MINNESOTA 7, CALIFORNIA 3 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Tuesday, September 26.
Batting stars: Bob Allison was 3-for-3 with a home run (his twenty-fourth), a triple, a walk, and three runs. Rod Carew was 3-for-4 with a stolen base, his fifth. Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his forty-second and forty-third) and three RBIs.
Pitching star: Jim Kaat struck out thirteen in a complete game. He gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks.
Opposition stars: Bobby Knoop was 1-for-3 with a walk. Aurelio Rodriguez was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
The game: Allison hit a one-out triple in the second and scored on Carew's single to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. It didn't last long, as the Angels scored all three of their runs in the third. Knoop singled, Bob Rodgers walked, and an error loaded the bases with none out. Rodriguez then singled in two runs to put California ahead. After a ground out Rick Reichardt walked to reload the bases and Bubba Morton singled home the third run. Kaat then struck out Don Mincher and Woodie Held to limit the damage.
Allison homered in the fourth to cut the lead to 3-2. Then came the sixth. Cesar Tovar singled and Killebrew followed with a two-run homer to put the Twins in front. With one out Allison walked and Carew singled. Ted Uhlaender hit into a force out, but an error allowed Allison to score and make it 5-3. Jerry Zimmerman was intentionally walked and Kaat reached on an error, increasing the lead to 6-3.
That was pretty much it. The Angels managed only a single single in the last three innings. Killebrew homered in the seventh to make the final score 7-3.
WP: Kaat (16-13). LP: Jim McGlothlin (11-8). S: None.
Notes: Tovar was at third, which was one of his two primary positions (the other was center field). He played 72 games at third and 64 in center--I wonder if anyone else has ever played more than sixty games at each of those two positions in the same season. If so, I suspect it's a pretty short list. Rich Rollins played the most games at third with 97 and Uhlaender played the most in cetner at 118. As I mentioned before, Tovar played in every Twins game this year (which was 164 thanks to two ties) without having a regular position.
I've been through the stats of the 1967 team fairly recently, so I won't do it again.
I suppose walking Zimmerman to face Kaat was the thing to do, but there really wasn't much to choose between the two at bat. Zimmerman batted .167/.243/.192. Kaat batted .172/.226/.253. Zimmerman was intentionally walked twelve times in his career, a direct result of always batting ahead of the pitcher. In fact, he had a lower OPS than three of the Twins pitchers in 1967, Kaat, Jim Perry, and Dave Boswell.
Kaat, of course, would be injured later that week in the season's penultimate game, an injury which would contribute to the Twins not winning the pennant.
Record: The Twins were 91-68, in first place in the American League, one game ahead of Chicago and Boston. They would finish 91-71, tied for second with Detroit, one game behind Boston.
The Angels were 81-75, in fifth place in the American League, 8.5 games behind Minnesota. They would finish 84-77, in fifth place, 7.5 games behind Boston.
Random record: The Twins are 53-49 in Random Rewind games.