Tag Archives: First place

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-seven

MINNESOTA 4, CLEVELAND 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, September 23.

Batting stars:  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-3 with a home run (his third), a walk, and two runs.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-2 with a walk.

Pitching star:  Kenny Rogers pitched 8.2 innings, giving up one run on eight hits and no walks and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Alex Escobar was 2-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch.  Josh Bard was 2-for-4.

The game:  The Indians had men on first and third with one out in the second but did not score.  The Twins had men on first and second with two out in the second but did not score.  In the third, however, Guzman singled and Shannon Stewart and Luis Rivas had back-to-back doubles to get the Twins on the board with a 2-0 lead.

Cleveland got back-to-back hit-by-pitches to start the fourth but did not score.  In the bottom of the fourth the Twins added a run without a hit.  Koskie walked, A. J. Pierzynski reached on an error, Guzman walked, and Stewart hit a sacrifice fly.

The Indians had a man on second with one out in the fifth and men on first and second with none out in the seventh, but did not score.  Guzman homered leading off the bottom of the seventh to make it 4-0.  Cleveland rallied in the ninth, getting singles from Jody Gerut, Escobar, and Josh Bard to make it 4-1 and bring the tying run to the plate.  But Eddie Guardado came in to strike out Greg LaRocca to end the game.

WP:  Rogers (13-8).  LP:  Jake Westbrook (7-10).  S:  Guardado (40).

Notes:  Stewart was in left and Jacque Jones in right.  The Twins made no in-game lineup substitutions.

Pierzynski was 0-for-3 and was batting .309.  Stewart was 1-for-3 and was batting .308.  Jones was 0-for-4 and was batting .303.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 0-for-3 and was batting .300.

Rogers threw 102 pitches.

Guardado lowered his ERA to 2.84.

Westbrook pitched seven innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks and striking out two.

The strikeout to end the game was Greg LaRocca's last major league at-bat.  He played in a handful of games in three separate seasons.  An infielder, he batted .261/.337/.352 in 100 plate appearances (39 games).  After this season he went to Japan, where he had several successful seasons.

It was the Twins' tenth consecutive win.  Chicago and Kansas City had both won yesterday, when the Twins were off, but they both lost today, so the Twins clinched the division.

Record:  The Twins were 88-69, in first place in the American League Central, six games ahead of Chicago and Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-five

MINNESOTA 7, DETROIT 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, September 20.

Batting stars:  Matthew LeCroy was 3-for-5 with a home run (his seventeenth), a double, and three RBIs.  Dustan Mohr was 1-for-4 with a home run, his tenth.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 1-for-3 with three walks and three runs.

Pitching stars:  Grant Balfour struck out three in a scoreless inning, giving up two hits.  J. C. Romero pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits.  Juan Rincon pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Craig Monroe was 3-for-4 with a home run (his twentieth), two doubles, and two RBIs.  Brandon Inge was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Dmitri Young was 2-for-4.  Alex Sanchez was 2-for-5.  No other Tiger had a hit.

The game:  The Twins jumped out to an early lead.  Shannon Stewart walked and Mientkiewicz doubled, putting men on second and third with one out.  A strikeout followed, but then Corey Koskie hit a two-run single, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Torii Hunter single to make it 3-0.  Mohr homered in the fourth to make it 4-0.

Detroit got on the board in the fifth when Monroe homered, but the Twins got the run back in the bottom of the fifth when LeCroy homered.  The Tigers got back into it in the sixth.  Sanchez led off with a single and went to second on a wild pitch.  Young then delivered a two-out RBI single followed by Monroe's run-scoring double, cutting the margin to 6-3.

That was as good as it would get for Detroit.  The Twins scored one more, in the seventh, when Mientkiewicz walked, went to second on a passed ball, and scored on LeCroy's single.  The Tigers had men on second and third with two out in the eighth, but did not score again.

WP:  Johan Santana (12-3).  LP:  Nate Robertson (1-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  LeCroy was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  Stewart was in left, Mohr in right, and Michael Cuddyer at DH.  There were no in-game lineup substitutions.

Stewart was 0-for-3 and was batting .307.  Mientkiewicz was batting .303.

