TORONTO 7, MINNESOTA 2 IN TORONTO
Date: Friday, September 27.
Batting star: Paul Sorrento was 1-for-4 with a home run, his third.
Pitching star: Kevin Tapani pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks and striking out five.
Opposition stars: Juan Guzman struck out nine in eight innings, giving up two runs on three hits and three walks. Dave Parker was 2-for-2 with two doubles and a walk. Kelly Gruber was 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base (his eleventh), and two runs.
The game: It was close most of the way. Devon White led off the bottom of the first with a triple and scored on Roberto Alomar's single to put the Blue Jays up 1-0. They later had men on first and third, but could not score again. The Twins tied it in the fourth. Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek drew one-out walks and Brian Harper had an RBI single to make the score 1-1. The Twins had men on first and second, but could not score again.
Toronto took the lead back in the bottom of the fourth. Gruber singled, Candy Maldonado walked, and Parker delivered an RBI double to make it 2-1 Blue Jays. They had men on second and third with one out, but could not score again. The Twins tied it in the seventh when Sorrento led off with a home run, making it 2-2.
Toronto took the lead back in the bottom of the seventh. Parker led off with a double, was bunted to third, and scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 3-2 Blue Jays. Toronto then put the game away in the eighth. With two out and none on, John Olerud doubled, Gruber was intentionally walked, and Maldonado was accidentally walked, loading the bases. Mookie Wilson then delivered a bases-clearing double and came around to score on a Pat Borders single, putting the Blue Jays up 7-2. The Twins went down in order in the ninth.
WP: Guzman (9-2). LP: Tapani (16-9). S: None.
Notes: Randy Bush played right field in place of Shane Mack. He batted first, with Dan Gladden dropped to the seventh spot. Sorrento was the DH in place of Chili Davis. For a change, the Twins did not use their bench at all.
Puckett was 1-for-3 with a walk and was batting .321. Harper was 1-for-4 and was batting .314. Tapani's ERA went to 2.90.
I had completely forgotten that Dave Parker ended his career in Toronto. They signed him as a free agent on September 14 and he played thirteen games for them.
The White Sox lost to Seattle 10-8, so the Twins crept closer to clinching.
Record: The Twins were 91-62, in first place in the American League West, eight games ahead of Chicago. The Twins' magic number was two.
Boston lost to Milwaukee, so the Blue Jays now led the East by 3.5 games.