2).  LP:  LaTroy Hawkins (8-3).  S:  Jorge Julio (24).

Notes:  Gomez remained at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was in left, with Restovich in right and Jones as the DH.

Matthew LeCroy pinch-hit for Jones in the eighth but did not bat.  A pitching change prompted Ron Gardenhire to then bat Todd Sears for LeCroy.

This was Restovich's season debut.  He had appeared in eight games for the Twins in 2002.  After this game, he was batting .500.  Stewart raised his average to .311.  Jones was 0-for-3 and was batting .310.

Johan Santana's transition to the rotation was not going as hoped.  In four starts, he had allowed 14 runs in 24.1 innings.  In this game, he allowed five runs on six hits and no walks in 5.2 innings.  He did strike out seven.

Baldwin lowered his ERA to 2.00.  Hawkins gave up a run in one inning and had an ERA of 2.63.

Stewart was staying hot.  In his last ten games he was 20-for-42 with four doubles, a home run, and five walks.  He raised his average from .289 to .311.

Baltimore players with Twins connections included Tony Batista, Hector Carrasco, and Rick Helling.

The Twins had lost three games in a row and continued to sink more deeply into third place.

Record:  The Twins were 51-54, in third place in the American league Central, 6.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 3.5 games behind second-place Chicago.