MINNESOTA 7, SEATTLE 2 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Saturday, April 27.
Batting stars: Dan Gladden was 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs. Gene Larkin was 2-for-4 with a double. Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-5. Kent Hrbek was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer (his second) and a walk. Brian Harper was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his second.
Pitching stars: Kevin Tapani pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks and striking out four. Larry Casian pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.
Opposition stars: Ken Griffey, Jr. was 2-for-4 with a home run (his second) and two runs. Edgar Martinez was 1-for-2 with two walks.
The game: Griffey, Jr. homered in the top of the first to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead. The Twins came back in the bottom of the first, as Gladden led off with a single and Hrbek hit a two-out two-run homer to give the Twins a 2-1 advantage.
It stayed there until the bottom of the fifth. A couple of Twins threats failed to bear fruit--they loaded the bases in the second and had two on in the third--but in the fifth Chili Davis drew a two-out walk followed by Harper's two-run homer to make the score 4-1. Seattle got one back in the fifth on consecutive two-out singles by Griffey, Jr., Martinez, and Alvin Davis to make it 4-2.
The Twins put it away in the eighth. Greg Gagne singled and Larkin reached on an error. A bunt moved the runners up, Gladden singled one home, and Knoblauch singled home another. Gladden was then picked off third, but the pitcher threw the ball away and he came in to score the last run of the game.
WP: Tapani (2-0). LP: Brian Holman (2-2). S: None.
Notes: Larkin was back in right field, with Kirby Puckett in center and Shane Mack on the bench. Mack again entered the game for defense and went to center, with Puckett moving to right. Al Newman started at shortstop in place of Gagne. Gagne pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the eighth and stayed in the game at short, with Newman moving to third.
Larkin was batting .400. Harper was batting .349. Puckett was 1-for-5 and was batting .342. Knoblauch went up to .338. Tapani had an ERA of 2.10.
Hrbek raised his average to .172. Newman was 0-for-3 and was batting .176. Gladden raised his average to .180. After hitting a low of .032, he has gone 10-for-30 in the next seven games.
Holman went six innings, giving up four runs on seven his and six walks. He struck out two. The low number of strikeouts and the high number of walks in recent games has really been striking.
The Twins had won four in a row and six of seven. After being swept in a three-game series in Seattle, they were now on the verge of sweeping the Mariners in a four-game series in Minnesota.
This was the period in which Ken Griffey, Sr. and Ken Griffey, Jr. were both in the outfield for Seattle. Senior has been batting second and playing left, while Junior has batted third and played center.
Sorry I haven't done any player profiles lately. I just haven't had the time. I hope I can get back to it in a week or so. I don't know how much anyone else enjoys them, but they're fun for me to do.
Record: The Twins were 8-10, tied for sixth in the American League West, 3.5 games behind the White Sox. They were one game behind California, Kansas City, and Texas, who were all tied for third.