MINNESOTA 7, SAN DIEGO 5 IN SAN DIEGO (11 INNINGS)
Date: Friday, June 6.
Batting stars: Doug Mientkiewicz was 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base. Cristian Guzman was 3-for-6. Chris Gomez was 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs. Jacque Jones was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.
Pitching stars: Kenny Rogers pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and a walk and striking out four. LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.
Opposition stars: Ex-Twin Brian Buchanan was 3-for-6 with a double. Mark Kotsay was 2-for-5 with a double. Mark Loretta was 2-for-5 with a walk. Future Twin Rondell White was 2-for-6 with a double. Jake Peavy pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and three walks and striking out five.
The game: In the second, Mientkiewicz led off with a double, went to third on a fly ball, and scored on a ground out to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. The Padres put men on first and second with two out in the fourth but did not score. In the fifth Rogers walked, went to second on a Guzman single, and scored on Corey Koskie's double to make it 2-0 Twins. The Padres got on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Lou Merloni singled, was bunted to second, and scored on a Loretta single.
It stayed 2-1 until the seventh. Jacque Jones walked, Guzman got an infield single, and Torii Hunter got a two-out RBI single. The Twins added another run in the eighth. With two out Gomez singled, Matthew LeCroy reached on an error, and Jones hit an RBI single to make it 4-1 Twins.
Eddie Guardado came in to pitch the ninth, and the game looked secure. But Buchanan led off with a double and Xavier Nady singled. The next two batters went out, but back-to-back doubles by Gary Matthews and Ryan Klesko brought home three runs and tied it 4-4.
Each team scored once in the tenth. A. J. Pierzynski singled, was bunted to second, and scored on a Jones single. But White doubled, Buchanan got an infield single, a bunt moved the runners to second and third, and a two-out wild pitch by J. C. Romero tied the score 5-5.
But the Twins prevailed in the eleventh. Mientkiewicz was hit by a pitch and was on second with two out. Pierzynski was intentionally walked, but it backfired when Gomez delivered a two-run double. In the bottom of the tenth San Diego got two-out singles from Miguel Ojeda and White. But Buchanan grounded out to end the game.
WP: Romero (2-0). LP: Rod Beck (0-1). S: None.
Notes: Gomez was again at second in place of Luis Rivas. Kielty was in right field, as there was no DH.
LeCroy and Dustan Mohr were used as pinch-hitters for pitchers. Denny Hocking came in to play third in place of Koskie in the seventh.
Jones raised his average to .312. Hocking was 0-for-2 and was batting .174.
Rogers' game score was only 66, perhaps due to a mediocre strikeout total. Still, it was his second highest game score of the season to date, and he would top it only once after this, on August 15. Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.27. Guardado gave up three runs in an inning to raise his ERA to 2.70. This was one of only two times all season that he would give up three runs in a game.
We noted Rondell White and Brian Buchanan as Padres with Twins connections. Others with Twins connections who appeared in this game were Sean Burroughs and Jesse Orosco.
The Twins stranded 14, but were still 6-for-17 with men in scoring position. San Diego stranded 11 and was 5-for-18 with men in scoring position.
Record: The Twins were 34-25, in first place in the American League Central, five games ahead of Kansas City.