SEATTLE 9, MINNESOTA 5 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Sunday, June 1.
Batting stars: Corey Koskie was 2-for-3 with a walk. A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer (his sixth) and a double. Jacque Jones was 1-for-5 with a home run, his sixth. Lew Ford was 1-for-1 with a home run.
Pitching stars: Tony Fiore pitched five innings of relief, giving up two runs on three hits and no walks and striking out three. J. C. Romero pitched a perfect inning and struck out one. Eddie Guardado struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.
Opposition stars: Edgar Martinez was 4-for-5 with a home run (his fourteenth), a double, three runs, and two RBIs. Greg Colbrunn was 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs. Bret Boone was 2-for-5 with a home run (his fifteenth), two runs, and two RBIs. Mike Cameron was 2-for-5.
The game: The Mariners scored six runs in the first inning before anyone was out. Oddly enough, Brad Radke was not the Twins' starting pitcher. They started the game with five singles: Randy Winn, Carlos Guillen, Boone, Martinez, and Cameron all singled. Colbrunn then hit a two-run triple and Jeff Cirillo singled, bringing the score to 6-0. Jones led off the bottom of the first with a home run, but Boone led off the second with a home run, making the score 7-1.
To the Twins' credit, they battled to try to make a game of it. In the second Doug Mientkiewicz doubled and Pierzynski hit a two-run homer, making it 7-3. In the third, singles by Cristian Guzman and Koskie and a walk to Torii Hunter brought the tying run to the plate with one out. All the Twins could manage was a sacrifice fly, though, and it was 7-4.
That was as good as it got for the Twins. Martinez homered it the fourth to make it 8-4. In the eighth Martinez doubled, went to third on a fly ball, and scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 9-4.
The Twins got one more in the ninth. With two out Ford pinch-hit for Luis Rivas and hit a home run, his first major league homer. That brought the score to 9-5, and that's where it stayed.
WP: Freddy Garcia (5-6). LP: Kenny Rogers (4-2). S: None.
Notes: With the home run, Ford was batting .500. Jones dropped his average to .327. Dustan Mohr was 0-for-3 and was batting .315.
Ford was the only lineup substitute.
Rogers lasted just 1.1 innings, allowing seven runs on ten hits and no walks. He struck out one. He had a game score of seven, which was by far his worst game of the season.
Garcia pitched seven innings for the Mariners, giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks and striking out seven. I remember him as being better than he was. Not that he was bad or anything, but he was average to slightly above average for most of his career. He started out really well, though, which may have skewed my memory. He finished second to Carlos Beltran in Rookie of the Year voting in 1999, going 17-8, 4.07, although with a 1.47 WHIP. He made the all-star team in 2001 and again in 2002. 2001 was his best year: he was 18-6, 3.05, 1.12 WHIP. He led the league in ERA, innings, and home runs per nine innings, the only times he ever led the league in anything except for 2005, when he led the league in wild pitches. He finished third in Cy Young voting that year to Roger Clemens and Mark Mulder, and while I can't say that the voters were wrong it looks like his season was every bit as good as theirs. For his career he was 156-108, 4.15, 1.30 WHIP and had a lifetime ERA+ of 107. He appeared in 376 games, 357 of them starts, and pitched 2264 innings. He was durable, pitching over 200 innings seven times. Not a Hall of Famer or anything, but certainly a respectable career.
As mentioned above this was Lewwwwww's first home run. He would hit 35 in his career, with a career high of 15 in 2004.
Ex-Twin Greg Colbrunn's triple was the last of his major league career. He hit 12 of them, with a career high of three in 1999.
After playing so well for almost the entire month of May, the Twins had now lost four in a row. They were swept at home, the first time that had happened since the Yankees series in April. Luckily, second-place Kansas City was struggling, too, and had slipped to an even .500.
Record: The Twins were 31-24, in first place in the American League Central, 3.5 games ahead of Kansas City.