MINNESOTA 5, BALTIMORE 2 IN BALTIMORE
Date: Saturday, August 24.
Batting stars: Shane Mack was 2-for-4 with a home run (his fifteenth) and two RBIs. Kent Hrbek was 2-for-4. Dan Gladden was 2-for-5 with a triple and three RBIs.
Pitching stars: Tom Edens pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits and three walks and striking out two. Steve Bedrosian pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and striking out one. Rick Aguilera struck out two in a scoreless inning.
Opposition stars: Bob Milacki pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and no walks and striking out three. Randy Milligan was 2-for-3 with a walk.
The game: In the first Mike Devereaux walked, went to third on a one-out single by Cal Ripken, and scored on a ground out to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. Devereaux led off the second with a home run to make it 2-0. Meanwhile, the first eleven Twins batters were retired. They got a pair of one-out singles in the fourth, but nothing came of it. The Twins had only one more hit until the seventh, when Mack homered to cut the lead to 2-1.
It stayed 2-1 until the ninth. Gregg Olson was the Baltimore closer, but he had pitched in three games in a row and four of the last five, so Mike Flanagan came in to try to close it out. He was greeted by a single by Hrbek, a walk to Chili Davis, and an RBI single by Mack to tie the score. Mike Pagliarulo hit into a force out, putting men on first and third. At that point, Olson came into the game anyway. He walked Randy Bush and struck out Brian Harper. Gladden then hit a three-run triple to give the Twins a 5-2 lead. The Orioles went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.
WP: Steve Bedrosian (5-3). LP: Flanagan (2-5). S: Aguilera (33).
Notes: Junior Ortiz was again behind the plate in place of Harper. Al Newman pinch-ran for Hrbek in the ninth and stayed in the game at shortstop. Bush pinch-hit for Ortiz in the ninth. Harper pinch-hit for Greg Gagne, who was back in the lineup, in the ninth and stayed in the game behind the plate. Gene Larkin went to first base in Bush's spot in the ninth.
Puckett was 1-for-4 and was batting .331. Harper was 0-for-1 and was batting .311. Mack raised his average to .309. Aguilera's ERA went down to 2.33.
Edens was making his first major league appearance in 1991. He had made thirty-five appearances for them in 1990. He would make six starts in 1991 (plus two relief games) and pitch pretty well in four of them. These would be the last major league starts he would make. He would pitch in relief for Minnesota (1992), Houston (1993-1994), Philadelphia (1994), and the Cubs (1995).
The Twins handled Cal Ripken fairly well in this series (3-for-11, all singles), but not on the season. In 1991, Ripken batted .354/.373/.563 in 51 plate appearances. Maybe they should've walked him more. For his career, he batted .307/.371/.478 against the Twins. His overall career numbers were .276/.340/.447.
Flanagan was nearing the end of his career, but he had a fine year out of the Orioles bullpen. He was 2-7, but his ERA was 2.38 and he had a WHIP of 1.11. He also had three saves. This was the last good year he would have, though. In 1992 he was 8.05 ERA and 2.11 WHIP in 34.2 innings, and then he was done.
Hrbek had a fine August, batting .316/.391/.500 with four home runs in 110 plate appearances.
The White Sox lost to Cleveland 2-1 and Oakland lost to Milwaukee 7-0, so the Twins gained another game on both teams.
Record: The Twins were 75-50, in first place in the American League West, seven games ahead of Chicago and Oakland.