MINNESOTA 14, BALTIMORE 3 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Sunday, September 1.
Batting stars: Brian Harper was 3-for-4 with a home run (his ninth), a double, and three runs. Shane Mack was 3-for-5 with a double and two runs. Kirby Puckett was 2-for-3. Gene Larkin was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs. Chili Davis was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer (his twenty-seventh), a walk, and two runs. Paul Sorrento hit a pinch-hit two-run homer, his second.
Pitching stars: Jack Morris pitched seven innings, giving up three unearned runs on six hits and two walks and striking out three. Mark Guthrie struck out three in two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk.
Opposition stars: Brady Anderson was 2-for-3 with a triple and two walks. Chito Martinez was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, his tenth.
The game: Anderson led off the game with a triple but failed to score. That was the only time the Orioles threatened to take the lead. In the second, Harper and Mack led off with back-to-back doubles, with a bunt and a sacrifice fly bringing home the second run. The Twins took control in the fourth. Davis led off with a walk, which was followed by five consecutive singles. Harper, Mack, Scott Leius, Larkin, and Greg Gagne all got base hits, making the score 5-0 with the bases loaded. With one out Knoblauch walked to bring in a run and a sacrifice fly brought home another, giving the Twins a 7-0 lead. Harper led off the fifth with a home run to make it 8-0.
Baltimore got on the board in the sixth. Anderson led off with a single and went to third on a pair of productive outs. Glenn Davis then reached on an error, bringing home a run, and Martinez hit a two-run homer to cut the margin to 8-3.
That was as close as the Orioles would come. Davis hit a three-run homer in the sixth to make it 11-3. They added three more in the seventh, two of them coming on a Sorrento pinch-hit two-run homer, to bring the final score to 14-3.
WP: Morris (16-10). LP: Arthur Rhodes (0-2). S: None.
Notes: Larkin was at first base in place of Kent Hrbek. At least some of the September call-ups arrived, and with a blowout game there were numerous substitutions. Jarvis Brown went to center field in the seventh, replacing Puckett. Al Newman pinch-hit for Gagne in the seventh and stayed in the game at second base. Sorrento pinch-hit for Gladden in the seventh and stayed in the game at first base. Lenny Webster came in to catch in the eighth, replacing Harper. Knoblauch moved from second base to shortstop in the eighth. Mack moved from right field to left in the eighth. Larkin went from first base to right field in the eighth. Randy Bush pinch-hit for Davis in the eighth.
Puckett raised his average to .329. Harper went up to .321. Webster went 1-for-1 and was batting .313 (5-for-16). Mack raised his average to .310.
Rhodes lasted just three innings and allowed seven runs on eight hits and a walk. This was his rookie season, and was just his third start. He would make eight starts in 1991, five of them with game scored of forty or lower. He would go on to have a long and relatively successful career as a reliever, pitching in twenty major league seasons and lasting until he was forty-one.
This was Knoblauch's second game at shortstop. He had played one inning there on July 18. For his career he played thirteen games at shortstop. He started two of them, one in 1993 and one in 1997. It's interesting that Tom Kelly played Newman at second and Knoblauch at short, rather than vice-versa. It was a blowout game--maybe TK just wanted to give Knoblauch a little time at short in case injuries came up and he needed to play him there.
Oakland lost to Detroit 5-2, so the Twins regained the game they'd lost yesterday.
Record: The Twins were 79-53, in first place in the American League West, eight games ahead of Oakland.
There was a closer race in the American League East. Toronto had a record of 73-59 and was in first place, 2.5 games ahead of Detroit.