Tag Archives: Minnesota Twins

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Seven

MINNESOTA 10, BALTIMORE 9 IN MINNESOTA (10 INNINGS)

Date:  Thursday, July 31.

Batting stars:  A. J. Pierzynski was 4-for-6.  Luis Rivas was 3-for-5 with a stolen base (his ninth), two runs, and three RBIs.  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-5 with a double, a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and two RBIs.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-5 with two walks.  Michael Restovich was 2-for-6 with two runs.

Pitching stars:  Juan Rincon struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Robert Machado was 4-for-5.  Jay Gibbons was 3-for-6 with a home run (his seventeenth) and three runs.  Jose Leon was 3-for-5.  Deivi Cruz was 2-for-5 with a home run (his thirteenth), a double, two runs, and five RBIs.  Brian Roberts was 2-for-5 with a double and a hit-by-pitch.

The game:  The Twins loaded the bases in the second but did not score.  In the third, Rivas led off with a single, stole second, and scored on a pair of infield grounders to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  The Orioles came right back in the fourth on singles by Jeff Conine and Gibbons and Cruz' three-run homer.  But the Twins came back in the bottom of the fourth.  Singles by RestovichCristian GuzmanStewart, and Rivas plated two runs to tie it 3-3.

The Twins went back into the lead in the fifth.  Singles by PierzynskiRestovich, and Guzman plated one run, Stewart was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and a sacrifice fly made it 5-3 Twins.  But Baltimore came back in the sixth inning.  Gibbons and Jose Leon singled, and both scored on a Cruz double to tie it.  Machado's RBI single put the Orioles ahead.  A walk and a hit batsman loaded the bases and a sacrifice fly made it 7-5 Baltimore.

The Orioles added to their lead in the seventh.  Gibbons led off with a homer, and two-out singles by Machado, Larry Bigbie, and Roberts increased the margin to 9-5.  But the Twins came back in the bottom of the seventh.  Chris Gomez walked and scored from first on Stewart's double.  Stewart went to third on the throw home and scored on a ground out to make it 9-7.  The Twins loaded the bases in the eighth but did not score.

In the ninth Rivas led off with a single and Mientkiewicz walked.  The next two batters struck out, but Pierzynski singled in a run to make it 9-8 and move the tying run to second.  Restovich struck out, but the third strike was not held and catcher Brook Fordyce threw wildly to first, allowing Mientkiewicz to score the tying run.  Twins baseball!

Baltimore went down in order in the top of the tenth.  Guzman led off the home half with a single and Stewart walked.  A bunt moved the runners up, an intentional walk loaded the bases, and Jacque Jones delivered a single to bring home the deciding run.

WP:  Hawkins (9-3).  LP:  Travis Driskill (3-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Gomez was at third in the continued absence of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was in left.  Dustan Mohr was in center in place of Torii Hunter.  Restovich was in right.

Todd Sears pinch-hit for Gomez in the eighth but did not bat, as a pitching change prompted Ron Gardenhire to use Matthew LeCroy to pinch-hit for Sears.  Denny Hocking then pinch-ran for LeCroy and stayed in the game at third base.  Hunter pinch-hit for Mohr in the ninth and stayed in the game in center field.

Restovich was batting .385.  Stewart was batting .315.  Jones was 1-for-5 and was batting .311.

Kenny Rogers pitched five innings and allowed seven runs on ten hits and a walk and struck out three.  His ERA was 5.24.  Joe Mays allowed two runs in 1.2 innings to raise his ERA to 6.50.  Hawkins lowered his ERA to 2.53.

Jason Johnson started for the Orioles.  He pitched 4.2 innings, allowing five runs on eleven hits and two walks and striking out two.  He's another guy who pitched for years without ever accomplishing anything.  His lowest ERA in a season was 4.09, in 2001.  In his eleven years in the majors he ERA was over 5.00 seven times and was 6.00 or more three times.  His career numbers are 56-100, 4.99, 1.49 WHIP.  Yet, he pitched 1357 innings and appeared in 255 games, starting 221 of them.

