MINNESOTA 10, BOSTON 2 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Sunday, June 14.
Batting stars: Harmon Killebrew was 3-for-4 with a double and a walk. Tony Oliva was 2-for-4 with a walk. George Mitterwald was 2-for-4 with a walk. Jim Holt was 2-for-5 with a home run, a triple, two runs, and three RBIs. Rod Carew was 2-for-5 with two runs. Rich Reese was 2-for-5 with two runs. Leo Cardenas was 2-for-5.
Pitching stars: Bert Blyleven struck out seven in five innings, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks. Stan Williams pitched four shutout innings, giving up two hits and three walks and striking out two.
Opposition stars: George Thomas was 3-for-5 with a double. Billy Conigliaro was 2-for-4 with a triple and a double. Jose Santiago struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk.
The game: The Red Sox scored in the first inning as Thomas singled and scored from first on a Carl Yastrzemski double. The Twins tied it in the bottom of the first when Cesar Tovar singled, stole second, went to third on a ground out, and scored on a wild pitch.
It stayed 1-1 until the fourth. Boston took the lead when, with one out, Rico Petrocelli and George Scott singled and Conigliaro delivered an RBI double. Tom Satriano was intentionally walked, loading the bases with still only one out, but Sonny Siebert and Mike Andrews struck out to end the inning. It cost the Red Sox, as the Twins responded with four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Cardenas led off the inning with a single and scored on a Holt triple. Mitterwald followed with an RBI single and was bunted to second. With two out Carew singled home a run and went to second on the throw home, which enabled him to score on an Oliva single and put the Twins up 5-2.
The Twins added a run in the fifth, although they missed a chance for more. Reese and Cardenas led off the inning with singles. With one out, Mitterwald walked and then pinch-hitter Rick Renick walked, forcing in a run to make the score 6-2. The bases were still loaded, but a pair of force outs thwarted the Twins.
Boston loaded the bases with two out in the sixth with two walks and an error, but Thomas flied out to end the inning. That was the last time the Red Sox threatened to get back into the game. The Twins added four runs in the ninth. Carew, Oliva, and Killebrew all singled, bringing home one run. A ground out brought home another, and Holt hit a two-run homer to round out the scoring.
WP: Blyleven (2-1).
LP: Siebert (5-4).
S: Williams (3).
Notes: Holt was again in left in place of Brant Alyea. Renick pinch-hit for Blyleven in the sixth. Frank Quilici pinch-ran for Killebrew in the ninth and stayed in the game at third base.
Carew was batting .373. Oliva was batting .333. Killebrew was batting .324. Blyleven had an ERA of 2.37. Williams had an ERA of 1.90.
Pitchers batting does lead to some interesting managerial decisions sometimes. Leading 2-1 in the fourth, the Red Sox had the bases loaded with one out and Siebert up to bat. Boston manager Eddie Kasko allowed him to bat, he struck out, so did Mike Andrews, and the inning was over. The Twins scored four in the bottom of the fourth and the Red Sox never led again. On the other hand, leading 5-2 in the fifth, the Twins had the bases loaded with one out and Blyleven up to bat. Renick pinch-hit and walked, forcing in a run. I'm really not in a position to say either decision was right or wrong, I just find them interesting. I suspect if the Twins pitcher had been one with a reputation of being a good hitter, say Jim Kaat or Jim Perry, Bill Rigney might have allowed him to bat.
And if you're wondering, Siebert did fall into the "good hitter for a pitcher" category, with a lifetime average of .173. His best year at-bat would be 1971, when he batted .266 with six home runs in 79 at-bats. Blyleven had a career average of .131 with no home runs and only seven doubles in 451 at-bats.
The four ninth-inning runs were given up by ex-Twin Lee Stange. Future Twin Ken Brett pitched one inning, giving up two walks but no runs.
As you can see above, seven of the Twins' batters had two or more hits. They had sixteen for the game, so they were spread pretty evenly. The Red Sox stranded twelve men and were 1-for-15 with men in scoring position.
Record: The Twins were 36-18, in first place in the American League West, 3.5 games ahead of California. They had the best record in the American League, but trailed National League leader Cincinnati, who was 44-17.