CHICAGO 5, MINNESOTA 3 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Saturday, September 12.
Batting stars: Cesar Tovar was 3-for-4. Paul Ratliff was 2-for-4 with a double. Brant Alyea was 1-for-5 with a home run, his sixteenth.
Pitching stars: Bert Blyleven pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks and striking out four. Hal Haydel pitched a scoreless inning despite walking three.
Opposition stars: Bart Johnson was 2-for-4. Gail Hopkins was 1-for-3 with a home run, his sixth. Syd O'Brien was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer (his eighth) and a walk. Johnson also struck out ten in eight innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on ten hits and three walks.
The game: The Twins had two on with one out in the first, but nothing came of it. Hopkins homered in the second to put the White Sox on the board. In the third Johnson singled and O'Brien followed with a home run, making the score 3-0 Chicago.
The Twins drew a pair of walks in the bottom of the third, but a double play took them out of the inning. The White Sox loaded the bases in the fourth but did not score. Alyea led off the bottom of the fourth with a home run to cut the lead to 3-1.
Two runs was as close as the Twins would come. They got a pair of two-out singles in the seventh, but did not score. In the eighth Bill Melton walked, Ken Berry reached on an error, and Bobby Knoop hit a two-out two-run double to make it 5-1 Chicago.
The Twins did not give up. Ratliff and Jim Holt led off the ninth with singles, and a passed ball moved them to second and third. The next two batters went out, but Danny Thompson reached on an error to bring in a run and a wild pitch brought home another. Harmon Killebrew walked, bringing the winning run to the plate, but Alyea struck out to end the game.
WP: Johnson (3-5).
LP: Blyleven (9-7).
S: Wilbur Wood (20).
Notes: Jim Nettles was in right field in place of Tony Oliva. Ratliff was behind the plate in place of George Mitterwald. Frank Quilici was at second base in place of Rod Carew. Holt pinch-hit for Quilici in the seventh inning and went to center field, with Tovar moving to right and Nettles coming out. Danny Thompson came in to play second base. Charlie Manuel pinch-hit for Blyleven in the seventh. Herman Hill pinch-hit for Haydel in the ninth, but then Rick Renick pinch-hit for Hill. Bob Allison pinch-ran for Killebrew in the ninth.
Alyea was batting .306. Stan Williams gave up two unearned runs in one inning and had an ERA of 2.05. Haydel had an ERA of 3.00.
The loss snapped the Twins' four-game winning streak.
As we said before, the Twins had pretty much settled the division race. However, this loss and an Oakland win kept the magic number where it was.
Record: The Twins were 87-57, in first place in the American League West, 7.5 games ahead of Oakland. Their magic number remained at eleven.