DETROIT 16, MINNESOTA 5 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Sunday, April 25.
Batting stars: Gene Larkin was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Kirby Puckett was 1-for-3 with a home run (his fourth) and a hit-by-pitch.
Pitching stars: Willie Banks pitched 6.1 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks and striking out six. Rick Aguilera struck out two in a perfect inning.
Opposition stars: Alan Trammell was 3-for-5 with a home run, a stolen base (his third), two runs, and two RBIs. Mickey Tettleton was 2-for-3 with a home run (his fifth), a double, two walks, and three runs. Kirk Gibson was 2-for-5 with a double, a hit-by-pitch, and two runs. Chad Kreuter was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer (his second) and a walk. Tony Phillips was 1-for-4 with a home run (his second), two walks, and two runs.
The game: It looked good for the Twins for a long time. Not right away--Tettleton led off the second with a home run to put the Tigers up 1-0. But it stayed 1-0 until the fourth. Then Puckett homered to tie it 1-1. In the fifth, Pedro Munoz and Larkin led off with singles. A double play followed, but Jeff Reboulet and Chuck Knoblauch walked to load the bases. Shane Mack then delivered a two-run single to make it 3-1 Twins.
The Twins added two more in the sixth. Brian Harper led off with a single. With one out, Larkin walked, Terry Jorgensen had an RBI single, Reboulet walked, and Knoblauch hit a sacrifice fly. It was 5-1 Twins through six, and things were looking good.
But the roof fell in in the seventh. Not literally--the Metrodome was still standing at the end of the game. With one out Scott Livingstone walked, and two wild pitches moved him to third. Trammell delivered an RBI single to cut the lead to 5-2. Banks came out and Mark Guthrie came in. He gave up back-to-back homers to Krueter and Phillips, tying the score. He retired Lou Whitaker, but Gibson hit a ground-rule double. That led to Guthrie going out and Brett Merriman coming in. He gave up an RBI double to Cecil Fielder, intentionally walked Tettleton, Rob Deer hit a two-run double, and Livingstone got an RBI single. It was 9-5 Tigers.
Detroit scored seven more in the eighth. No need to go into great detail about it. Milt Cuyler hit a three-run double, a couple of runs scored on wild pitches, there was a sacrifice fly, and Trammell hit a home run. Nobody got on base after that.
WP: Mark Leiter (1-1). LP: Guthrie (1-1). S: None.
Notes: Larkin was at first-base in place of Kent Hrbek. Terry Jorgensen was at third base in place of Mike Pagliarulo.
Jeff Reboulet was apparently the starting shortstop at the beginning of 1993. He was replaced by Pat Meares in early May.
The two pitchers who allowed most of the runs for the Twins were their weakest relief pitchers in 1993. Guthrie, who'd had an excellent year in 1992, was dealing with an injury in 1993 and would be done for the season in late May. Merriman would make one more appearance and then go back to the minors, not returning until the end of August.
They spoiled a solid effort by Banks, who had started 1993 really well. This was his third start--he'd given up one run in 13.1 innings in his first two starts. His ERA would be 2.66 at the end of April. By the end of May, however, it was 4.14 and he would end the season at 4.04. It was still his best season as a Twin and the best he ever had as a starter.
The Tigers had Trammell batting eighth in this game. He was coming off an injury from 1992, but he batted .329 in 1993. I suspect he did not stay in the eighth spot too long.
Yes, I'm getting tired of random.org giving us Twins losses, too. But such is randomness.
Record: The Twins were 8-9, tied for third place in the American League West, 4.5 games behind California. They would end 71-91, tied for fifth with California, twenty-three games behind Chicago.
Detroit was 12-5, in first place in the American League East, two games ahead of Boston. They would end 85-77, tied for third with Baltimore, ten games behind Toronto.