MINNESOTA 3, CHICAGO 2 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Sunday, May 18.
Batting stars: Denny 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.