ANAHEIM 5, MINNESOTA IN ANAHEIM
Date: Friday, July 11.
Batting star: Luis Rivas was 1-for-2 and was hit by a pitch.
Pitching stars: Johan Santana pitched six inning, giving up three runs on five hits and no walks and striking out four. Juan Rincon pitched a scoreless inning, striking out one.
Opposition stars: Ramon Ortiz pitched six shutout innings, giving up three hits and four walks and striking out five. Garret Anderson was 2-for-4. Tim Salmon was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fourteenth. Scott Spiezio was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his ninth. Brendan Donnelly pitched two perfect innings, striking out one.
The game: The Twins got two on with one out in the third and loaded the bases with two out in the fourth, but could not get on the board. They only had one hit in those innings, with the other baserunners coming from walks and a hit batsman. The Angels got on the board in the fourth when Anderson singled, was balked to second, and scored on a Troy Glaus double.
The Twins had men on first and third with two out in the fifth, but again could not score. In the sixth Darin Erstad doubled and Salmon hit a two-run homer to make it 3-0. Anaheim got two more in the eighth when Erstad walked and Spiezio hit a two-run homer. The Twins got only one hit in the last four innings, a one-out single by Rivas in the seventh.
WP: Ortiz (11-6). LP: Santana (4-2). S: Donnelly (2).
Notes: Chris Gomez was at short in place of Cristian Guzman. Guzman entered the game in the fourth inning in the spot of Corey Koskie, due to injury. Gomez moved to third base. Koskie would not return to the lineup until August 4. Dustan Mohr remained in left in place of Jacque Jones, with Bobby Kielty in right. Denny Hocking was in center in place of Torii Hunter.
Matthew LeCroy was 1-for-4 and was batting .302.
Santana entered the rotation at this point, taking the spot of Joe Mays. His ERA was an even 3.00. Rincon's ERA went down to 3.33.
The Twins were again shut down by an average pitcher. Yes, Ortiz was 11-6, but his ERA at this point was 4.41. He'd had a fine year in 2002, going 15-9, 3.77, 1.18 WHIP, but in 2003 a shiny won-lost record hid the fact that he wasn't very good. He wouldn't get better in the second half, either: he ended the season 16-13, 5.20, 1.51 WHIP. He would continue to pitch for another ten years, but he never had a good year in the majors again.
Anaheim's closer, of course, was Troy Percival, but Donnelly was really good, too. He didn't give up an earned run until May 22, his twenty-first game. This was the thirty-ninth game he'd appeared in, and he'd still given up a grand total of one earned run, giving him an ERA of 0.38. He didn't keep that up, of course, but he ended the season with an ERA of 1.58 and a WHIP of 1.07. This was the second of three saves he had for the season. He made his only all-star team this season. He was a fine reliever until 2007, when he blew out his elbow. He tried to come back in 2008 and was terrible, but he bounced back to have a strong season in 2009. That was his last good season, though, and after 2010 he was done.
The Twins had lost six games in a row and ten of eleven.
Record: The Twins were 44-47, second in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Kansas City. They were one game ahead of third-place Chicago.