The Twins finished July on a bit of a high note, winning their last two.  However, they were still below .500 and in third place with only two months of the season left.

Record:  The Twins were 53-54, in third place in the American League Central, 4.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 3.5 games behind second-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Six

MINNESOTA 5, BALTIMORE 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, July 30.

Batting stars:  Jacque Jones was 2-for-3 with three RBIs.  Luis Rivas was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Brad Radke pitched 7.1 innings, giving up one run on six hits and a walk and striking out five.  Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition star:  Deivi Cruz was 2-for-3 with a double.

The game:  The Twins jumped out to a lead in the first inning.  Stewart doubled, Rivas had an infield single, and Doug Mientkiewicz walked to load the bases.  Jones responded with a two-run single.  They did no more damage that inning, but had a 2-0 lead.  They added a run in the fourth when Rivas doubled, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  It went to 5-0 in the seventh.  Michael Restovich doubled, Cristian Guzman tripled, and Stewart singled.

Meanwhile, the Orioles were doing very little on offense.  They didn't put two men on until the fifth, when an error and a single put men on first and second with one out.  Nothing came of it, however, and they did not again put two on until the eighth, when they got their lone run.  Cruz doubled, was bunted to third, and scored on a Luis Matos single.  That was the last hit Baltimore got, and it ended 5-1.

WP:  Radke (7-9).  LP:  Sir Sidney Ponson (14-6).  S:  None.

Notes:  Denny Hocking was at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was again in left, Restovich in right, and Jones at DH.

Restovich was batting .429.  Stewart was batting .314.  Jones was batting .313.

Radke lowered his ERA to 5.12.

Stewart stayed hot.  He was now 22-for-46 in his last 11 games.

This was the one good year Sir Sidney Ponson had, and he turned it into a twelve-year career.  He'd been decent the year before, 7-9, 4.09, 1.34 WHIP, but in 2003 he was 17-12, 3.75, 1.26.  It was the last year he would have an ERA below four.  In fact, it was the last year he would have an ERA below five.  He did manage to lead the league in complete games and shutouts in 2004, but he also led the league in hits allowed and earned runs allowed, as he compiled a record of 11-15, 5.30, 1.55.  Teams kept giving him chances for years, including, of course, the Twins in 2007.  He kept pitching until 2010 before he finally ran out of teams that would give him the ball.  For his career he was 91-113, 5.03, 1.48 WHIP in 1760.1 innings.  He appeared in 298 games, starting 278 of them.  I've said it before, but it always annoys me when somebody like Ponson keeps getting chances long after he's established that he's not good enough, while other guys dominate in AAA and get a cursory look if any at all.  Again, nobody said life or baseball would be fair.

The Twins gained a game on Kansas City, but not on Chicago.

Record:  The Twins were 52-54, in third place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 3.5 games behind second-place Chicago.

Happy Birthday–January 15

Johnny Nee (1890)
Ray Chapman (1891)
Steve Gromek (1920)
Georges Maranda (1932)
Dr. Mike Marshall (1943)
Bobby Grich (1949)
Rance Mulliniks (1956)
Jerry Narron (1956)
Don Cooper (1956)
Delino DeShields (1969)
Ray King (1974)
Matt Holliday (1980)
Armando Galarraga (1982)
Mitch Garver (1991)

Johnny Nee was a long-time minor league manager and scout.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–January 15

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Five

BALTIMORE 7, MINNESOTA 5 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, July 29.

Batting stars:  Luis Rivas was 2-for-4 with a home run (his third), a walk, and three RBIs.  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Michael Restovich was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching star:  James Baldwin pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Jay Gibbons was 2-for-3 with a home run (his sixteenth), a walk, and three RBIs.  Tony Batista was 2-for-4 with a home run, his nineteenth.  Jeff Conine was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Luis Matos was 2-for-5 with a stolen base (his thirteenth) and two runs.

