Tag Archives: streaks

2003 Rewind: Game Thirty-two

MINNESOTA 11, TAMPA BAY 6 IN TAMPA BAY

Date:  Wednesday, May 7.

Batting stars:  Dustan Mohr was 3-for-5.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4 with a grand slam (his third homer), a double, and five RBIs.  Bobby Kielty was 2-for-4 with a home run (his fifth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Michael Cuddyer was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-5 with a stolen base.  Corey Koskie was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his second.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-6 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Juan Rincon pitched 3.1 scoreless innings of relief, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out one.  LaTroy Hawkins struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  J. C. Romero struck out the side in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Rocco Baldelli was 3-for-5 with a double.  Carl Crawford was 2-for-5 with a double.  Aubrey Huff was 2-for-5 with a double.  Travis Harper pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and striking out one.

The game:  For all the runs, the scoring was packed into a few big innings.  The Twins started it with four in the first.  With one out they put together six consecutive singles (GuzmanKoskieKieltyTorii HunterMohr, and Michael Cuddyer) plus a sacrifice fly to score the runs.  The Devil Rays loaded the bases in the bottom of the first when Baldelli singled, Huff doubled, and Travis Lee walked, but could only score once on a ground out, making the score 4-1.

It stayed 4-1 until the fourth, when Tampa Bay came storming back to take the lead.  They started the inning with four singles of their own (Lee, Marlon Anderson, Toby Hall, and Al Martin) to score two runs.  A bunt moved the runners up and a ground out scored a run, tying the score.  Crawford then had an RBI double and Baldelli contributed a run-scoring single, giving the Devil Rays a 6-4 lead.

Their momentum lasted until the first batter of the next half-inning.  Kielty led off the fifth with a home run to cut the margin to 6-5.  Hunter walked, Mohr singled, and Cuddyer walked, loading the bases.  Pierzynski then hit a grand slam to put the Twins in front 9-6.  They weren't done in the inning, though.  Chris Gomez singled and scored from first on a Jones double.  Guzman then hit an RBI single to make the score 11-6.

And that's where it stayed.  The Devil Rays put men on second and third with two out in the sixth, but did not score.  That was their only real threat the rest of the game.

WP:  Rincon (1-0).  LP:  Joe Kennedy (2-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Cuddyer was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz.  Gomez was at second in place of Luis Rivas.  Kielty was the DH.

Mientkiewicz replaced Cuddyer at first base in the eighth inning.

Jones was batting .336.  Kielty raised his average to .318.

Joe Mays started and did okay for three innings.  His line, though was 3.2 innings, six runs, nine hits, and one walk.  His ERA was 6.18.  By game scores this was tied for his second-worst game of the season, topped (or bottomed) only by a start in Chicago on June 30.

On the other hand, Rincon lowered his ERA to 1.15 and Hawkins was at 1.64.

Tampa Bay's starter, Joe Kennedy, fared even worse than Mays.  He pitched four innings and allowed ten runs on thirteen hits and two walks, striking out one.  His game score was -5.  It was, as you would expect, his worst start of the season.

This would be Cuddyer's last game before being sent down.  Oddly, the Twins sent him down just as he was starting to get hot.  He was 5-for-12 with a triple and three walks, raising his average from .197 to .233.  He would hit .306 with an OPS of .827 in Rochester, but would not come back until September.

At this point in the season Koskie had more stolen bases than Guzman, 2 to 1.  It would not stay that way, but the margin was not as big at the end of the season as you might think.  Guzman led the team with 18 stolen bases, but Koskie was fourth with 11.  Guzman was 18-for-27 while Koskie was 11-for-16.  The Twins were seventh in the league in stolen bases with 94.  The were fourth in caught stealing with 44.

The Twins had now won three in a row and seven of eight.

Record:  The Twins were 17-15, in second place in the American League Central, 3.5 games behind Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Thirty-one

MINNESOTA 7, TAMPA BAY 3 IN TAMPA

Date:  Tuesday, May 6.

Batting stars:  Jacque Jones was 5-for-5 with two home runs (his second and third), a double, a stolen base (his fifth), and three runs.  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fourth.  Bobby Kielty was 2-for-4.  Torii Hunter was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer, his fourth.

Pitching star:  Brad Radke pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and one walk and striking out six.

