CHICAGO 3, MINNESOTA 1 IN CHICAGO
Date: Sunday, April 27.
Batting stars: None.
Pitching stars: Rick Reed pitched seven innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on three hits and one walk and striking out five. Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning.
Opposition stars: Esteban Loiaza struck out eight in seven innings, giving up one run on six hits and no walks. Damaso Marte struck out two in two perfect innings. Jose Valentin was 1-for-3 with a home run, his sixth.
The game: The Twins got a pair of singles in the first but did nothing with them. Valentin homered with one out in the bottom of the first to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. They made it 2-0 in the second. Brian Daubach walked, Carlos Lee reached on an error, and the two then pulled off a double steal of second and home.
The Twins got on the board in the fourth when Torii Hunter had a two-out double and scored on an A. J. Pierzynski single. Chicago got the run right back in the bottom of the fourth. Magglio Ordonez led off with a double and scored on a one-out single by Lee, putting the White Sox up 3-1.
And that was it. The Twins had only two hits after that, both singles, and neither man got past first base. Chicago didn't do any more on offense either, but they didn't need to, and the game ended with a 3-1 score.
WP: Loaiza (5-0). LP: Reed (1-4). S: Marte (1).
Notes: Michael Cuddyer was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz. Chris Gomez was at second base in place of Luis Rivas. Bobby Kielty was at DH in place of Matthew LeCroy.
The Twins made no in-game lineup substitutions.
Kielty was 1-for-4 and was batting .339. Gomez was 0-for-3 and fell to .310. Jacque Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .302.
Dustan Mohr was 0-for-3 and was batting .125. Cuddyer was 0-for-3 and was batting .197.
By game scores, this was tied for the second-best game of the season for Reed, and was his best of the season so far. It dropped his ERA to a still-high 6.26. Guardado lowered his ERA to 1.04.
This was easily Loaiza's best season. He went 21-9, 2.90, 1.11 WHIP. He led the league in strikeouts and finished second in Cy Young voting to Roy Halladay. It was the only season in which he had an ERA under three, and one of only two seasons in which he had an ERA under four. I don't know what was different about 2003, but it is really an outlier in his career. His career numbers are 126-114, 4.65, 1.41 WHIP.
The White Sox really didn't have a closer in 2003, with Tom Gordon (12 saves), Billy Koch (11), and Marte (11), sharing the job. And it really does look like sharing the job--it doesn't appear that they went with one, then another, then another.
This was Cuddyer's first appearance at first base in 2003. He would play just a few more games before being sent back to Rochester, not returning until September.
The Twins had now lost eight out of nine games.
Record: The Twins were 10-14, in third place in the American League Central, eight games behind Kansas City.