The game:  The Orioles jumped out to a lead in the first inning.  Matos singled and scored from first on Conine's double.  Gibbons hit a two-out two-run homer, and it was 3-0 Baltimore before the Twins even came to bat.

The Twins got on the board in the third when Stewart hit a two-out double and Rivas followed with a two-run homer.  Batista homered leading off the fourth to make it 4-2.  The Twins got that run back in the bottom of the fourth but missed a chance for more.  Torii Hunter led off with a double and went to third on A. J. Pierzynski's single, but Jacque Jones hit into a double play.  It scored the run but took the Twins out of the inning, leaving the Orioles ahead 4-3.

The Twins tied it in the fifth when Chris Gomez singled, was bunted to second, and scored on a Rivas single.  But Baltimore went right back into the lead in the sixth when Matos singled, stole second, and scored on a Gibbons single.  The Twins tied it again in the seventh when Restovich led off with a double and scored on Cristian Guzman's single.

But in the eighth the Orioles went into the lead to stay.  Singles by Conine and Batista put men on first and third and a wild pitch scored a run.  They added an insurance run in the ninth on singles by Larry Bigbie and Deivi Cruz and an error.  The Twins put men on first and second with none out in the eighth and with two out in the ninth, but did not score.

WP:  Hector Carrasco (1-2).  LP:  LaTroy Hawkins (8-3).  S:  Jorge Julio (24).

Notes:  Gomez remained at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was in left, with Restovich in right and Jones as the DH.

Matthew LeCroy pinch-hit for Jones in the eighth but did not bat.  A pitching change prompted Ron Gardenhire to then bat Todd Sears for LeCroy.

This was Restovich's season debut.  He had appeared in eight games for the Twins in 2002.  After this game, he was batting .500.  Stewart raised his average to .311.  Jones was 0-for-3 and was batting .310.

Johan Santana's transition to the rotation was not going as hoped.  In four starts, he had allowed 14 runs in 24.1 innings.  In this game, he allowed five runs on six hits and no walks in 5.2 innings.  He did strike out seven.

Baldwin lowered his ERA to 2.00.  Hawkins gave up a run in one inning and had an ERA of 2.63.

Stewart was staying hot.  In his last ten games he was 20-for-42 with four doubles, a home run, and five walks.  He raised his average from .289 to .311.

Baltimore players with Twins connections included Tony Batista, Hector Carrasco, and Rick Helling.

The Twins had lost three games in a row and continued to sink more deeply into third place.

Record:  The Twins were 51-54, in third place in the American league Central, 6.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 3.5 games behind second-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Four

CLEVELAND 3, MINNESOTA 2 IN CLEVELAND (14 INNINGS)

Date:  Sunday, July 27.

Batting stars:  Doug Mientkiewicz was 3-for-5 with two doubles and a walk.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-4.  Luis Rivas was 2-for-5 with a double.  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-7.

Pitching stars:  Rick Reed pitched seven innings, giving up one run on six hits and no walks and striking out four.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  Juan Rincon pitched four innings, giving up one run on four hits and three walks and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Tim Laker was 3-for-5.  Coco Crisp was 3-for-7.  Casey Blake was 2-for-6 with two doubles.  Jhonny Peralta was 1-for-6 with a home run.  Jason Davis pitched nine innings, giving up two runs on ten hits and two walks and striking out four.  Ex-Twin Jack Cressend pitched two innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.

The game:  Lots of missed opportunities early.  The Twins put men on first and second with one out in the first.  The Indians put a man on second with one out in the first and had men on second and third with one out in the second.  The Twins finally got on the board in the third, but missed a chance for more.  Stewart led off with a single and Luis Rivas followed with a double, putting men on second and third with none out.  They could only score once, however, and that was on a wild pitch which gave the Twins a 1-0 lead.  Cleveland promptly tied it in the bottom of the third when Peralta led off the inning with a home run.

