SEATTLE 7, MINNESOTA 5 IN SEATTLE
Date: Thursday, July 6.
Batting stars: Wally Backman was 3-for-5. Jim Dwyer was 2-for-3. Kent Hrbek was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer (his eighth) and two runs. Randy Bush was 2-for-5.
Pitching star: Randy St. Claire pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, walking one and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Jerry Reed pitched four shutout innings, giving up four hits and striking out one. I guess when you're hot, you're hot. Edgar Martinez was 2-for-3. Darnell Coles was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs. Dave Valle was 2-for-4 with a double. Jeffrey Leonard was 2-for-4. Harold Reynolds was 2-for-5.
The game: It looked good early. The Twins got on the board in the second when Hrbek and Dwyer singled, a ground out advanced both runners, and Tim Laudner delivered a two-out two-run double. The Mariners got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning when Coles doubled and scored on a Martinez single. The Twins took what appeared to be a commanding lead in the third. Backman and Bush singled and Hrbek hit a three-run homer, putting the Twins up 5-1.
But that was as good as it would get. The Twins had men on first and second with one out in the fifth, but were taken out of the inning when Gary Gaetti was caught stealing third. In the bottom of the inning, Omar Vizquel and Reynolds started the inning with singles, Henry Cotto hit an RBI double, a run scored on a ground out, Leonard drove in a run with a single, cutting the margin to 5-4.
The Twins held the lead until the eighth. Leonard led off the inning with a single and Ken Griffey reached on an error, putting men on second and third. Jeff Reardon came in and gave up a two-run single to Coles. A bunt again put men on second and third, and Valle singled home a run to make the scored 7-5 Seattle.
The Twins went down in order in the ninth.
WP: Mike Jackson (3-2). LP: Gary Wayne (3-1). S: Mike Schooler (20).
Notes: Laudner was behind the plate in place of Brian Harper. Both caught a significant number of games, Harper 101 and Laudner 68.
Al Newman was in left field in place of Dan Gladden, who was out with an injury. It was one of four times that Newman played left field in 1989.
Johnny Moses was in center field in place of Kirby Puckett.
Harper pinch-hit for Dwyer in the eighth. Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Greg Gagne in the eighth. Puckett came in for defense, with Moses moving to left, Newman to shortstop, and Larkin leaving the game.
Puckett was leading the team in batting at .333. He would finish at .339. Dwyer was batting .331. He would finish at .316. Harper was batting .289, but would finish at .325.
Shane Rawley started for the Twins and pitched five innings, allowing four runs on nine hits and a walk and striking out one. This was the last year of his career and he was, to put it simply, not very good. He went 5-12, 5.21, 1.57 WHIP in 25 starts.
This was Reardon's seventh blown save of the season, although admittedly this was a tough save situation. He would finish with 31 saves and eight blown saves, with the last one coming July 16. This would be his last season with the Twins. He became a free agent after the season and signed with Boston.
Mike Schooler had 63 saves for the Mariners from 1989-1990. He was injured in August of 1990, however, and while he did all right in limited action in 1991 he never really got back to being the pitcher he had been. By 1993 he was done.
We again caught the Twins in the middle of a losing streak. This was the third of eight consecutive defeats for the Twins.
Record: The Twins were 41-43, in fifth place in the American League West, 9.5 games behind Oakland. They would finish 80-82, in fifth place, 19 games behind Oakland.
The Mariners were 40-43, in sixth place in the American League West, 10 games behind Oakland. They would finish 73-89, in sixth place, 26 games behind Oakland.