Santana didn't pitch badly, but he ran into trouble in the sixth.  His line was 5.2 innings, three runs, four hits, two walks, and five strikeouts.

Robertson pitched five innings, allowing six runs on six hits and four walks and striking out four.

The relievers for Detroit were Chris Mears, Erik Eckenstahler, Matt Anderson, and Matt Roney.  That's the kind of bullpen that leads you to be 38-116, which was the Tigers' record after this game.

The Twins had now won eight straight.  The White Sox lost to the Royals, so the Twins edged closer to clinching the division.

Record:  The Twins were 86-69, in first place in the American League Central, 4.5 games ahead of Chicago.  They were 5.5 games ahead of third-place Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-four

MINNESOTA 6, DETROIT 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, September 19.

Batting stars:  A. J. Pierzynski was 4-for-4 with a home run (his eleventh), two runs, and two RBIs.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Luis Rivas was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  Eric Milton pitched seven shutout innings, giving up two hits and no walks and striking out four.  Grant Balfour struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition star:  Warren Morris was 2-for-3 with a double.

The game:  The Twins put men on first and third with two out in the first but did not score.  In the second, however, Hunter doubled and Pierzynski followed with a single to make it 1-0.  In the second, singles by Shannon Stewart and Doug Mientkiewicz were followed by a pair of productive ground outs to make it 2-0.

The Twins took control in the fourth.  Hunter and Pierzynski opened the inning with singles.  With one out, Cristian Guzman and Stewart delivered RBI singles.  Rivas walked to load the bases and Mientkiewicz walked to force in a run.  It was 5-0 Twins.

Milton cruised through his seven innings, throwing just 77 pitches.  In the eighth, the bullpen allowed the only two Tiger runs.  Carlos Pena walked, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Morris single.  With two out, singles by Alex Sanchez and Shane Halter produced another run.  A walk to Bobby Higginson loaded the bases, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate.  But Dmitri Young flied to center to end the inning.  Pierzynski homered leading off the ninth to make it 6-2, Detroit went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  Milton (1-0).  LP:  Jeremy Bonderman (6-19).  S:  None.

Notes:  Stewart was in left, Michael Ryan in right, and Jacque Jones was the DH.  Dustan Mohr replaced Ryan in right in the ninth.

Ryan was 0-for-3 and was batting .356.  Pierzynski raised his average to .311.  Stewart went up to .308.  Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .306.  Mientkiewicz was 0-for-3 and was batting .302.

Milton lowered his ERA to 1.50.

Bonderman pitched 3.1 innings, giving up five runs on ten hits and a walk and striking out two.

Tiger players with Twins connections included Morris, Fernando Rodney, and Craig Monroe.

The Twins did not have a letdown after sweeping the White Sox.  The win was their seventh in a row.  The White Sox were playing the Royals, so one of them had to lose.  It was the Royals, as the White Sox tried to stay in the race.

Record:  The Twins were 85-69, in first place in the American League Central, 3.5 games ahead of Chicago.  They were 5.5 games ahead of third-place Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-three

MINNESOTA 5, CHICAGO 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Thursday, September 18.

Batting stars:  Jacque Jones was 2-for-3 with two home runs (his fourteenth and fifteenth), a walk, and four RBIs.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and no walks and striking out six.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a perfect inning.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk.

Opposition star:  Roberto Alomar was 2-for-4.

The game:  Alomar and Carlos Lee opened the game with singles.  They were on second and third with two out.  Carl Everett then singled them both home, giving the White Sox a 2-0 lead in the top of the first.  The Twins bounced right back in the bottom of the first.  Shannon Stewart walked and Jones hit a two-out two-run homer to tie it 2-2 after one.

The Twins struck again in the third, again with two out.  Doug Mientkiewicz doubled and Jones followed with his second two-run homer to make it 4-2 Minnesota.  It went to 5-2 in the fourth when Michael Ryan singled, went to third on an error, and scored on a ground out.

Chicago had men on first and third with one out in the fifth, but Lee grounded into a double play.  They cut the lead to 5-3 in the seventh on doubles by Jose Valentin and Aaron Miles.  With two out in the ninth Aaron Rowand singled and Joe Crede walked, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate.  But Sandy Alomar fouled out and the game went to the Twins.

