MILWAUKEE 5, MINNESOTA 2 IN MILWAUKEE
Date: Friday, May 24.
Batting stars: Gary Gaetti was 1-for-3 with a home run (his sixth) and a walk. Tom Brunansky was 1-for-3 with a home run (his twelfth) and a walk.
Pitching star: Curt Wardle struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up two hits.
Opposition stars: Ray Burris pitched 6.2 innings, giving up one run on three hits and three walks and striking out five. Rick Manning was 3-for-4 with two doubles. Cecil Cooper was 2-for-4. Ernie Riles was 2-for-4. Paul Molitor was 1-for-4 with a home run (his second) and a stolen base (his seventh).
The game: Gaetti opened the scoring with a home run in the second. In the fourth, however, Robin Yount singled, stole second, and scored on a Ted Simmons single to tie it. Singles by Ben Oglivie and Manning brought Simmons home to give the Brewers a 2-1 lead. In the fifth, Charlie Moore walked, Cooper singled, Yount had an RBI single, and Simmons hit a sacrifice fly, making it 4-1 Milwaukee.
The Twins' best chance to come back came in the seventh. Brunansky and Randy Bush drew one-out walks and Gaetti walked with two out. But pinch-hitter Mike Stenhouse flied to center and the inning was over. Molitor hit a home run leading off the seventh and Brunansky homered leading off the ninth to complete the scoring.
WP: Burris (2-4). LP: Mike Smithson (4-4). S: Rollie Fingers (5).
Notes: Roy Smalley was at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne. Gagne had some injury problems in May--he was on the disabled list for a couple of weeks, and while he was back on the active roster at this point he was not yet at full speed. Smalley was a mostly-regular, but he had more time at DH than at shortstop. Randy Bush was the DH in this game.
As noted above, Stenhouse pinch-hit for Tim Teufel in the seventh inning, with Ron Washington then going to second base. Stenhouse was with the Twins for all of 1985 but was mostly used as a pinch-hitter and part-time DH. He had just 209 plate appearances, batting .223 with an OPS of .665.
Brunansky was batting .345. He would finish at .242. Mark Salas was batting .327. He would finish at .300. Mickey Hatcher was batting .303. He would finish at .282. Kirby Puckett was batting .300. He would finish at .288.
Smithson started and pitched six innings, allowing five runs on ten hits and three walks and striking out one. He had pitched well in 1984 but slipped in 1985. He wasn't terrible--15-14, 4.34--but it was the start of a downhill slide that never really stopped for him. He pitched over 250 innings in 1984 and 1985, which may have contributed to his slide. He led the league in starts in both of those seasons.
This was one of the few good games of Wardle's career. As a Twin, he was 1-3, 5.43 in 53 innings. For his career, he was 8-9, 6.13 in 119 innings.
This was the third of a ten-game losing streak for the Twins.
Record: The Twins were 21-19, in third place in the American League West, two games behind California. They would finish 77-85, tied for fourth, 14 games behind Kansas City.
The Brewers were 16-21, in sixth place in the American League East, 8.5 games behind Toronto. They would finish 71-90, in sixth place, 28 games behind Toronto.
It's remarkable how many times a team stays in more-or-less the same place they were early in the season.