MINNESOTA 6, OAKLAND 1 IN MINNESOTA (GAME 1 OF DOUBLEHEADER)
Date: Thursday, September 10.
Batting stars: Cesar Tovar was 3-for-5 with a double, a stolen base (his twenty-ninth), and three runs. Brant Alyea was 2-for-2 with a walk and a stolen base, his third. Charlie Manuel was 1-for-1 with two RBIs.
Pitching star: Tom Hall struck out eleven in a complete game, giving up one run on seven hits and a walk.
Opposition stars: Joe Rudi was 3-for-4 with a double. Bob Locker pitched three innings, giving up an unearned run on two hits and two walks and striking out one.
The game: Each team put two on with one out in the first and did not score. In the third Tovar led off with a single, stole second, was bunted to third, and scored on a Tony Oliva double. Harmon Killebrew walked, a force out put men on first and third, Alyea delivered an RBI single, George Mitterwald walked to load the bases, and Manuel delivered a pinch-hit two-run single to give the Twins a 4-0 lead.
The Athletics got one back in the fourth when Sal Bando doubled and scored on a two-out single by Dick Green. But there the score stayed until the sixth, when Tovar doubled and scored on an error. The Twins scored one more in the eighth when Tovar singled and scored on a Leo Cardenas double. Oakland only once got a man as far as second base after the fourth inning.
WP: Hall (8-6).
LP: Catfish Hunter (16-13).
Notes: Frank Quilici started at second base in place of Rod Carew. Manuel pinch-hit for Quilici in the third inning, with Danny Thompson taking over at second base. Jim Holt went to center field in the seventh, with Tovar moving to left and Alyea coming out of the game.
Oliva was 1-for-3 and was batting .318. Alyea raised his average to .300 for the first time since May 17. Hall had an ERA of 2.53.
This has been referenced, but I just want to point out the move of Bill Rigney in the third inning. With the Twins lead 2-0 and the bases loaded, Manuel was sent up to pinch-hit for Quilici. You would not expect a pinch-hitter for the eighth-place batter that early in the game. I suspect Rigney sensed a chance to put the game away early and decided to go for it. It worked, as Manuel delivered a two-run single to put the Twins up 4-0.
This was Hall's only complete game in eleven starts in 1970. He'd had five in 1969. He would have only one more in his career, with Cincinnati in 1972. But then, he would make only thirty-four more starts after 1970, and never more than eleven in a season. He spent most of the rest of his career in the bullpen.
The Twins had won seven of eight and nine of eleven.
Hunter lasted just 2.2 innings, allowing four runs on four hits and four walks and striking out two.
In the matchup between the first and second place teams, and in a series Oakland desperately needed to win to stay in the race, the Twins had taken the first two games. The Athletics would try to salvage at least one game of the series in game two of the doubleheader.
Record: The Twins were 85-56, in first place in the American League West, 7.5 games ahead of Oakland.