MINNESOTA 7, TEXAS 3 IN TEXAS (10 INNINGS)
Date: Friday, September 13.
Batting stars: Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs. Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-5 with a double. Kent Hrbek was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his seventeenth.
Pitching stars: David West struck out five in four innings of relief, giving up one run on two hits and two walks. Gary Wayne struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.
Opposition stars: Kevin Brown pitched seven innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk and striking out five. Mario Diaz was 3-for-3 with two runs. Brian Downing was 2-for-5 with a home run, his sixteenth.
The game: Downing led off the bottom of the first with a home run, giving the Rangers a quick 1-0 lead. The Twins tied it in the third. Gladden and Knoblauch hit two-out singles, putting men on first and third, and a pickoff attempt went awry to allow Gladden to score.
Texas went back into the lead in the fifth. Diaz led off with a single, went to second on a wild pitch, took third on a ground out, and scored on a sacrifice fly, making it 2-1 Rangers. The Twins again tied it in the seventh. Puckett singled and Hrbek walked. A double play moved Puckett to third and he scored on Randy Bush's pinch-hit single, making it 2-2.
Texas again went back into the lead in the bottom of the seventh. One-out singles by Diaz and Downing put men on first and third and a ground out made it 3-2 Rangers. The Twins again tied it in the eighth. Gene Larkin drew a one-out walk. Pinch-runner Jarvis Brown stole second and third and scored on a Knoblauch double to tie it at three.
The Twins took their only lead of the game in the tenth. With one out Lenny Webster singled and Gladden walked. Puckett's two-out single scored one run and Hrbek delivered a three-run homer to give the Twins a 7-3 advantage. Texas got only one single in the bottom of the tenth.
WP: Terry Leach (1-1). LP: Kenny Rogers (9-10). S: None.
Notes: Pedro Munoz was in right field in place of Shane Mack. Junior Ortiz caught in place of Brian Harper.
The Twins made extensive use of the bench. Bush pinch-hit for Munoz in the seventh and remained in the game in right field. Al Newman pinch-hit for Ortiz in the seventh and remained in the game at shortstop. Larkin pinch-hit for Greg Gagne in the seventh. Brown pinch-ran for him and Webster then came in to catch. Mack entered the game in the eighth in right field in place of Bush. Scott Leius pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the ninth and remained in the game at third base. I'm going to miss teams being able to make that many moves in September games.
Puckett raised his average to .328. Mack was 0-for-1 and was batting .313. Webster was 1-for-1 and was batting .400.
Scott Erickson started for the Twins but pitched just two innings, giving up one run on two hits and a walk. He threw twenty-nine pitches. I assume he came out because of his elbow. He would not miss a start, however.
Erickson's ERA went to 3.15. Leach pitched two-thirds of an inning scorelessly to make his ERA 3.06. Rick Aguilera similarly pitched two-thirds of an inning scorelessly to make his ERA 2.17.
This was Leach's only win of the season.
Kenny Rogers was primarily a reliever in his first four years in the majors. In fact, he led the league in appearances in 1992 with 81. He made just twelve starts in those first four seasons before becoming a full-time starter in 1993.
Diaz was not in the starting lineup. He batted for Jeff Huson in the fifth inning.
The White Sox defeated California 1-0, but again, time was running out on them.
Record: The Twins were 86-56, in first place in the American League West, 8.5 games ahead of Chicago.
In the East, Toronto and Boston both won, so the Blue Jays remained in the lead by 3.5 games.