MINNESOTA 9, TEXAS 4 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Sunday, September 22.
Batting stars: Greg Gagne was 3-for-3 with a stolen base, his eleventh. Mike Pagliarulo was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs. Chili Davis was 2-for-4 with a triple.
Pitching stars: Jack Morris pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and two walks and striking out six. Terry Leach pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Geno Petralli was 2-for-3. Dean Palmer was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, his thirteenth.
The game: In the second Kent Hrbek and Davis led off with singles and Brian Harper was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with none out. A sacrifice fly scored one run and Gagne singled home another, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead. In the top of the third Jack Daugherty had a two-out double and Julio Franco had an RBI single, cutting the lead to 2-1, but the Twins got the run back in the bottom of the third when Chuck Knoblauch doubled and later scored on an error, making the score 3-1. In the fourth, Pagliarulo doubled, went to third on a Gagne single, and scored on a sacrifice fly to put the Twins up 4-1.
The Rangers put men on second and third with one out in the seventh, but the score stayed 4-1 until the eighth, when the Twins put the game out of reach. Davis hit a one-out triple and scored when Harper reached on an error. Shane Mack singled and Pagliarulo had a two-run single. Randy Bush and Al Newman followed with RBI singles to increase the Twins lead to 9-1.
Palmer hit a three-run homer in the ninth to make the final score look better for the Rangers, but they never came close to getting back into the game.
WP: Morris (17-12). LP: Hector Fajardo (0-1). S: None.
Notes: Dan Gladden was out of the lineup. Mack went to left, with Gene Larkin playing right and batting leadoff.
The Twins again made a lot of substitutions. Newman replaced Knoblauch at second base in the eighth. Gladden came in to play left field in the eighth, with Mack moving to right and Larkin coming out of the game. Jarvis Brown pinch-ran for Davis in the eighth and went to center field, with Kirby Puckett coming out of the game and the Twins losing their DH (no pitcher came to bat). Bush pinch-hit for Gagne in the eighth. Scott Leius came in to play shortstop in the ninth.
Puckett was 0-for-5 and was batting .320. Harper was 0-for-3 and was batting .311. Mack was 1-for-3 and was batting .309. Bush was 1-for-1 and was batting .302. Leach lowered his ERA to 2.98.
This was Davis' only triple of the year. He had 30 for his career, with a high of six in 1982 and again in 1984. He actually had some speed early in his career--he had 142 career stolen bases, with a high of 24 in his rookie year of 1982. He was not a good percentage base-stealer, however, going 142-240 for a percentage of 59.2%. In his high stolen base year, 1982, he was 24-for-37, a percentage of 64.9%.
Texas starter Hector Fajardo pitched 7.1 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits and no walks and striking out two. This was his first season and his first start for the Rangers--he had appeared in one game in relief for them and had started two games for Pittsburgh in August. He was not good as a major league pitcher: 5-9, 6.95, 1.54 WHIP in 124.1 innings (30 games, 17 starts). He did pitch very well in AAA: 7-1, 2.39, 1.19 WHIP in 83 innings (28 games, 9 starts). It looks like he struggled with injuries--he appeared in just 11 games in 1992 and 8 in 1993.
The White Sox lost to California 4-2, so the Twins moved closer to clinching the division.
Record: The Twins were 90-60, in first place in the American League West, eight games ahead of Chicago. The Twins' magic number was five.
In the East Toronto won and Boston lost, increasing the Blue Jays' lead to 1.5 games.