The Twins got the lead back in the sixth when A. J. Pierzynski led off with a double and scored on Stewart's single.  They held the lead until the ninth, when the Indians tied it without getting a hit.  Milton Bradley walked and Ben Broussard reached on an error on a bunt.  Laker sacrificed the men to second and third, Ryan Ludwick was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Victor Martinez hit a sacrifice fly, tying the score 2-2.

The Twins got a man to third with two out in the tenth but did not score.  The Indians loaded the bases with two out in the tenth but did not score.  The Twins had a man on second with two out in the twelfth and did not score.  Cleveland had men on first and second with one out in the twelfth and a man on second with one out in the thirteenth and did not score.

The game ended in the fourteenth.  Casey Blake hit a one-out double and went to third on a ground out.  Bradley was intentionally walked and took second on defensive indifference and Zach Sorensen walked.  Laker then singled to left to bring home the deciding run.

WP:  Rafael Betancourt (1-1).  LP:  Rincon (2-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Chris Gomez was again at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was in right.  Todd Sears was the DH.

Dustan Mohr replaced Jones in left in the eighth.  I don't know if Jones was hurting or if it was simply a defensive substitution, but Jones did not miss any games.  Justin Morneau pinch-hit for Mohr in the thirteenth, with Denny Hocking going to left.

Jones raised his average to .313.  Stewart was batting .309.

Reed's game score of 65 is one that he topped only once in 2003, when he pitched a three-hit shutout of Kansas City in May.

Hawkins lowered his ERA to 2.50.

Cressend came up to the Indians on July 1 and had a tremendous half-season, going 2-1, 2.51, 1.14 WHIP in 33 games (43 innings).  It seemed as if, at age twenty-eight, he had finally found something.  If he did, though, he lost it again the next year.  He went 0-1, 6.32, 2.04 in eleven games (15.2 innings) in 2004 and never made it back to the majors after that.

The Twins had three players on their roster, MientkiewiczMorneau, and Sears, whose primary position was first base.  They also had Matthew LeCroy, who could play some first base.  That's really not the recommended way to construct a roster.

With the loss, the Twins feel deeper into third place.

Record:  The Twins were 51-53, in third place in the American League Central, 6.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 2.5 games behind second-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Three

CLEVELAND 9, MINNESOTA 2 IN CLEVELAND

Date:  Saturday, July 26.

Batting star:  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching star:  Joe Mays pitched six innings of relief, giving up one run on nine hits and no walks and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Jody Gerut was 3-for-4 with a grand slam, his thirteenth homer.  Travis Hafner was 3-for-4 with a double.  Victor Martinez was 2-for-4.  Ryan Ludwick was 2-for-4.  Milton Bradley was 2-for-5 with a double.  Coco Crisp was 2-for-5.  Billy Traber pitched 6.1 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on six hits and no walks and striking out six.

The game:  The Twins actually got on the board first.  With one out in the second inning Matthew LeCroy reached on an error.  Consecutive singles by Jacque Jones, MohrChris Gomez, and Cristian Guzman plated two runs and gave the Twins a 2-0 lead.

Then came the bottom of the second.  Bradley doubled and Hafner singled, putting men on first and third with none out.  Singles by Ludwick, Victor Martinez, and John McDonald gave the Indians a 3-2 lead.  An error scored another run, and Coco Crisp singled to load the bases.  Casey Blake struck out, but Gerut hit a grand slam, making the score 8-2 Cleveland.

And that was pretty much it.  The Twins only threatened once, in the seventh, when they put men on second and third with two out.  The Indians added a run in the eighth when Angel Santos tripled and scored on Crisp's single.

WP:  Traber (5-5).  LP:  Kyle Lohse (6-9).  S:  None.

Notes:  LeCroy was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  Gomez was at third, as Corey Koskie was still out.  Shannon Stewart was the DH.

Alex Prieto made his major league debut in this game, pinch-hitting for Jones in the ninth.  He would be with the Twins for about a week, appearing in three games, then would come back as a September call-up.  In all, he would play in eight games in 2003 and sixteen in 2004, getting 43 at-bats and batting .209 with one home run.  Those were his career totals.  He kept playing through 2010, but did not make the majors again.

