ANAHEIM 6, MINNESOTA 1 IN ANAHEIM
Date: Saturday, July 12.
Batting star: Denny Hocking was 1-for-3 with a home run, his second.
Pitching star: Brad Radke struck out seven in 6.1 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on eight hits and a walk.
Opposition stars: Jerrod Washburn pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and one walk and striking out five. Francisco Rodriguez struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up a walk. Scott Spiezio was 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs. Jeff DaVanon was 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base (his tenth) and two runs.
The game: There was no score, and not much in the way of threats, until the fifth, when Hocking hit a one-out homer. Radke had given up just three harmless singles through five innings, so it looked like the one run might hold up. In the sixth, however, Spiezio reached third on a single-plus-error and scored on a Troy Glaus double, tying the score.
The Angels took control in the seventh. DaVanon and Adam Kennedy opened the inning with singles. With one out, Darin Erstad tripled them both home to make it 3-1. Consecutive singles by Spiezio, Tim Salmon, and Garret Anderson increased the lead to 5-1, and there it stayed. The Twins had only one hit after Hocking's home run, a one-out single by Doug Mientkiewicz in the sixth.
WP: Washburn (8-9). LP: Radke (5-9). S: None.
Notes: Chris Gomez was at short in place of Cristian Guzman, who may have been battling a minor injury. Denny Hocking was at third in place of Corey Koskie, who was also injured. Dustan Mohr remained in left in place of Jacque Jones, with Bobby Kielty in right.
Matthew LeCroy was 1-for-4 and was batting .301.
Radke's ERA came down to 5.49. J. C. Romero gave up a run while retiring no one and had an ERA of 5.20. James Baldwin retired both men he faced and had an ERA of 2.70.
This was Rodriguez' rookie season, although he'd appeared in five games in 2002. The Angels had a tremendous bullpen: closer Troy Percival had the highest ERA of the bunch. It was Brendan Donnelly (1.58, 1.07 WHIP); Ben Weber (2.69, 1.32); Scot Shields (2.85, 1.19), Rodriguez (3.03, 0.99), and Percival (3.47, 1.14). Plus, the had Scott Schoeneweis (3.96, 1.22) in long relief, and in September they called up Derrick Turnbow (0.59, 0.65). On the other hand, Washburn had the best starters' ERA at 4.43. If you were going to beat Anaheim, you'd better get them early.
The Twins had lost seven in a row and eleven of twelve. The only good news was that Kansas City wasn't playing all that well, and third-place Chicago was playing just about as poorly as the Twins.
Record: The Twins were 44-48, in second place in the American League Central, 6.5 games behind Kansas City. They were a half-game ahead of third-place Chicago.