Opposition stars:  Rey Ordonez was 2-for-4 with a double.  Rocco Baldelli was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his third.  Nick Bierbrodt pitched three shutout innings, giving up three hits and striking out two.  Jesus Colome struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

The game:  Jones led off the game with a home run, putting the Twins up 1-0.  With one out in the second, Kielty singled and Mohr followed with a home run, giving the Twins a 3-0 lead.  Jones led off the third with another home run.  Later in the inning, with two out, Todd Sears walked and Hunter hit a two-run homer, leaving the Twins ahead 6-0.

After one in the first, two in the second, and three in the third, it would've been cool for the Twins to score four in the fourth, but they didn't.  In fact, they didn't score again until the ninth.  It didn't matter, though, as they already had all the runs they would need.  The Devil Rays put two on in the first and again in the fourth, but did not score until the sixth.  They started the inning with consecutive singles by Baldelli, Aubrey Huff, and Travis Lee, loading the bases with none out.  All they could do, though, was score one run on a ground out and another on a sacrifice fly, only cutting the margin to 6-2.

Tampa Bay put two on again in the seventh, but a double play took them out of the inning.  In the ninth Jones singled, stole second, and scored on a Corey Koskie single to increase the lead to 7-2.  The Devil Rays got that run back when Chris Truby walked and scored from first on an Ordonez double, but that was all they could do and the Twins had the victory.

WP:  Radke (3-3).  LP:  Steve Parris (0-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  A. J. Pierzynski returned to the lineup behind the plate.  Sears was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz and Chris Gomez was at second in place of Luis Rivas.  Kielty was the DH.

The Twins made no in-game lineup substitutions.

Jones raised his average to .336.  Kielty was batting .310.

Radke lowered his ERA to 5.65,  Johan Santana gave up a run on a hit and a walk in two innings, raising his ERA to 1.59.

Jones raised his average by 30 points with his 5-for-5 game.  His slugging average went up 86 points, from .414 to .500.

Tampa Bay starter Parris pitched three innings, allowing six runs on six hits and a walk and striking out one.  I don't really remember him, but he pitched in the majors for parts of eight seasons:  two for Pittsburgh, three for Cincinnati, two for Toronto, and his last with the Devil Rays.  He had a couple of good years for the Reds, going 6-5, 3.73, 1.22 WHIP in 1998 and 11-4, 3.50, 1.37 in 1999.  He hadn't done much since, though, and by 2003 was at the end of the line.  This was his last major league start--he would make three relief appearances. then was released and his playing career was over.

After losing eight out of nine, the Twins had now won six out of seven and were back over .500.

Record:  The Twins were 16-15, in second place in the American League Central, 4.5 games behind Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Twenty-two

MINNESOTA 6, CHICAGO 1 IN CHICAGO

Date:  Friday, April 25.

Batting stars:  Bobby Kielty was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer (his fourth), a walk, and two runs.  Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Joe Mays pitched seven innings, giving up one run on four hits and no walks and striking out three.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a perfect inning.  J. C. Romero pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Mark Buehrle pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks and striking out four.  Frank Thomas was 1-for-3 with a home run, his fourth.

The game:  The Twins jumped on Buehrle early, scoring three times in the first inning.  Dustan Mohr led off the game with a double and went to third on a ground out.  Kielty walked and Corey Koskie hit a sacrifice fly to get the Twins on the board.  Torii Hunter had an RBI triple to make it 2-0 and scored on LeCroy's single to make it 3-0.

That remained the score until the seventh, as neither team even threatened in innings two through six.  In fact, the White Sox did not get a baserunner until the fourth, when Thomas was hit by a pitch, and did not get a hit until the sixth, when Sandy Alomar singled.

In the seventh, however, Thomas homered to get Chicago on the board at 3-1.  Magglio Ordonez and Paul Konerko followed with singles, putting the tying run on base.  But Armando Rios hit into a double play and Joe Crede popped up to end the inning.

The Twins got the run back with interest in the eighth.  With one out, Cristian Guzman was hit by a pitch and Kielty followed with a two-run homer.  With two out Hunter reached on an error and Doug Mientkiewicz and LeCroy singled, bringing home another run to make the score 6-1.  The White Sox got only one baserunner after that.

WP:  Mays (3-2).  LP:  Buehrle (2-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Mohr led off and was in left field in place of Jacque Jones.  Kielty was in right field in place of Michael Cuddyer, who had started most of the games in right field to this point.