Lohse started and lasted just 1.2 innings.  He allowed eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits and struck out three.  He did not walk anyone--maybe he should have.  His ERA went to 5.18.  His game score was 12, his worst of the season.

Mays lowered his ERA to 6.44.

You can be forgiven if you don't remember Billy Traber.  This was his rookie season--he had started in the bullpen, but went into the rotation in early June.  He had a few excellent games--a one-hit shutout of the Yankees on July 8, seven shutout innings Cincinnati on June 27 and again against Seattle on August 7.  He also had some awful games, though, and for the year he was 6-9, 5.24, 1.54 WHIP.  He was injured all of 2004, was in the minors in 2005, but battled his way back to the majors with Washington in 2006.  He was never very good, though.  He only once posted an ERA below five (4.76 with the Nationals in 2007).  The 1.54 WHIP he posted in 2003 was the lowest of his career.  He went to the Yankees in 2008 and made one appearance for Boston in 2009.  For his career he was 12-14, 5.65, 1.59 WHIP.  Whatever he did in those few excellent games, apparently it was not anything he could do consistently.

The Twins once again failed to get above .500.

Record:  The Twins were 51-52, in third place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 1.5 games behind second-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Two

MINNESOTA 6, CLEVELAND 5 IN CLEVELAND

Date:  Friday, July 25.

Batting stars:  Doug Mientkiewicz was 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs.  Shannon Stewart was 3-for-5 with a double.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Eddie Guardado struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Milton Bradley was 3-for-4 with a double.  Ryan Ludwick was 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, and two RBIs.  Coco Crisp was 2-for-5.

The game:  It was all Indians early.  In the first Crisp doubled, an error put men on first and third, and Bradley hit a two-run double to put Cleveland up 2-0.  In the second, Ben Broussard walked, went to second on a ground out, and scored on Crisp's single to make it 3-0.  In the third Bradley singled and scored from first on Ludwick's double to increase the lead to 4-0.

The Twins started coming back in the fourth.  Singles by HunterA. J. Pierzynski, and Jacque Jones loaded the bases with one out.  All the Twins could do, though, was score on a ground out to cut the lead to 4-1.  They scored again in the fifth, but again missed a chance to do more damage.  Cristian Guzman walked and scored on Stewart's double.  Luis Rivas walked and Mientkiewicz singled to again load the bases, this time with none out.  But again, all the Twins could do was score on a ground out, so they remained behind at 4-3.

Ludwick homered leading off the bottom of the sixth to make it 5-3.  In the seventh the first two Twins struck out, but Rivas walked and scored from first on a Mientkiewicz double and Hunter followed with an RBI single to tie it 5-5.

The Twins took their only lead in the ninth.  Guzman singled and stole second.  With two out Mientkiewicz came through with a double to make it 6-5 Twins.  The Indians went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.

WP:  LaTroy Hawkins (8-2).  LP:  Danys Baez (0-7).  S:  Guardado (24).

Notes:  Denny Hocking was at third base in the continued absence of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was again in right and Morneau was again the DH.

Stewart raised his average to .310.  Jones was 1-for-4 and was also batting .310.

Kenny Rogers pitched six innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk and striking out four.  James Baldwin pitched two-thirds of an inning without giving up a run to make his ERA 2.35.  Hawkins retired both men he faced to make his ERA 2.55.

Jake Westbrook started for Cleveland.  He pitched 6.2 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks and striking out six.

Stewart was 15-for-27 in his last seven games.  He had three doubles, a home run, and four walks over that stretch.  He had also scored at least one run in each of those games.

This was Ludwick's first home run as an Indian.  He had hit one for Texas the year earlier, when he was up for a month.  He wouldn't get regular playing time in the majors until 2007, when he was St. Louis.  He ended with 154 major league homers, with a high of 37 in 2008.  That was the year he made his only all-star team and also won his only Silver Slugger award.  That year really stands out for him.  He batted .299/.375/.591, compared to career numbers of .260/.330/.451.  His next highest numbers in all those categories came in 2012, when he batted .275/.346/.531 with 26 homers.