WP:  Lohse (14-11).  LP:  Bartolo Colon (14-13).  S:  Guardado (38).

Notes:  Stewart was in left, Ryan was in right, and Jones was the DH.  Lew Ford pinch-hit for Ryan in the eighth, with Dustan Mohr going to right field in the ninth.

Ryan was 1-for-3 and was batting .381.  Ford was 0-for-1 and was batting .321.  Jones raised his average to .307.  Stewart was 1-for-4 and was also batting .307.  A. J. PIerzynski was 1-for-3 and was batting .305.  Mientkiewicz was 1-for-4 and was batting .304.

Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.89.  Guardado lowered his ERA to 2.76.

Colon pitched six innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks and striking out one.  He pitched well if you take away the Jones home runs, but as we always say, you can't do that.

The foul popup that ended the game was caught by pitcher Eddie Guardado.  It's unusual for a pitcher to catch any popup, much less a foul popup.  I don't know what happened, but good play, Eddie.

His RBI double was the first hit of Aaron Miles' career.  I don't really remember him, but he played for nine years and played in over 130 games in five of those years.  This was his only season with the White Sox--they traded him to Colorado after the season for Juan Uribe.  He was with the Rockies for two years, then was traded to St. Louis.  He played there for three years, became a free agent, and signed with the Cubs.  He was there for one year, then they traded him to Oakland, but before he could play a game for the Athletics he was traded to Cincinnati.  They released him before he could play a game for them, but he signed back with St. Louis for another year.  He signed with the Dodgers as a free agent and spent one year there.  He was mostly a second baseman.  With the exception of his one year with the Cubs he would usually post a decent batting average and OBP, although with no power.  For his career he batted .281/.320/.352 in 932 games and 3064 plate appearances.

It was the Twins' sixth consecutive win.  While the White Sox were obviously not going to give up, it felt like the series sweep pretty much decided the pennant race.

Record:  The Twins were 84-69, in first place in the American League Central, 3.5 games ahead of Chicago.  They were 4.5 games ahead of third-place Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-two

MINNESOTA 4, CHICAGO 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, September 17.

Batting stars:  Luis Rivas was 2-for-3 with a stolen base (his seventeenth), a walk, and two runs.  Michael Ryan was 1-for-3 with a home run, his fourth.

Pitching stars:  Kenny Rogers pitched 6.1 innings, giving up two runs on six hits and no walks and striking out three.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

Opposition stars:  Carl Everett was 2-for-4.  Joe Crede was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, his seventeenth.  Scott Sullivan struck out two in two shutout innings of relief.

The game:  The White Sox got a pair of one-out singles in the second, but there was no score until the third.  With one out, Ryan homered to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  Cristian Guzman then walked and went to second on a wild pitch.  With two out, Rivas hit an RBI single and Doug Mientkiewicz followed with a run-scoring double to make it 3-0 Minnesota.

The Twins had men on first and third with one out in the fourth, but a line drive double-play took them out of the inning.  With two out in the fifth, however, Rivas singled, stole second, and scored on a Jacque Jones single to make it 4-0 Twins.

Chicago got on the board in the seventh when Everett singled and Crede hit a two-run homer.  Magglio Ordonez opened the ninth with a walk, bringing the tying run up to bat, but Everett hit into a double play and Paul Konerko flied out to end the game.

WP:  Rogers (12-8).  LP:  Jon Garland (11-12).  S:  Guardado (37).

Notes:  Shannon Stewart was in left, with Ryan in right and Jones at DH.  Matthew LeCroy pinch-hit for Jones in the eighth.  Dustan Mohr replaced Ryan in right in the ninth.

Ryan was batting .385.  Stewart was 0-for-4 and was batting .308.  A. J. Pierzynski was 1-for-3 and was batting .305.  Mientkiewicz was 1-for-3 and was batting .304.  Jones was 1-for-3 and was also batting .304.

This was Rogers' best game in a month, and it obviously came at a very good time for the Twins.  Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.92.  Guardado lowered his ERA to 2.80.

The Twins had won the first two of the three-game series, and had won five in a row.  They would be in first place at the end of the series, regardless of how the last game came out.  But if they could get a sweep, they would have a big advantage going into the last week and a half of the season.  The Royals lost, and were nearly out of the race.

