SEATTLE 8, MINNESOTA 4 IN SEATTLE
Date: Monday, April 15.
Batting stars: Brian Harper was 3-for-4. Kirby Puckett was 2-for-3 with a walk. Shane Mack was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer.
Pitching stars: Larry Casian pitched 4.1 innings of relief, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks and striking out two. Terry Leach pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Harold Reynolds was 2-for-3 with a double, two walks, and two RBIs. Edgar Martinez was 2-for-4 with a home run (his second), a walk, two runs, and three RBIs. Tracy Jones was 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs. Dave Valle was 2-for-4. Randy Johnson pitched a complete game, giving up four runs on seven hits and four walks and striking out six. He threw 126 pitches.
The game: The Mariners jumped on Twins starter Allan Anderson right away. Reynolds and Jones led off with singles and Martinez followed with a three-run homer to give Seattle a 3-0 lead after the first three batters of the game. The Twins got on the board in the third. Chuck Knoblauch doubled and Mack homered to cut the margin to 3-2.
The Mariners regained control in the bottom of the third. Jones led off with a home run. Martinez singled and Ken Griffey walked. The next two batters went out, but RBI singles by Pete O'Brien and Valley made the score 6-2.
The Twins again tried to come back. In the fourth, Chili Davis led off with a walk and Harper singled, putting men on first and third. A run scored on a ground out, there was a balk, and a sacrifice fly brought the lead down to two at 6-4.
That was as good as it would get, though. With one out in the sixth, Valle and Jeff Schaefer singled and Reynolds delivered a two-run double to make the score 8-4. The Twins never really threatened after that, never getting a man past second base.
WP: Johnson (1-1). LP: Anderson (1-1). S: None.
Notes: Mack remained in center, with Puckett in right. Dan Gladden was dropped to the seventh spot in the batting order, with Knoblauch leading off and Mack batting second.
Puckett raised his average to .407. Knoblauch was 1-for-4 and was batting .375. Harper raised his average to .375. Greg Gagne was 0-for-5 and was batting .353.
Gladden was 0-for-2 with a walk and was batting .043. Kent Hrbek was 0-for-3 and was batting .115. Mack raised his average to .118.
Anderson pitched just 2.2 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and a walk and striking out one. His ERA was 6.30.
I suspect the attitude of most Twins fans at this point of the season was "same old Twins". They were scoring runs, but couldn't score as many as their pitchers could give up. They'd try to come back, but no sooner would they get back into a game than their pitchers would take them out of it again. This, of course, would change.
Another guy I have no memory of is Tracy Jones. A corner outfielder, he came up with Cincinnati in 1986. Unfortunately for him, the Reds had Eric Davis and Dave Parker manning their corner outfield spots, so he only got 92 plate appearances. He made the most of them, batting .349 with an OPS of .860. In 1987 the Reds moved Davis to center, but Jones had to split time with Kal Daniels in left. He again hit well, batting .290 with an OPS of .771. He was again a reserve in 1988 when he was traded to Montreal. That didn't do him much good, either, as the Expos had Tim Raines and Hubie Brooks at corner outfield positions. He bounced around the rest of his career, playing for San Francisco, Detroit, and Seattle. 1991 would be his last major league season. For his career, he batted .273/.329/.388 in 1434 plate appearances over six seasons. Not a bad career, really. Had he been able to play center he might have had a much better career, but as he only played fifty-two games there it's clear that teams didn't think he was good enough to do that. He had a radio talk show for a while--his b-r.com biography says that his approach was "if you haven't played the game then you don't understand it enough to talk about it", which would've made it hard for him to have conversations with callers. He apparently lost that gig in 2017 and is now the owner of Tracy Jones Financial, a financial planning firm. I don't know whether he tells people that if they haven't played the markets then they don't understand them enough to talk about them. His brother Terry was a minor league infielder for California and Kansas City. His son Hunter has been in the minors since 2010 and spent last season with AA Harrisburg in the Washington organization.
Record: The Twins were 2-5, fifth in the American League West, four games behind the White Sox.