MINNESOTA 9, KANSAS CITY 2 IN KANSAS CITY
Date: Friday, August 15.
Batting stars: Jacque Jones was 3-for-4 with a double and two runs. Corey Koskie was 3-for-5 with a double. Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs. Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-4 with a walk. Luis Rivas was 2-for-5 with a home run (his fifth) and two runs. Dustan Mohr was 2-for-5 with a double. Torii Hunter was 1-for-5 with a three-run homer, his twenty-second.
Pitching star: Kenny Rogers pitched eight innings, giving up an unearned run on two hits and a walk and striking out seven.
Opposition star: Mendy Lopez was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
The game: The Twins opened the second with two singles but did not score. In the third, the first two batters went out. Then, however, Rivas singled, Koskie hit an RBI double, LeCroy walked, Jones had a run-scoring single, and Hunter hit a three-run homer, putting Minnesota up 5-0. It went to 8-0 in the fifth. LeCroy singled, Jones doubled, and A. J. Pierzynski was intentionally walked, loading the bases. Guzman delivered a single-plus-error that cleared the bases.
The Royals got on the board in the fifth when Joe Randa reached on an error and scored on a Lopez single. The Twins got the run back in the sixth when Rivas homered. Kansas City got their final run in the ninth when Raul Ibanez doubled and scored on another Lopez single.
WP: Rogers (10-6). LP: Jimmy Gobble (2-1). S: None.
Notes: LeCroy was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz. Shannon Stewart was in left, Mohr in right, and Jones at DH. Michael Restovich pinch-hit for Jones in the eighth.
Restovich was 1-for-1 and was batting .325. Jones raised his average to .311. Stewart was 0-for-6 and was batting .310. Koskie raised his average to .301.
By game scores this was the best game Rogers had in 2003. The only one that came close was when he threw eight shutout innings in Detroit on April 17.
J. C. Romero gave up a run in an inning to make his ERA 5.06.
This was the third start of Jimmy Gobble's career. He had done really well in the first two, giving up just one run in 12.1 innings. Obviously, that came crashing down in this game, as he allowed five runs on eight hits and a walk in three innings. He's another pitcher who kept getting chances long after it was clear that he wasn't good enough. In seven seasons he had two in which his ERA was under five and two in which it was over seven. He had just one year in which his ERA was under four. He was a reliever that year, and his WHIP was 1.47, so the chances are he was allowing a lot of other people's runs to score. For his career he was 22-23, 5.29, 1.49 WHIP. He pitched 435.2 innings in 247 games, 43 of them starts.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak and moved the Twins back to two games above .500.
Record: The Twins were 62-60, in third place in the American League Central, three games behind Kansas City. They were one game behind second-place Chicago.