MINNESOTA 3, CHICAGO 2 IN CHICAGO
Date: Tuesday, October 1.
Batting stars: Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a home run, his fifteenth. Shane Mack was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his twelfth.
Pitching stars: David West pitched four innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out two. Carl Willis pitched two perfect innings. Mark Guthrie pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out one. Rick Aguilera pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.
Opposition stars: Wilson Alvarez pitched 6.1 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks and striking out two. Frank Thomas was 2-for-4 with a double. Sammy Sosa was 2-for-4. Ozzie Guillen was 2-for-4.
The game: Each team missed a chance in the first. The Twins had men on first and second with none out; the White Sox loaded the bases. Still it was scoreless until the second. Brian Harper reached on an error and Mack singled. A bunt advanced the runners and Pedro Munoz delivered an RBI single. With men on first and third, the Twins tried a double steal of second and home, but Mack was thrown out at the plate to leave the score 1-0 Twins.
Chicago tied it in the third on back-to-back two-out doubles by Thomas and Carlton Fisk. They took the lead in the fourth. Sosa and Lance Johnson started the inning with singles, putting men on first and third. The White Sox then tried a double steal of their own and got the same result the Twins had, with Sosa thrown out at the plate. Ron Karkovice singled, however, putting Chicago up 2-1.
It stayed 2-1 until the seventh. With one out Mack singled, stole second, and scored on a Gene Larkin single, tying it 2-2. In the eighth Puckett homered to give the Twins a 3-2 advantage. The White Sox did not get a man past first after that.
WP: Guthrie (7-5). LP: Melido Perez (8-7). S: Aguilera (41).
Notes: Mack was in left field, with Dan Gladden on the bench. Gagne moved up to the leadoff spot. Larkin was at first base in place of Kent Hrbek. Munoz was in right field.
Al Newman replaced Gagne in the sixth and went to third base, with Leius moving to shortstop. Randy Bush pinch-hit for Munoz in the seventh and went to right field. Junior Ortiz replaced Harper at catcher in the seventh. Jarvis Brown replaced Bush in right field in the eighth.
Puckett was batting .321. Harper was 0-for-3 and was batting .314. Bush walked in his only plate appearance and remained at .312. Mack raised his average to .308. Willis lowered his ERA to 2.37. Aguilera went down to 2.31.
This was the only year of his career that Melido Perez was mainly a reliever. He did pretty well, going 8-7, 3.12, 1.20 WHIP. He'd had a good rookie year as a starter in 1988, but then struggled for two seasons. He was traded to the Yankees for 1992, went back to starting, and had the best season of his career, going 13-16, 2.87, 1.23 WHIP. He fell off after that, though, and never posted an ERA below four again. He was not a great pitcher, but he did have a couple of good years, which is a couple more than some people have. For his career, he was 78-85, 4.17, 1.34 WHIP.
Not only had the White Sox been eliminated, they now had only a 1.5 game lead over Oakland and Texas for second. It was possible that they might drop to third or even fourth.
Record: The Twins were 94-63, in first place in the American League West, ten games ahead of Chicago.
In the East, Toronto won and Boston lost, increasing the Blue Jays' lead to 4.5 games. Toronto had clinched at least a tie for the division.