Record:  The Twins were 83-69, in first place, 2.5 games ahead of Chicago.  They were 4.5 games ahead of third-place Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-one

MINNESOTA 5, CHICAGO 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, September 16.

Batting stars:  Torii Hunter was 2-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, his sixth.  Michael Ryan was 2-for-4.  Jacque Jones was 1-for-2 with two walks.

Pitching star:  Brad Radke pitched seven innings, giving up one run on eight hits and no walks and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Carl Everett was 2-for-4 with a home run (his twenty-eighth) and two RBIs.  Carlos Lee was 2-for-4.  Roberto Alomar was 2-for-4.  Scott Schoeneweis struck out five in 3.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and two walks.

The game:  The Twins got on the board in the first inning on three walks and a Corey Koskie sacrifice fly.  In the second, two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out.  An RBI ground out and a wild pitch followed.  The Twins had not scored a run on a hit, but still led 3-0 through two.  They made it 4-0 in the third on consecutive singles by HunterA. J. Pierzynski, and Ryan.

The White Sox had gotten a pair of singles in the first and again in the third, but did not score either time.  They broke through in the sixth, however, on singles by Lee, Frank Thomas, and Everett, cutting the lead to 4-1.  The Twins got the run back in the seventh.  Jones singled, pinch-runner Lew Ford stole second, and Hunter delivered an RBI single.

Chicago got only one hit after the sixth.  It was a home run by Everett with one out in the ninth, but the White Sox did not bring the tying run even to the on-deck circle.

WP:  Radke (13-10).  LP:  Esteban Loaiza (19-8).  S:  None.

Notes:  Denny Hocking was at second base in place of Luis Rivas.  Stewart was in left, Ryan in right, and Jones at DH.  The only lineup substitution was Ford for Jones as mentioned above.

Ryan raised his average to .389.  Stewart was 0-for-3 and was batting .310.  Pierzynski was 1-for-4 and was batting .305.  Jones raised his average to .304.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 0-for-2 and was batting .304.

Radke again came up big for the Twins.  He had struggled most of the season, but turned it around when he got to September.  In his last three starts he had given up just five earned runs in 23 innings, giving up 22 hits and zero walks.

LaTroy Hawkins gave up one run in two innings, raising his ERA to 1.95.

Loaiza had an excellent year in 2003, but he didn't get it done in this game.  Wildness did him in--he walked five in 2.1 innings, giving up four runs on four hits and striking out one.  He had made the all-star team in 2003 and finished second in Cy Young voting behind Roy Halladay, but the Twins beat him (or he beat himself) in a very important game.

The Twins had one the first of the three-game series, and assured that they could be no worse than a half-game out of first at the end of it.  The Royals won, trying to stay in the race.

Record:  The Twins were 82-69, in first place in the American League Central, 1.5 games ahead of Chicago.  They were 3.5 games ahead of third-place Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty

MINNESOTA 13, CLEVELAND 6 IN CLEVELAND

Date:  Monday, September 15.

Batting starsA. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-3 with a double, a stolen base (his third), a hit-by-pitch, and two runs.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-4.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-5 with a home run (his twenty-sixth), a double, two runs, and five RBIs.  Cristian Guzman was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his second.

Pitching stars:  Jesse Orosco pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  Juan Rincon struck out two in a perfect inning.  Carlos Pulido pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

Opposition stars:  Casey Blake was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and two runs.  Chris Magruder was 2-for-4 with a home run.  Coco Crisp was 2-for-4.

The game:  It was close for five innings.  Neither team scored in the first two, but each team scored once in the third.  The Twins got doubles from Pierzynski and Shannon Stewart to get on the board, but the Indians tied it with Magruder's home run.  Cleveland took the lead in the fourth.  Blake walked and was picked off first, but an error on Johan Santana moved him to second.  With one out Santana picked Blake off second but again made an error, sending Blake to third.  Victor Martinez then doubled to make it 2-1 Indians.

