CALIFORNIA 9, MINNESOTA 1 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Thursday, August 15.
Batting stars: Dan Gladden was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his ninth. Chuck Knoblauch was 1-for-2 with two walks.
Pitching star: Terry Leach pitched 3.2 innings, giving up one run on one hit.
Opposition stars: Mark Langston pitched seven shutout innings, giving up two hits and three walks and striking out three. Shawn Abner was 2-for-4 with a home run (his second), two runs, and two RBIs. Lance Parrish was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fifteenth. Wally Joyner was 2-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs. Luis Sojo was 1-for-4 with a home run, his second.
The game: The Twins had men on first and second with none out in the first and did not score. In the third, the Angels exploded for five runs. With one out, Joyner doubled and Gary Gaetti singled him to third. Dave Parker hit an RBI double, there was a run-scoring ground out, Abner had an RBI single, and Parrish hit a two-run homer, making the score 5-0 California.
The Twins had men on first and second with two out in the third and did not score. Abner homered in the fifth to make it 6-0. In the sixth, Donnie Hill walked and Luis Polonia and Joyner hit back-to-back doubles to increase the lead to 8-0. Sojo homered in the eighth to make it 9-0.
The Twins finally got on the board in the bottom of the eighth. With two out, they got consecutive singles by Gladden, Knoblauch, and Shane Mack, avoiding the shutout with a score of 9-1.
WP: Langston (15-6). LP: Scott Erickson (15-5). S: None.
Notes: Gene Larkin was at first base with Kent Hrbek on the bench. With Erickson pitching, Junior Ortiz was behind the plate in place of Brian Harper. Al Newman was at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne.
With the changes, Mack was in the third spot in the batting order, with Puckett batting fourth and Chili Davis fifth.
Erickson pitched just three innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk. His ERA went to 2.89. It was his second consecutive bad start and third out of four. His injury was clearly affecting him, but the Twins kept sending him out there.
Puckett was 0-for-4 and was batting .323. Ortiz was 0-for-4 and was batting .194. Denny Neagle allowed three runs in 2.1 innings to make his ERA 5.63. Leach's ERA went down to 2.73.
I'm pretty sure that, when Mike Fetters came in to pitch the ninth for the Angels, John Gordon solemnly stated, "This is not a save situation."
1991 was probably Langston's best year. He went 19-8, 3.00, 1.16 WHIP. He finished sixth in Cy Young voting that year and probably should have been higher. From 1987-1995 he was a consistently good pitcher, making the all-star team four times, but 1991 was the best.
The White Sox lost to Detroit 6-4, so the Twins maintained their lead.
Record: The Twins were 68-48, in first place in the American League West, 1.5 games ahead of Chicago.