DETROIT 6, MINNESOTA 3 IN DETROIT
Date: Wednesday, July 24.
Batting star: Chili Davis was 3-for-4 with a three-run homer (his twenty-first) and a double.
Pitching stars: None.
Opposition stars: Bill Gullickson pitched 7.2 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks and striking out two. Tony Phillips was 3-for-4 with a walk. Lou Whitaker was 2-for-2. Travis Fryman was 2-for-3 with a triple, a double, a stolen base (his seventh), a walk, and three runs.
The game: Each team squandered an early threat. The Tigers opened the first with two singles and did nothing with them. Davis doubled to lead off the second, and with one out Shane Mack singled and Mike Pagliarulo walked, but Greg Gagne hit into a double play to end the inning. Detroit broke through in the second inning. Walks to Fryman and Milt Cuyler put two on with two out and a double steal moved them to second and third. Phillips then got an infield single to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
It stayed 1-0 until the sixth. Rob Deer led off with a double. He was still on second with two out, but Fryman doubled him home and scored on John Shelby's RBI single to make it 3-0 Detroit. It went to 4-0 in the seventh when Cuyler walked and Phillips and Whitaker singled.
The Twins got back into the game in the eighth. Randy Bush led off with a walk. With two out Kent Hrbek singled and Davis followed with a three-run homer, cutting the Tigers lead to one run. But just as quickly, they were back out of it. In the bottom of the eighth, Fryman circled the bases on a triple-plus-error. With two out Cuyler doubled and Whitaker singled, making the score 6-3. The Twins got a one-out double in the ninth from Pagliarulo, but nothing more.
WP: Gullickson (13-5). LP: David West (1-2). S: Mike Henneman (15).
Notes: Mack was again in left in place of Dan Gladden, with Bush in right. Bush batted leadoff. The only substitution was that Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Gagne in the ninth.
Puckett was 1-for-3 and was batting .331. Harper was 0-for-4 and was batting .320. Terry Leach gave up a run in a third of an inning to make his ERA 3.44. Steve Bedrosian retired the only man he faced and had an ERA of 3.33.
David West started and struck out eight in 5.2 innings, but allowed three runs on six hits and two walks.
The Tigers starting third baseman in this game was Skeeter Barnes. 1991 was the best year of his career--.289/.325/.491 in 171 plate appearances. He was thirty-four years old, and before this season had a total of 122 plate appearances in seventy-five games spread over five seasons. He was a utility player for the Tigers from 1991-1994 and actually did pretty well, at least at bat: .281/.319/.420 in 553 plate appearances. You'll take that from a utility player any time. He retired after the 1994 season and was a minor league coach for many years.
The White Sox lost, Texas did not play, and Oakland won, leaving those three teams in a three-way tie for second.
Record: The Twins were 55-40, in first place in the American League West, four games ahead of Chicago, Texas, and Oakland.