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1970 Rewind: Game One Hundred One

MINNESOTA 2, MILWAUKEE 1 IN MINNESOTA (GAME 1 OF DOUBLEHEADER)

Date:  Monday, August 3.

Batting stars:  Danny Thompson was 3-for-4 with a double.  Rich Reese was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Jim Perry pitched eight innings, giving up one run on five hits and no walks and striking out six.  Tom Hall struck out three in a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

Opposition stars:  Jerry McNertney was 2-for-3.  Marty Pattin pitched an eight inning complete game, giving up two runs on seven hits and four walks and striking out five.

The game:  There was no score until the fifth, when Roberto Pena singled, stole second, and scored on McNertney's single.  The Twins tied it in the sixth when Thompson hit a one-out single, Harmon Killebrew drew a two-out walk, and Reese followed with an RBI double.

The Twins wasted George Mitterwald's leadoff double in the seventh.  In the eighth, however, Thompson led off with a double and scored on a Reese two-out RBI single to give the Twins their first lead of the game.  Hall came in to retire the Brewers in the ninth and preserve the victory.

WP:  Perry (16-9).

LP:  Pattin (7-9).

S:  Hall (3).

Notes:  Thompson remained at second base in place of Rod Carew.  Jim Holt was in left in place of Brant Alyea.  Jim Kaat pinch-ran for Mitterwald in the seventh, with Tom Tischinski going in to catch in the eighth.

Tony Oliva was 1-for-4 and was batting .326.  Perry was 0-for-2 and was batting .306.  Killebrew was 0-for-2 and was batting .304.  Cesar Tovar was 0-for-4 and was batting .301.  Hall had an ERA of 2.71.

Without going back through the box scores, I couldn't find out how many times Kaat was used as a pinch-runner.  It was more than a few times, however.

It's interesting that Bill Rigney went with Hall to close out a 2-1 game.  First, it's surprising to me that Perry didn't finish the game--he had given up just a single in the seventh and had retired the side in order in the eighth.  Having decided to go to the pen, the choice of Hall was probably influenced by the fact that Ron Perranoski and Stan Williams had each pitched in three consecutive games.  It certainly worked out.

Pattin threw eleven complete games in 1970.  That was only good for tenth in the league.  Mike Cuellar led the league with twenty-one.

Thompson had six multi-hit games in his last seven starts.  He went 14-for-27 in those starts and raised his average from .200 to .282.

Record:  The Twins were 65-36, in first place in the American League West, 7.5 games ahead of California, which had regained second place from Oakland.

1970 Rewind: Game Ninety-four

MINNESOTA 5, BALTIMORE 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, July 27.

Batting stars:  Frank Quilici was 3-for-4.  Jim Holt was 2-for-3 with a home run, his second.  George Mitterwald was 2-for-4 with a home run, his ninth.  Rich Reese was 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Bert Blyleven pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and no walks and striking out four.  Ron Perranoski pitched three shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Dave Johnson was 2-for-4 with a double.  Don Buford was 1-for-4 with a home run, his thirteenth.  Moe Drabowsky struck out four in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

The game:  Holt started the scoring with a home run in the second inning.  In the third Quilici singled and Blyleven reached on an error.  With one out Reese hit a two-run triple and Tony Oliva followed with an RBI double, giving the Twins a 4-0 lead.

The Orioles got on the board in the sixth when Buford homered.  The Twins got the run back in the bottom of the sixth when Mitterwald homered.  The Twins left the bases full in that inning, and Baltimore got a run closer in the seventh when Brooks Robinson singled, was balked to second, and scored on Johnson's double.

But that was it.  The Orioles got only one hit after that, a single by Andy Etchebarren in the ninth.

WP:  Blyleven (5-3).

LP:  Jim Palmer (14-7).

S:  Perranoski (25).

Notes:  Holt was in left in place of Brant Alyea.  Quilici was again at second base in place of Rod Carew.  Danny Thompson replaced Harmon Killebrew at third base in the eighth.

Oliva was 1-for-4 and was batting .322.  Killebrew was 0-for-3 and was batting .312.  Cesar Tovar was 0-for-5 and was batting .305.  Blyleven had an ERA of 2.49.  Perranoski had an ERA of 1.35.

Blyleven was given what, for that era, were quick hooks, usually pulled after about six innings.  While one would like to think that the Twins were interested in protecting a young arm, what I suspect is that Bill Rigney was simply reluctant to trust the young rookie and so would pull him at the first sign of trouble.

