MINNESOTA 7, SEATTLE 2 IN SEATTLE
Date: Saturday, May 24.
Batting stars: A. J. Pierzynski was 3-for-4 with a three-run homer (his fourth) and two runs. Chris Gomez was 3-for-5 with a triple and a double. Jacque Jones was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. Corey Koskie was 1-for-4 with a home run (his sixth) and a walk.
Pitching star: Kyle Lohse pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk and striking out seven. He threw 114 pitches.
Opposition stars: Ichiro Suzuki was 2-for-4. Julio Mateo struck out four in four innings of relief, giving up one run on two hits and two walks.
The game: The Twins put men on first and second with one out in the first but did not score. In the second, however, Todd Sears walked, Dustan Mohr singled, and Pierzynski hit a three-run homer. They got a pair of singles, putting men on first and second with one out, but could do no further damage. Still, it was 3-0 Twins after two.
Each team scored once in the fourth. Gomez hit a one-out triple and scored on a two-out single by Matthew LeCroy. The Mariners got the run back on singles by Suzuki, Bret Boone, and John Olerud, making the score 4-1.
Each team again scored in the fifth. The Twins got two in the top of the inning. With two out, Pierzynski and Luis Rivas singled and Jones hit a two-run double. Seattle scored once in the bottom of the inning when Randy Winn doubled and Suzuki delivered a two-out RBI single, bringing the score to 6-2.
Koskie led off the sixth with a home run to make it 7-2. And that was it. The Mariners only got one more hit, a two-out single by Carlos Guillen in the eighth.
WP: Lohse (4-3). LP: Joel Piniero (4-4). S: None.
Notes: Sears was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz. Mientkiewicz came in for defense in the ninth. Gomez was at short in place of Cristian Guzman.
Jones raised his average to .345. Mohr was batting .317. LeCroy was 1-for-5 and was batting .313. Gomez raised his average to .300.
Lohse lowered his ERA to 3.06. This was one of two complete games he had in 2003, with the other coming May 8. It was his third-highest game score of the season, behind the May 8 game and his eight shutout innings in his first start. It is very unlikely that he would've been allowed to complete a game like this today.
Gomez was a home run away from the cycle.
I have no particular memory of Julio Mateo, but he spent six years in the Seattle bullpen. In two of those years he was really good: 2003, when he went 4-0, 3.15, 0.96 WHIP with 71 strikeouts in 85.2 innings; and 2005, when he was 3-6, 30.6, 1.09 WHIP with 52 strikeouts in 88.1 innings. For his career he was 18-12, 3.68, 1.20 WHIP. He walked only 2.4 per nine innings. He was never a closer, and in fact had only two career saves. But he was a solid reliever for much of the first decade of the twenty-first century.
Record: The Twins were 28-20, in first place in the American League Central, 1.5 games ahead of Kansas City.