MINNESOTA 4, KANSAS CITY 3 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Thursday, August 21.
Batting star: Shannon Stewart was 2-for-4 with a home run (his thirteenth) and four RBIs.
Pitching stars: Kenny Rogers pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and three walks and striking out three. LaTroy Hawkins pitched a perfect inning. Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.
Opposition stars: Joe Randa was 3-for-4 with two doubles. Brent Mayne was 1-for-3 with a home run (his fifth).
The game: It did not look good early. Aaron Guiel led off with a single and scored from first on Randa's double. Mayne homered leading off the third to make it 2-0 Royals. In the third Carlos Beltran singled, Raul Ibanez walked, and Ken Harvey singled to increase the lead to 3-0.
Kansas City left the bases loaded, however, and it cost them. The Twins did not get a hit for the first five innings. In the sixth, however, Dustan Mohr got an infield single, Cristian Guzman walked, and Stewart hit a three-run homer. That quickly, it was tied 3-3. The Twins went into the lead in the seventh. A. J. Pierzynski led off with a double and Mohr walked. A bunt moved the runners up and Stewart again came through, delivering an RBI single to put the Twins up 4-3. The Royals did not get a baserunner in the last two innings, and the game went to the Twins.
WP: Rogers (11-6). LP: Al Levine (3-6). S: Guardado (29).
Notes: Matthew LeCroy was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz. Mientkiewicz came in for defense in the ninth inning.
It was again Stewart in left, Mohr in right, and Jacque Jones at DH.
Stewart raised his average to .310. Jones was 0-for-3 and went down to .305. Pierzynski was 1-for-3 and got back up to .300.
Hawkins lowered his ERA to 2.17.
Ex-Twin Paul Abbott started for Kansas City. He did very well for five innings, but his line ended up 5.2 innings, three runs, three hits, four walks, and four strikeouts.
Since his awful outing of July 13 (four runs in a third of an inning), Hawkins had appeared in 17 games and pitched 16.2 innings. He had allowed just two runs on sixteen hits and three walks and had struck out twelve.
As mentioned above Stewart hit his thirteenth home run in this game. He would set his career high in home runs in 2003.
With the win, the Twins finally climbed out of third place and into second. Could they stay there? Could they move up to first?
Record: The Twins were 66-61, in second place in the American League Central, a half game behind Chicago. They were a half game ahead of third place Kansas City.