MINNESOTA 3, ATLANTA 2 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Sunday, October 20.
Batting stars: Chili Davis was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer. Scott Leius was 1-for-3 with a home run.
Pitching stars: Kevin Tapani pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and no walks and striking out three. Rick Aguilera struck out three in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.
Opposition stars: Tom Glavine pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up three runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks and striking out six. Terry Pendleton was 2-for-4.
The game: In the first Dan Gladden reached on an error and Chuck Knoblauch walked. Kirby Puckett hit into a double play, but Davis picked him up with a two-run homer, putting the Twins ahead 2-0. The Braves came right back in the second. David Justice led off with a single and Sid Bream followed with a double, putting men on second and third with none out. Brian Hunter hit a sacrifice fly, getting Atlanta on the board, but a ground out and a strikeout kept the Twins ahead 2-1.
Neither team got a hit in the third or fourth. In the fifth, Greg Olson led off with a double, went to third on a ground out, and scored on Rafael Belliard's sacrifice fly to tie it 2-2.
In the eighth, Belliard led off with a bunt single, was sacrificed to second, and went to third on a Pendleton infield single. A foul out and a fly out kept them off the board, though, and it cost them. The Twins entered the inning having gotten only one hit since the first, but Leius led off with a home run, putting them up 3-2. Hunter got a one-out single in the ninth but did not advance past first base, and the Twins came away with their second win of the series.
WP: Tapani (1-1). LP: Glavine (0-3). S: Aguilera (5).
Notes: The Twins went with a standard lineup and did not make any substitutions.
The Twins had just four hits in the game, but two of them went over the fence. The home runs accounted for all the Twins runs.
The Braves were 1-for-6 with men in scoring position. Both of their runs scored on sacrifice flies.
The Twins did not steal any bases in the game.
Leius was another unlikely home run hero, having hit just five during the season. His career high was fourteen in 1994. That was the only season in which he hit more than five home runs.
This was the game with the famous play where Ron Gant overran first base and was tagged out by Hrbek. It happened in the third inning. Lonnie Smith was on first with two out. Gant singled to left, and Smith went to third. Gladden's throw went past third base and was fielded by Tapani. Tapani threw to first and Gant, trying to get back to first after rounding it, went past the base. Atlanta complained that Hrbek had pulled Gant off first base, but we all know that was just sour grapes on the part of the Braves.
The Twins were looking good through two games. Atlanta would have to take at least two at home to send the series back to Minnesota.
Record: The Twins led the best-of-seven series 2-0.