MINNESOTA 6, NEW YORK 5 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Sunday, September 8.
Batting stars: Chili Davis was 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs. Greg Gagne was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Shane Mack was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer (his eighteenth) and two runs. Scott Leius was 2-for-4. Pedro Munoz was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his fourth.
Pitching star: Mark Guthrie struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.
Opposition stars: Matt Nokes was 3-for-4 with a home run, his twenty-third. Hensley Meulens was 2-for-2 with a double and a walk Pat Sheridan was 1-for-1 with a home run, his fourth.
The game: Each team scored two in the second. In the top of the inning, Nokes singled, Roberto Kelly tripled, and a sacrifice fly made it 2-0. In the bottom of the second, Davis singled and Mack hit a home run to tie it 2-2.
The Yankees edged back into the lead. Nokes homered in the fourth to make it 3-2. In the fifth, Pat Kelly singled, went to second on a ground out, and scored on an error to give the Yankees a 4-2 lead. But in the sixth, Mack and Davis led off with singles followed by Munoz' three-run homer to put the Twins in front 5-4.
The Twins loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but Mack hit into a double play to end the inning. In the eighth, Gene Larkin walked, Lenny Webster singled, and Gagne hit an RBI double to make it 6-4. They needed the run, because Sheridan homered leading off the ninth to make it 6-5. That was it, though, as the next three batters went out and the Twins held on for the victory.
WP: Scott Erickson (18-6). LP: Jeff Johnson (5-10). S: Steve Bedrosian (6).
Notes: Dan Gladden was again out of the lineup, with Mack moving to left and Munoz in right. Scott Leius batted leadoff. Larkin was at first base in place of Kent Hrbek. Junior Ortiz caught in place of Brian Harper.
Webster pinch-hit for Ortiz in the sixth and stayed in the game at catcher. Paul Sorrento pinch-hit for Leius in the eighth and was pinch-run for by Al Newman. Newman went to second base because Randy Bush pinch-hit for Chuck Knoblauch in the eighth. Mike Pagliarulo replaced Bush and went to third base.
Kirby Puckett was 0-for-3 with a walk and was batting .330. Mack raised his average to .310. Webster was 1-for-2 and was batting .333. Sorrento drew a walk and was batting .167.
Scott Erickson pitched six innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on eight hits and three walks and striking out one. His ERA was 3.13.
Jeff Johnson started for the Yankees and pitched five innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and two walks and struck out none.
This was the second consecutive day that Gladden was out of the lineup. I don't know if he had a slight injury or if he was just being given a couple of days off.
Rick Aguilera was apparently given the day off after being used two days in a row. Bedrosian gave up the leadoff home run in the ninth but after that got the job done.
Nokes was 6-for-12 with two doubles and a home run in the series. The Twins swept the series from the Yankees (doesn't that sound good?), but it wasn't Nokes' fault.
The White Sox lost to Texas 7-6, so the Twins gained a game in the standings.
Record: The Twins were 83-54, in first place in the American League West, 8.5 games ahead of Chicago.