MINNESOTA 3, BALTIMORE 2 IN BALTIMORE
Date: Monday, August 4.
Batting stars: Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-3 with a home run (his tenth) and a walk. Corey Koskie was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.
Pitching stars: Brad Radke pitched 6.1 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk and striking out three. LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and striking out one. Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Luis Matos was 3-for-4 with a double. Tony Batista was 2-for-3 with a walk. Damian Moss pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on six hits and five walks and striking out three. Eric DuBose retired all seven men he faced, striking out three.
The game: Mientkiewicz homered in the first inning to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. The Orioles had men on first and second with none out in the second but did not score. Gibbons homered in the fourth, however, tying the score 1-1.
In the sixth, Mientkiewicz drew a one-out walk and went to third on a Koskie single, with Koskie taking second on the throw to third. Torii Hunter was intentionally walked, loading the bases. A force out at the plate followed, but with two down an error by second baseman Brian Roberts brought two runs home to give the Twins a 3-1 lead.
Matos scored in the bottom of the sixth, leading off with a double and scoring on a pair of ground outs. The Twins loaded the bases with two out in the seventh but did not score. Baltimore had two on in the seventh and two on in the eighth, but did not score either time. So, it stayed 3-2, and that's where it ended.
WP: Radke (8-9). LP: Moss (9-8). S: Guardado (25).
Notes: Chris Gomez was at second base in place of Luis Rivas. Shannon Stewart was in left, Michael Restovich in right, and Jacque Jones at DH.
Koskie made his return to the lineup at third base. It was his first game since July 11.
Restovich was 0-for-4 and was batting .320. Stewart was 0-for-4 and was batting .316. Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .309. A. J. Pierzynski was 1-for-3 and was batting .304. Mientkiewicz was batting .301. Koskie was batting .301. If you're not counting, that's six Twins in the starting lineup with averages over .300.
Radke lowered his ERA to 5.02. Hawkins went down to 2.43.
DuBose lowered his ERA to 1.29. That was as low as it would get. He would pitch well at times the rest of the season, but not consistently, so his ERA would end up at 3.79. He would not have a good year in the majors after 2003.
The Twins finally got over .500. The next question was, could they stay there? We shall see.
Record: The Twins were 56-55, in third place in the American League Central, 4.5 games behind Kansas City. They were 1.5 games behind second-place Chicago.