CALIFORNIA 5, MINNESOTA 1 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Wednesday, September 16.
Batting star: George Mitterwald was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.
Pitching stars: Bert Blyleven struck out ten in 6.2 innings, giving up five runs (two earned) on eight hits and two walks. Jim Kaat pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Tony Gonzalez was 2-for-4. Alex Johnson was 1-for-4 with a home run (his thirteenth), a walk, a stolen base (his thirteenth), and two runs. Clyde Wright pitched a complete game, giving up one run on three hits and five walks and striking out three.
The game: Neither team got a man past first until the fourth inning, when Johnson hit a home run to put the Angels up 1-0. California had men on second and third with one out in the fifth but did not score.
In the sixth, however, the Angels broke through for three more runs. Gonzalez led off with a single. With one out, Johnson reached on an error and Ken McMullen delivered an RBI single. A double steal put men on second and third and Jay Johnstone was intentionally walked. A popup made it two out, but Bill Voss reached on an error, bringing home two runs and making the score 4-0.
The Twins looked like they might get back into the game in the bottom of the sixth. Cesar Tovar led off with a single and Leo Cardenas and Harmon Killebrew walked, loading the bases with none out. But Tony Oliva popped up, Rick Renick hit into a run-scoring force out, and Bob Allison grounded out, leaving the Twins trailing 4-1.
California added a run in the seventh on singles by Gonzalez, Jim Fregosi, and Chico Ruiz. The Twins had only one hit after the sixth.
WP: Wright (20-11).
LP: Blyleven (9-8).
Notes: Renick was at third base, with Killebrew moving to first and Rich Reese on the bench. Allison was in left field in place of Brant Alyea. Frank Quilici was at second base in place of Rod Carew. Steve Brye went to left field in place of Allison as part of a double switch in the seventh. Rick Dempsey pinch-hit for Quilici in the eighth, with Danny Thompson going to second base. Cotton Nash pinch-hit for Kaat in the ninth.
Tony Oliva was 0-for-4 and was batting .317. Brye was 0-for-1 and was batting .167. Nash was 0-for-1 and was batting zero. Dempsey was 0-for-1 and was batting zero.
This was Dempsey's first appearance in 1970. He had appeared in five games in 1969.
Bill Rigney apparently had very little confidence in any of his relievers other than Perranoski and Williams. He had used both of them in both games of the doubleheader yesterday, and now went to Kaat in this game.
Oakland defeated Milwaukee 4-1, so the Twins magic number remained the same.
Record: The Twins were 88-60, in first place in the American League West, seven games ahead of Oakland. Their magic number was seven.