MINNESOTA 4, KANSAS CITY 2 IN MINNESOTA (10 INNINGS)
Date: Tuesday, May 13.
Batting stars: Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-3 with a double. Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4. Todd Sears was 1-for-1 with a two-run homer and a walk.
Pitching stars: Kyle Lohse struck out seven in seven innings, giving up one run on eight hits and no walks and striking out seven. LaTroy Hawkins pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Kyle Snyder pitched 6.1 innings, giving up one run on five hits and no walks and striking out three. Desi Relaford was 3-for-4 with a stolen base, his fifth. Ken Harvey was 2-for-4 with a double. Carlos Beltran was 2-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base, his fourth. Mike Sweeney was 2-for-5.
The game: The Royals had a man on third with two out in the first and had two on with none out in the fifth, but it was still scoreless through five. Beltran led off the sixth with a single. A force out meant that it was Raul Ibanez on first with two down. Harvey singled, and then Relaford delivered an RBI single. Relaford was out trying to stretch it to a double, but it was till 1-0 Kansas City.
The Twins tied it in the seventh. LeCroy hit a one-out double and scored on a two-out single by Doug Mientkiewicz. The tie lasted until the next half-inning. In the eighth, Beltran and Ibanez walked and Harvey delivered a double to put the Royals back up 2-1.
It was still 2-1 until the bottom of the ninth. But Chris Gomez led off with a single, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Bobby Kielty single to tie it 2-2.
We went to the tenth. Kansas City got a two-out single, but no more. In the bottom of the inning, Mohr singled with one out. With two out, Sears hit a walkoff two-run homer to give the Twins a 4-2 victory.
WP: Hawkins (2-0). LP: Albie Lopez (4-2). S: None.
Notes: Chris Gomez was at shortstop in place of Cristian Guzman. Mohr was in left in place of Jacque Jones. Denny Hocking was in right field.
Tom Prince pinch-ran for LeCroy in the seventh. Sears pinch-hit for Hocking in the eighth and stayed in the game at first base, with Mientkiewicz moving to right field. Jacque Jones pinch-hit for Luis Rivas in the eighth. Cristian Guzman then came in to play short, with Gomez moving to second. Bobby Kielty pinch-hit for Prince in the ninth.
Jones was 0-for-1 and was batting .340. LeCroy raised his average to .318. Kielty was 1-for-1 and was batting .306. Mohr was batting .302.
Hocking was 0-for-2 and was batting .095.
Lohse lowered his ERA to 3.27. Johan Santana gave up one run in one inning to make his ERA 1.57. Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.62.
LeCroy was 9-for-20 in his last five games and 15-for-39 in his last ten games.
I mentioned Sears' first home run the other day. This was his second and last. He didn't have a long or particularly good career, but he has this one story of a walkoff home run that he can tell his grandchildren some day.
Neither starter walked a batter, and there were only three walks in the entire game. Either the pitchers had excellent control, the batters were swinging at everything, or the umpire had a really big strike zone.
If you remember Mike Sweeney as a Twins-killer, you're right. For his career he batted .325/.384/.554 with twenty-five home runs against them. His slugging average and OPS were higher against the Twins than against any other team, excluding National League teams against which he had fewer than fifty at-bats. In 2003, however, not so much: he hit .281/.369/.421 with just two home runs.. That's good, but it's nothing to get particularly excited about.
I couldn't quickly find out how many times Prince was used as a pinch-runner in his career, but it can't be very many. That he was used in this game, at age thirty-eight, when he'd lost any little bit of speed he had, says something about LeCroy's running ability.
Record: The Twins were 21-17, in second place in the American League Central, 2.5 games behind Kansas City.