OAKLAND 3, MINNESOTA 1 IN OAKLAND
Date: Friday, August 2.
Batting stars: Chili Davis was 2-for-4. Brian Harper was 1-for-2 with a double and a walk. Greg Gagne was 1-for-2 with a walk.
Pitching star: Jack Morris pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks and striking out nine.
Opposition stars: Bob Welch pitched a complete game, giving up one run on seven hits and two walks and striking out five. Rickey Henderson was 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, his thirty-fifth. Terry Steinbach was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.
The game: There was no score through two. Harper led off the third with a double. He was still on second with two out, but Chuck Knoblauch delivered an RBI single to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, that was the only run the Twins would get.
In the bottom of the third Mike Gallego singled and Rickey Henderson walked, putting men on first and second with two out. Dave Henderson then singled to tie it 1-1. In the fourth Steinbach doubled and scored on a two-out single by Mark McGwire to give the Athletics a 2-1 lead. The Twins had a chance to tie it in the seventh when Davis led off with a double. Harper drew a one-out walk, but a strikeout/throw out double play ended the inning.
Oakland got an insurance run in the eighth without getting a hit. With one out, Jose Canseco was hit by a pitch and stole second. Harold Baines was intentionally walked. A wild pitch moved the runners up and led to another intentional walk, this time to Steinbach. Brook Jacoby then hit an RBI ground out to make it 3-1.
The Twins got a two-out single from Davis in the ninth, bringing the tying run to bat, but Shane Mack flied out to end the game.
WP: Welch (9-6). LP: Morris (13-8). S: None.
Notes: It was a standard lineup with no substitutions. Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4, dropping his average to .328. Harper raised his average to .312.
Both pitchers threw a complete game and neither team used a substitute. The ten players on each side who started the game finished the game. I don't know how unusual that is, but it's definitely unusual. Morris threw 132 pitches, Welch 121.
Morris had ten complete games in 1991. He was 6-4 in those games.
The Twins were 0-for-4 in stealing bases in this game. The players caught stealing were Dan Gladden, Harper, Davis, and Kent Hrbek. Hrbek was caught trying to steal second on a strikeout/throw out on a full count with one out in the second. Harper was caught trying to steal second with one out in the fifth. Davis was caught trying to steal third on a strikeout/throw out on a full count with one out in the seventh. Gladden was caught trying to steal second with two out in the eighth.
Welch was coming off his Cy Young season in 1990, when he went 27-6, 2.95. He struggled in 1991, going just 12-13, 4.58. He would bounce back to have a solid season in 1992, but then fell apart, struggling through two more poor years before calling it quits.
The White Sox lost to Baltimore 3-0, so the gap between the two remained the same.
Record: The Twins were 61-43, in first place in the American League West, two games ahead of Chicago.