MINNESOTA 10, KANSAS CITY 5 IN KANSAS CITY
Date: Wednesday, May 20.
Batting stars: Rod Carew was 4-for-5 with a home run (his third), a triple, a double, a stolen base (his third), two runs, and two RBIs. Jim Holt was 3-for-5 with a double and two runs. Paul Ratliff was 1-for-2 with a two-run homer (his second) and two walks. Leo Cardenas was 1-for-5 with a three-run homer, his fifth. Rich Reese was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer (his second), a walk, and two runs.
Pitching star: Tom Hall struck out five in three innings, giving up one run on four hits and two walks.
Opposition stars: Joe Keough was 2-for-3 with a home run (his third), a walk, and two runs. Eliseo Rodriguez was 2-for-4 with a triple, a double, and two runs. Pat Kelly was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his sixteenth. Amos Otis was 2-for-5 with a home run (his fifth) and a double. Mike Fiore was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.
The game: Otis homered in the first to give the Royals a 1-0 lead. Carew, who had singled in the first, homered in the third to tie it 1-1. Kansas City regained the lead in the fourth when Rodriguez doubled, Kelly walked, and Fiore hit a two-run double to make it 3-1. Holt singled and Ratliff homered in the sixth to tie it 3-3, but Keough homered in the home half of the sixth to once again give the Royals the lead at 4-3.
The Twins took control from there. With two out in the seventh Reese walked, Holt singled, and Cardenas hit a three-run homer to give the Twins their first lead at 6-4. With one out in the eighth Tovar walked and scored on a triple by Carew, who had doubled in the sixth inning. With two out, Killebrew hit an RBI single and Reese followed with a two-run homer, giving the Twins a 10-4 advantage. Kansas City added one in the ninth when Rodriguez tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly, but the Twins' lead was never in jeopardy.
WP: Dave Boswell (2-5).
LP: Bob Johnson (1-2).
S: Hall (1).
Notes: Holt was in left field in place of Brant Alyea. Ratliff was behind the plate in place of George Mitterwald. Mitterwald came in to catch in the seventh as part of a double switch. Frank Quilici pinch-ran for Killebrew in the eighth and stayed in the game at third base.
Carew's average reached a season high of .432. Oliva was 1-for-5 and was batting .319. Killebrew was 1-for-4 and was batting .315. Tovar was 1-for-4 and was batting .300.
Mitterwald was 0-for-2 and was batting .179. Boswell pitched six innings and gave up four runs, giving him an ERA of 6.31.
As you may have noticed, Carew hit for the cycle in this game: a single in the first, a home run in the third, a double in the sixth, and a triple in the eighth. He grounded out in his other at-bat. This was the seventh time in eight games that he had more than one hit, the fifth time he had more than two, and the second time he had four. Over that span he was 22-for-37 and raised his average more than a hundred points, from an already-high .328 to .432.
Neither starter pitched particularly well. Boswell, as noted above, pitched six innings, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk and striking out four. Johnson struck out seven in seven innings, but gave up six runs on ten hits and four walks.
When I was a kid, I loved the name "Eliseo Rodriguez".
This was Hall's eleventh relief appearance. It was the sixth time he'd gone more than one inning, the fourth time he'd gone more than two, and the third time he'd gone three or more. It was his first career save.
I can't hear the name "Amos Otis" without thinking of the Jerry Reed song "Amos Moses".
The Twins had won seven in a row, ten of twelve, and thirteen of sixteen.
Record: The Twins were 25-10, in first place in the American League West, 1.5 games ahead of California. They had the best record in the American League, but not in all of baseball--that honor went to Cincinnati, who was 28-11.