TORONTO 4, MINNESOTA 0 IN TORONTO
Date: Wednesday, July 3.
Batting star: Brian Harper was 3-for-4 with two doubles.
Pitching star: Mark Guthrie pitched five shutout innings of relief, giving up four hits and no walks and striking out four.
Opposition stars: Tom Candiotti struck out seven in seven shutout innings, giving up six hits and three walks. Roberto Alomar was 2-for-3 with a double and a hit-by-pitch. Joe Carter was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his eighteenth and nineteenth) and three RBIs. Pat Tabler was 2-for-4. Ed Sprague was 2-for-4. Devon White was 1-for-4 with a home run, his fourth.
The game: The Twins got a single and two walks in the first inning but did not score, thanks in part to a pickoff. The Blue Jays took the lead in the bottom of the first when Alomar hit a one-out double and Carter followed with a two-run homer. Toronto loaded the bases with two out in the second and didn't score, but got on the board again in the third on another Carter homer, making it 3-0. The Blue Jays again loaded the bases after the home run, but again did not score.
Paul Sorrento led off the fourth with a walk and Harper followed with a double, but Sorrento was thrown out trying to score from first (Gardy'd?) and the Twins were kept off the board. White homered leading off the fourth to increase the lead to 4-0.
And that was it. The Twins had a few threats--Al Newman singled and stole second in the fifth, Harper had a two-out double in the sixth, Scott Leius reached on a strikeout/passed ball in the seventh and got as far as third on a couple of ground outs--but they could not tally and the game ended with a 4-0 score.
WP: Candiotti (8-7). LP: Allan Anderson (4-7). S: None.
Notes: Jarvis Brown led off and played left field in place of Dan Gladden. Randy Bush batted second and was in right field. Paul Sorrento was at first base in place of Kent Hrbek. Al Newman was at second base in place of Chuck Knoblauch.
Harper raised his average to .326. Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4 and fell to .325.
Sorrento was 0-for-3 and was batting .143. Brown was 1-for-4 and was batting .167.
Twins starter Allan Anderson lasted just three innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks and striking out one. He would make one more start, on July 12, then be removed from the rotation.
This was Guthrie's first appearance since being removed from the rotation. I may have mentioned this before, but he did much better as a reliever than as a starter. In 1991 he was 5-4, 5.73, 1.82 WHIP as a starter and 2-1, 2.51, 1.37 WHIP with two saves as a reliever. For his career he was 13-18, 4.95, 1.52 WHIP as a starter and 38-36, 3.75, 1.36 WHIP with fourteen saves as a reliever. It could reasonably said that the move to the bullpen saved his career.
This was the Twins' seventh loss in eight games. Looking at that lineup, one has to say that TK wasn't panicking and going all-out to win every game. The losing streak was largely a failure of the bats. In the seven losses, the Twins scored just fifteen runs and were shutout twice. How low would they go? We'll see.
Record: The Twins were 45-34, in second place in the American League West, one percentage point behind California (.571 to .570--the Angels had played two fewer games). They were two games ahead of third-place Texas.