But the Twins took control of the game in the sixth.  With one out Stewart walked, Luis Rivas singled, and Doug Mientkiewicz walked, loading the bases.  Jones tied the score with an RBI single, but Rivas was thrown out at the plate for the second out.  An intentional walk to Corey Koskie loaded the bases.  Then Hunter hit a two-run double, Pierzynski had an RBI single and stole second, Michael Ryan had a two-run single, and Guzman killed the rally with a two-run homer.  The Twins scored eight in the inning to take a 9-2 lead.

Cleveland didn't quit, though.  Two walks, an error, and a sacrifice fly brought home two runs in the bottom of the sixth.  The Twins got one in the seventh when Rivas was hit by a pitch, stole second, and scored on Koskie's single.  The Indians came back with two in the bottom of the seventh when Crisp singled, Casey doubled, and a pair of productive outs made the score 10-6.

Cleveland did not get a hit after that, however.  The Twins put it away in the ninth when Michael Restovich singled, Koskie walked, and Hunter hit a three-run homer.

WP:  Santana (11-3).  LP:  Jason Davis (8-11).  S:  None.

Notes:  Stewart was in left with Ryan in right.  Jones was the DH.

Restovich pinch-ran for Jones in the seventh.  Justin Morneau pinch-hit for Rivas in the eighth, when Denny Hocking coming in to play second.  Matthew LeCroy pinch-hit for Pierzynski in the ninth and stayed in the game at catcher.  Lew Ford replaced Stewart in left field in the ninth.

Ryan was 1-for-5 and was batting .375.  Restovich was 1-for-1 and was batting .326.  Stewart was 1-for-3 and was batting .312.  Pierzynski was up to .305.  Mientkiewicz was 0-for-4 and was also batting .305.  Jones raised his average to .302.

Santana pitched well for four innings, but his line was five innings, four runs (three earned), four hits, four walks, and six strikeouts.

Pulido lowered his ERA to 2.19.  He still had not given up a run when used in relief.

Davis started for the Indians.  He pitched 5.2 innings, allowing seven runs on six hits and three walks and striking out two.

Guzman had not hit a home run all year, then hit two in three games.  That's baseball.

This was the only major league home run Chris Magruder would hit in 2003.  He would hit eleven in his career.  He had batted .328/.391/.474 in 41 games in AAA in 2003, then batted .346/.433/.61 in nine games for Cleveland.  The Indians were so impressed that they allowed him to become a free agent.  They were apparently right, as he spent a couple of mediocre-to-poor seasons with Milwaukee and then was done.

The Royals won, but the White Sox were idle, so the Twins moved into first place going into a big three-game series with the White Sox in Minnesota.

Record:  The Twins were 81-69, in first place in the American League Central, a half game ahead of Chicago.  They were 3.5 games ahead of third-place Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Forty-three

MINNESOTA 3, CHICAGO 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, May 18.

Batting starsDenny Hocking was 3-for-4 with two doubles.  Todd Sears was 2-for-2 with a walk.  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-3.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse pitched 6.1 innings, giving up two runs on six hits and four walks and striking out four.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.  Eddie Guardado struck out three in a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Esteban Loaiza pitched six innings, giving up one run on eight hits and three walks and striking out three.  Jose Valentin was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer (his ninth) and two walks.  D'Angelo Jimenez was 2-for-3.

The game:  The Twins had two on with two out in the first and had a runner on third with one out in the second, but it was the White Sox who scored first.  Joe Crede led off the third with a double and Valentin hit a two-out two-run homer to put the Chicago up 2-0.

The Twins loaded the bases in the third but did not score.  The White Sox loaded the bases in the fifth but did not score.  The Twins finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth.  Hocking led off with a double and Sears delivered a two-out single that cut the lead to 2-1.

Each team got a man to third with one out in the seventh and did not score.  With one out in the eighth, Torii Hunter and Mohr each singled, putting men on first and third.  A wild pitch tied the score and an error put the Twins ahead 3-2.

Chicago put two on with two out in the ninth, but Guardado struck out Tony Graffanino to end the game.

WP:  Hawkins (3-0).  LP:  Tom Gordon (2-3).  S:  Guardado (10).

Notes:  Chris Gomez was at second base in place of Luis Rivas.  Hocking was in right field.  Sears was the DH.  Tom Prince was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.