Despite the chances they missed, the Twins stranded just seven and went 4-for-14 with men in scoring position.

The win moved the Twins back to .500.  Could they get above it this time?

Record:  The Twins were 51-51, in third place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 1.5 games behind second-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred One

MINNESOTA 6, KANSAS CITY 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Thursday, July 24.

Batting stars:  Jacque Jones was 3-for-4 with a home run (his eleventh), a double, and three RBIs.  Torii Hunter was 1-for-4 with a home run, his eighteenth.

Pitching stars:  Brad Radke pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and no walks and striking out four.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Raul Ibanez was 2-for-4 with a home run (his fourteenth), a triple, and two RBIs.  Ken Harvey was 2-for-4.  Darrell May pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on three hits and three walks and striking out two.

The game:  Aaron Guiel led off the game with a single and scored on Ibanez' triple to give the Royals a 1-0 lead.  The Twins tied it in the second on Jones' two-out home run.  They took the lead in the fourth when Hunter hit a one-out homer.  It stayed 2-1 until the seventh, when Ibanez homered to tie it 2-2.

The Twins took control in the eighth.  Denny Hocking led off with a single.  An error on Shannon Stewart's bunt put men on second and third with none out.  A. J. Pierzynski drove in a run with a single and a wild pitch scored another.  Doug Mientkiewicz walked.  The next two batters struck out, but Jones delivered a two-run double to put the Twins up 6-2.

Kansas City did not go away quietly.  Carlos Beltran Walked and Harvey singled, putting men on first and third with one out.  But Michael Tucker was caught looking and Angel Berroa grounded out to end the game.

WP:  Hawkins (7-2).  LP:  Jason Grimsley (2-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Matthew LeCroy was behind the plate in place of Pierzynski.  Pierzynski pinch-hit for Luis Rivas in the eighth and stayed in the game behind the plate.  Hocking was at short in place of Cristian Guzman.  Guzman pinch-hit for LeCroy in the eighth and stayed in the game at short, with Hocking moving to second.  Stewart was in right, with Justin Morneau at DH.

Jones raised his average to .311.  Stewart was 0-for-2 and was batting .306.

Radke lowered his ERA to 5.33.  Hawkins lowered his ERA to 2.59.

The Twins climbed back to within one game of .500

Record:  The Twins were 50-51, in third place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Kansas City.  They trailed third-place Chicago by 1.5 games.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred

KANSAS CITY 8, MINNESOTA 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, July 23.

Batting stars:  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Luis Rivas was 1-for-4 with a home run, his second.

Pitching stars:  None.

Opposition stars:  Jeremy Affeldt struck out five in five shutout innings, giving up three hits and two walks.  Carlos Beltran was 3-for-4 with a home run (his fourteenth), a double, a stolen base (his twenty-eighth), and a walk.  Michael Tucker was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Aaron Guiel was 2-for-5 with two home runs, his seventh and eighth.  Raul Ibanez was 1-for-4 with a home run, his thirteenth.  Angel Berroa was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his twelfth.

The game:  Each team put runners in scoring position, but there was no score through the first three innings.  That changed in the fourth, as Beltran led off with a home run.  The Royals added another run in the fifth when Guiel homered, making it 2-0.

Kansas City broke it open in the sixth.  Raul Ibanez hit a one-out home run.  Ken Harvey walked, Tucker doubled, and Desi Relaford walked, loading the bases.  A wild pitch scored one and Berroa followed with a three-run homer.  It was 7-0.

The Twins got on the board in the bottom of the sixth when Rivas homered.  Three walks later in the inning loaded the bases, but the Twins could do no more damage in the inning.  They put men on first and second in the seventh, but again could not make the margin smaller.

Guiel hit his second home run in the ninth to make it 8-1.  The Twins got two in the bottom of the ninth.  Stewart walked, Justin Morneau singled, and a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third.  A ground out scored one and Torii Hunter singled home another to make it 8-3, and that's how it ended.