Palmer lasted just five innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks and striking out one.  It was a rare bad game for Palmer, who would win twenty games and finish fifth in Cy Young voting.  His game score of thirty-three was tied for his worst of the season.  He had trouble with the Twins in 1970, going 0-2, 4.66 in three starts.  For his career, he was much better:  21-12, 2.78 in 45 games (39 starts).

Quilici was 7-for-14 in his last four games, raising his average from .195 to .242.  That was the highest his average had been since the end of April, and would be the highest it would be the rest of the season.

The Twins ended their homestand 5-4.  They would not go on a six-game road trip to Cleveland and Detroit.

Record:  The Twins were 61-33, in first place in the American League West, six games ahead of California.

1970 Rewind: Game Thirty-five

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.

1970 Rewind: Game Thirty-three

MINNESOTA 7, KANSAS CITY 5 IN KANSAS CITY

Date:  Monday, May 18.

Batting stars:  Rod Carew was 3-for-5 with a two-run homer, his second.  Cesar Tovar was 1-for-2 with three walks, a stolen base (his twelfth), and two runs.  Leo Cardenas was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer (his fourth) and a walk.  Harmon Killebrew was 1-for-4 with a home run (his twelfth) and a walk.

Pitching star:  Ron Perranoski struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Joe Keough was 3-for-4 with two runs.  Ex-Twin Jackie Hernandez was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.  Amos Otis was 2-for-5 with a two-run homer, his fourth.

The game:  The Twins took the lead in the second when Rick Renick singled and Cardenas followed with a two-run homer.  The Royals came right back to tie it in the bottom of the second.  Keough singled and scored from first on a Rich Severson double.  Severson advanced to third on a pickoff error and scored on Hernandez' single, making it 2-2.

The Twins took the lead in the fifth when Tovar walked and Carew followed with a two-run homer.  Kansas City cut the lead to 4-3 in the sixth when Keough singled, went to second on a ground out, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a Hernandez single.  The Twins went back up by two in the seventh when Tovar walked, Carew singled, and Tony Oliva had an RBI single.

The Royals again came back in the seventh.  Paul Schaal reached on an error and Otis hit a two-out two-run homer to tie it 5-5.  In the eighth, two walks and two wild pitches put men on second and third and Charlie Manuel had a pinch-hit sacrifice fly to put the Twins ahead.  Killebrew homered for an insurance run in the ninth.

WP:  Bill Zepp (1-0).

LP:  Mike Hedlund (2-3).

S:  Perranoski (10).

Notes:  Renick was at third base, with Killebrew at first and Rich Reese on the bench.  Reese pinch-hit for Renick in the eighth and went to first base, with Killebrew moving to third.  Frank Quilici took over for Killebrew at third in the ninth.

Jim Holt replaced Brant Alyea in left field in the seventh.  Manuel pinch-hit for George MItterwald, who was making a return to the lineup, in the eight inning.  Paul Ratliff pinch-hit for pitcher Zepp in the eighth.  Ratliff stayed in the game to catch, with Perranoski coming in to pitch.

Carew raised his average to .419.  Oliva was 1-for-5 and was batting .326.  Killebrew was 1-for-4 and was batting .319.  Renick was 1-for-2 and was batting .313.  Zepp struck out the only man he faced and had an ERA of 2.03.  Perranoski had an ERA of 1.57.

Mitterwald was 0-for-3 and was batting .184.

Jim Kaat started and pitched 6.2 innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on nine hits and a walk and striking out three.  Bill Butler started for Kansas City and pitched six innings, giving up five runs on six hits and six walks and striking out one.

The two pitchers who got the decisions combined to pitch one-third of an inning and face three batters.  Zeppas noted above, struck out the only man he faced.  Hedlund faced two batters in the eighth and walked both of them, with the first coming around to score the go-ahead run.

Perranoski had appeared in fifteen of the Twins' thirty-three games, pitching 28.2 innings.

Hernandez had ten RBIs in 1970.  Twenty percent of them came in this game.

Infielder Rich Severson was in his rookie year.  He appeared in nearly half of the team's games, getting 240 at-bats and batting .250/.300/.317.  He was back in AAA for most of 1971, getting just 33 at-bats with the big club.  He was in AAA in 1972 and 1973, then he was done.  He did not hit a lot in AAA either, batting .254 with an OPS of .637 over four seasons.  He passed away in 2016 at the relatively young age of seventy-one.