Mientkiewicz came out in the third inning after hitting a double in the second.  He apparently was injured, as he would not play again until May 24.  Mohr entered the game and went to right field, with Hocking moving to first base.  Matthew LeCroy pinch-hit for Sears in the eighth.  Bobby Kielty pinch-hit for Gomez in the eighth.  Rivas then pinch-ran for Kielty and stayed in the game at second.  Pierzynski pinch-hit for Prince in the eighth and stayed in the game at catcher.

Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .347.  Sears raised his average to .333.  LeCroy was 0-for-1 and was batting .310.

Hocking's big day raised his average to .188.

Lohse's ERA was 3.22.  Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.35.  Guardado lowered his ERA to 1.53.

As you can see from the game summary, both teams missed numerous opportunities.  The White Sox stranded nine and were 1-for-9 with men in scoring position.  The Twins stranded nine and were 1-for-15 with men in scoring position.

The Twins swept the series, outscoring Chicago 24-6.  Eighteen of those runs came in the first game.  The Twins had now won five of six, eleven of fourteen. and fifteen of nineteen.  The hot streak moved them into first place.

Record:  The Twins were 25-18, in first place, a half game ahead of Kansas City.

 

2019 Game 112: Atlanta Braves vs. Minnesota Twins

The wife is on a business trip, and I've got two little rugrats, so I'll be keeping this brief. A pretty decent Braves team is coming through Minnesota starting a three game series tonight. This will be immediately followed by a four game series against the Spiders. Safe to say this will be a very important homestand. Thankfully, they started it off right with a sweep against the Royals. Let's continue the current trend.

The Twins will face a very sharp rightie (and Cy Young candidate) in Soroka tonight. The Twins counter his stinky pitches with their very own Odor Eater.

2019 Recap: Game Four

MINNESOTA 5, KANSAS CITY 4 IN KANSAS CITY (10 INNINGS)

Date:  Tuesday, April 2.

Batting stars:  Max Kepler was 2-for-4 with two walks.  Nelson Cruz was 2-for-5 with a double, a walk, and three RBIs.  Jorge Polanco was 2-for-5 with a double and a walk.  C. J. Cron was 2-for-5 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Jose Berrios pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and no walks and striking out four.  Blake Parker pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Adalberto Mondesi was 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, a stolen base, and two RBIs.  Martin Maldonado was 3-for-4.  Ryan O'Hearn was 1-for-3 with a home run.  Brad Keller pitched six innings, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks and striking out five.

The game:  The Royals jumped out to a 1-0 lead within the first two batters of the game, as Whit Merrifield doubled and scored on a Mondesi single.  The Twins tied it in the fourth when Eddie Rosario walked and scored from first on Cron's single.

Kansas City got the lead back in the bottom of the fourth when Chris Owings tripled and scored on a Hunter Dozier sacrifice fly.  The Twins went in front in the fifth.  With one out, Byron Buxton was hit by a pitch and Max Kepler walked.  A fly out moved the runners to second and third and Cruz delivered a two-run double to give the Twins a 3-2 lead.

The Twins missed a chance to increase the lead in the sixth when Cron led off with a double but did not advance past second.  It cost them, as O'Hearn homered in the bottom of the sixth to tie it 3-3.  The Twins missed another chance in the seventh.  Singles by Kepler and Polanco and a walk to Cruz loaded the bases with none out, but a strikeout, a liner to third, and another strikeout ended the inning with no runs scoring.  It again cost them, as Mondesi hit an inside-the-park home run with one out in the eighth to give the Royals a 4-3 lead.

The Twins tied it in the ninth.  Polanco doubled and went to third on a fly ball.  Rosario then singled him in to tie the score 4-4.  Kansas City put two men on with two out in the bottom of the ninth, but Trevor Hildenberger came in to strike out Billy Hamilton and send the game to an extra inning.

In the tenth Willians Astudillo, who had entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth, led off with a single.  He was still at first with two out, but Polanco singled to put men on first and second and Cruz singled to drive home the go-ahead run.  The Royals could manage only a two-out walk in the bottom of the tenth.

WP:  Hildenberger (1-0).  LP:  Brad Boxberger (0-1).  S:  Blake Parker (1).

Record:  The Twins are 3-1, in first place in the American League Central, one game ahead of Cleveland, Detroit, and Kansas City.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 161-1!