WP:  Affeldt (6-5).  LP:  Johan Santana (4-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Chris Gomez remained at third in the continued absence of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was in right.  Morneau pinch-hit for Rivas in the ninth.

Stewart raised his average to .308.  Jones was 0-for-2 and was batting .306.

Santana pitched 5.1 innings, allowing five runs on five hits and three walks and striking out four.

Joe Mays pitched two-thirds of an inning without giving up a run to lower his ERA to 6.73.

I don't remember if this was the origin of the term "Jeremy", but it's a good example of it.  Affeldt was a decent pitcher in 2003, but nothing special.  It was his first full season.  This was actually his last start of the season--he would be moved to the bullpen after this game.  At this point he was 6-5, 4.34.  He would finish 7-6, 3.93.

The Twins sank farther into third place with the loss.

Record:  The Twins were 49-51, in third place in the American League Central, 6.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 1.5 games behind third-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game Ninety-nine

SEATTLE 10, MINNESOTA 8 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, July 22.

Batting stars:  Shannon Stewart was 3-for-5 with a home run, his eighth.  Luis Rivas was 2-for-4.

Pitching star:  James Baldwin pitched 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up no hits and three walks and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Randy Winn was 3-for-5 with a two-run homer (his fourth) and two runs.  Dan Wilson was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and two RBIs.  Mark McLemore was 2-for-5 with a double, a walk, and two runs.  John Olerud was 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs.  Julio Mateo pitched 4.1 innings of relief, giving up one run on three hits and no walks and striking out three.

The game:  The Mariners loaded the bases with none out in the second.  They scored one on a ground out and Wilson then delivered a two-run double, giving Seattle a 3-0 lead.  The Twins came right back with two in the bottom of the second.  A. J. Pierzynski doubled and scored on a Jacque Jones single.  Chris Gomez singled to put runners on the corners and a ground out cut the margin to 3-2.

The Twins appeared to take control of the game in the third.  A single, a walk, and an infield single tied the score.  A hit batsman loaded the bases, Justin Morneau walked to force in a run, another scored on a wild pitch, one more scored on a sacrifice fly, and Cristian Guzman hit an RBI single to give the Twins a seemingly comfortable 7-3 lead.

The Marines did not agree, however.  Bret Boone hit a two-run homer in the fifth to make it 7-5.  In the sixth, a walk and two singles loaded the bases.  Olerud had a single-plus-error to bring home three runs and Winn followed with a two-run homer, putting Seattle up 10-7.

The Twins got one back in the bottom of the sixth when Stewart homered, but that was as good as it got.  The Twins got only one more hit after that, Stewart's leadoff single in the ninth.  A double play erased him and a ground out ended the game.

WP:  Mateo (2-0).  LP:  Joe Mays (8-7).  S:  Shigetoshi Hasegawa (7).

Notes:  Gomez remained at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was in right field.  Morneau was the DH.

Todd Sears, who was back up for a couple of weeks, pinch-hit for Rivas in the ninth.

Jones was 1-for-3 and was batting .307.  Stewart went up to .306.

Rick Reed started and pitched five innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks.  He struck out five.  His ERA was 5.06.  Mays allowed five runs in two-thirds of an inning, raising his ERA to 6.77.  Baldwin lowered his ERA to 2.57.

Freddy Garcia started for the Mariners but lasted just 2.2 innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits and two walks.  He struck out two.  His ERA jumped to 5.05.  By game scores this was only his third-worst game of the season.  His ERA would reach a high of 5.57 on August 1.  He would then turn things around, and gave up just two earned runs in his last four starts of the season (27 innings) to end with an ERA of 4.51.

I can't think of Shigetoshi Hasegawa without remembering how Bert Blyleven struggled to pronounce his name.

The loss snapped the Twins' five-game winning streak and dropped them back below .500.  It also dropped them back into third place.

Record:  The Twins were 49-50, in third place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were a half game behind second-place Chicago.