TEXAS 4, MINNESOTA 3 IN TEXAS
Date: Thursday, September 12.
Batting stars: Chili Davis was 1-for-4 with a home run, his twenty-eighth. Kent Hrbek was 1-for-3 with a walk.
Pitching star: Jack Morris pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up four runs on five hits and two walks and striking out six. He threw 113 pitches. He clearly did not do a good job of pitching to the score.
Opposition stars: Nolan Ryan struck out nine in seven innings, giving up one run on two hits and a walk. Kevin Reimer was 1-for-2 with a three-run homer (his seventeenth) and a walk.
The game: The Rangers got all the runs they needed in the first inning. They opened the inning with singles by Brian Downing and Julio Franco, and a sacrifice fly scored the first run. Ruben Sierra singled and Reimer hit a three-run homer to make the score 4-0 Texas.
That was all the Rangers got, but again it was all they needed. The Twins got on the board in the fourth when Dan Gladden and Chuck Knoblauch singled and Kirby Puckett hit an RBI ground out, but that was it for the inning. Those were the only hits the Twins got against Ryan. They scored two in the ninth when Hrbek hit a two-out single and Davis hit a two-run homer, cutting the margin to 4-3. That was it, though as pinch-hitter Randy Bush grounded out to end the game.
WP: Ryan (10-6). LP: Morris (16-11). S: Jeff Russell (27).
Notes: Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Greg Gagne in the eighth, with Scott Leius then coming in to play shortstop. Bush pinch-hit for Brian Harper in the ninth.
Puckett was 0-for-4 and was batting .327. Mack was 1-for-3 and was batting .314. Harper was 0-for-3 and was batting .311.
Nolan Ryan was forty-four in 1991. If this wasn't the best season a forty-four year old pitcher ever had, it's pretty darn close. He made 27 starts, pitching 173 innings. He went 12-6, 2.91, 1.01 WHIP. He led the majors in WHIP, in fewest hits per nine innings, and in most strikeouts per nine inning.
Russell gave up two runs in one inning, taking the score from 4-1 to 4-3, and was credited with the save.
The White Sox lost to California 7-4, so another day came off the schedule without them gaining any ground.
Record: The Twins were 85-56, in first place in the American League West, 8.5 games ahead of Chicago.
In the East, Boston won and Toronto did not play, so the Blue Jays' margin fell to 3.5 games.