Carew had six consecutive multi-hit games.  He was 17-for-28 over that span, raising his average from .328 to .419.  The .419 would be his high point for the season.

The Twins had won five in a row and eight of ten.

Record:  The Twins were 23-10, in first place in the American League West, a half game ahead of California.

1970 Rewind: Game Twelve

DETROIT 8, MINNESOTA 6 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, April 24.

Batting stars:  Brant Alyea was 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs.  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-5 with a triple and a double.  Rich Reese was 2-for-5.  Harmon Killebrew was 1-for-1 with a home run (his third), four walks, and three runs.

Pitching stars:  Stan Williams struck out two in 1.2 innings, giving up one hit.  Ron Perranoski struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Al Kaline was 5-for-5 with two doubles.  Bill Freehan was 2-for-3 with a home run (his second), two walks, and three RBIs.  Cesar Gutierrez was 2-for-5 with two runs.  Dick McAuliffe was 1-for-5 with a home run, his third.  John Hiller pitched 5.2 innings of relief, giving up one run on three hits and three walks and striking out three.

The game:  McAuliffe led off the game with a home run.  Gutierrez singled and scored on Kaline's double, making the score 2-0 Tigers before an out was recorded.  The Twins tied it in the bottom of the first.  Tovar doubled, and walks to Jim Holt and Killebrew loaded the bases.  With two out, Alyea delivered a two-run double, making the score 2-2.

Detroit went back ahead in the third.  Singles by Gutierrez, Kaline, and Norm Cash loaded the bases with none out.  Willie Horton struck out, but Jim Northrup's ground ball was booted by second baseman Tovar, resulting in all three runs scoring and Northrup ending up at second base.  Freehan's RBI single made it 6-2 Tigers.

The Twins again came back.  Tony Oliva doubled, Killebrew walked, and with two out Alyea again hit a two-run double, making it 6-4 after three.  In the fourth Tom Hall singled and Tovar tripled, cutting the lead to 6-5.  Killebrew homered leading off the sixth, tying the score 6-6.

But in the seventh, the Tigers went into the lead to stay.  Northrup drew a one-out walk and Freehan hit a two-run homer, making it 8-6.  The Twins put two on with two out in the seventh, but never got a man past first base after that.

WP:  Hiller (1-0).

LP:  Tom Hall (0-1).

S:  None.

Notes:  Tovar was at second base, rather than in center field, with Rod Carew out of the lineup.  Holt went to center field.  Minnie Mendoza pinch-hit for Holt in the seventh and stayed in the game at second, with Tovar moving to center.  Bob Allison pinch-hit for Williams in the eighth.  Frank Quilici pinch-ran for Killebrew in the ninth.

Alyea was batting .429.  Tovar was batting .385.  Killebrew was batting .343.  Oliva was 1-for-5 and was batting .327.  Williams had an ERA of zero.  Perranoski had an ERA of 2.31.  Jim Perry started and gave up six runs (four earned) on eight hits and no walks in three innings and had an ERA of 2.57.  Hall gave up two runs on three hits and three walks in 3.1 innings and had an ERA of 2.84.

Reese raised his average to .194.  George Mitterwald was 0-for-4 and was batting .167.

Joe Niekro started for Detroit and pitched 3.1 innings, allowing five runs on six hits and three walks.  He struck out none.  No other players with Twins connections played for the Tigers in this game.

Despite the fact that Twins were trailing late, Perranoski appeared for the fifth time in six games.  He had pitched 9.2 innings in those games.  It would be six days before he pitched again.

Alyea was really tearing it up early, batting .429/.474/.857 in the season's first twelve games.  He had three doubles, four home runs, and twenty RBIs.

Detroit manager Mayo Smith apparently decided Killebrew was not going to beat them in this game, as he walked four times.  It's not that there was always a base open--he walked in the first with men on first and second, walked in the third with a man on second, walked in the seventh with the bases empty, and walked in the ninth with the bases empty.  The one time they pitched to him he led off the fifth with a home run.  The walks were not intentional, but it seems clear the Tigers were trying hard not to give Harmon much to hit.

Hall pitched better than his line looks.  He pitched three scoreless innings before giving up a two-run homer to Freehan.  One could argue that he was left in the game too long, but on the other hand, Freehan was a fine batter (200 career home runs), so it's possible that he simply hit a good pitch.

The Twins had won four, lost two, won four, and lost two.  We'll see if they could start another four-game winning streak.

Record:  The Twins were 8-4, tied for first in the American League West based on winning percentage, but a half game back of California.