Kielty raised his average to .370.  Mohr was 1-for-5 and raised his average to .135.

Hawkins maintained his ERA of zero.

By game scores, this was Mays' best game of the season, at 68.  He'd had a score of 63 on April 2.  He would have only three more starts about fifty and only one above sixty.

The White Sox used two players who would have connections to the Twins:  D'Angelo Jimenez and Crede.

The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Twins.  So far this season the Twins have won three, lost six, won six, lost six, and now won one.  As we've pointed out, each of the seven series the Twins have played so far has been a sweep.  Having won the first game of this series, the were obviously hoping for another sweep.

Record:  The Twins were 10-12, in third place in the American League Central, seven games behind Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Sixteen

NEW YORK 11, MINNESOTA 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, April 18.

Batting stars:  Jacque Jones was 2-for-3 with a double.  Matthew LeCroy was 1-for-1 with a double and two RBIs.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-3 with two walks.

Pitching stars:  None.

Opposition stars:  Roger Clemens struck out eight in six innings, giving up one run on five hits and three walks.  Robin Ventura was 3-for-5 with two home runs (his fourth and fifth), three runs, and four RBIs.  Alfonso Soriano was 3-for-5 with a home run (his sixth) and two RBIs.  Hideki Matsui was 2-for-5 with a double and two runs.  Jorge Posada was 2-for-5 with a double and two runs.  Raul Mondesi was 1-for-2 with a home run (his fourth), two walks, and two RBIs.

The game:  Soriano led off the game with a home run, putting the Yankees up 1-0 (of course).  The Twins put two on with one out in the bottom of the first, but nothing came of it.  Ventura homered with one out in the second to make it 2-0.

The Twins had a chance for a big inning in the second, but could only score one.  Bobby Kielty walked and A. J. Pierzynski singled, putting men on first and third with none out.  But Michael Cuddyer hit into a double play, scoring Kielty but otherwise taking the Twins out of the inning.  Mondesi homered with two out in the fourth to get the run back and make the score 3-1.

The Twins got a man to second in the fourth and again in the fifth but could do nothing after that.  New York put the game away in the sixth.  Bernie Williams and Matsui opened the inning with singles.  Jorge Posada drove in one with a ground rule double and Ventura singled home another.  That chased Brad Radke from the game.  Tony Fiore came in, threw a wild pitch, then gave up a sacrifice fly.  Soriano had a run-scoring single to make the score 7-1 Yankees.

New York piled on in the seventh.  With two out Posada singled and Ventura hit a two-run homer, his second of the game, increasing the lead to 9-1.  The Twins scored a few in the eighth to make things sound a little better.  Denny Hocking and Koskie singled to start the inning.  With one out, LeCroy hit a two-run double and Kielty followed with a run-scoring double, cutting the margin to 9-4.  But in the ninth, Chris Latham singled, Matsui had an RBI double, and two wild pitches made the final tally 11-4.

WP:  Clemens (3-0).  LP:  Radke (1-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Cuddyer was in right field.  Kielty was the DH.

Dustan Mohr pinch-hit for Jones in the seventh and stayed in the game in left field.  Tom Prince came in to replace A. J. Pierzynski behind the plate in the eighth.  LeCroy replaced Doug Mientkiewicz at first base in the eighth.  Hocking replaced Cristian Guzman at shortstop in the eighth.

Kielty was 1-for-3 and was batting .382.  Jones raised his average to .350.  Prince walked in his only plate appearance and remained at .333.  Guzman was 0-for-3 and was batting .327.  Koskie raised his average to .308.

Mohr was 0-for-2 and was batting .115.  Hocking was 1-for-2 to raise his average to .154.  Torii Hunter was 0-for-4 and was batting .155.

Juan Rincon allowed two runs in 2.1 innings and had an ERA of 2.00.

Radke allowed seven runs on on nine hits and a walk in five innings.  His ERA was 7.84.  Tony Fiore allowed two runs in 1.2 innings.  His ERA was 7.88.

Three of Radke's four starts have had game scores under 50.  Two of them have had game scores under 25.

Ex-Twin Chris Latham came in to play center field for the Yankees in the seventh.

Clemens was forty in 2003, but was still one of the best pitchers in baseball.  He went 17-9, 3.91, 1.21 WHIP in 33 starts (211.2 innings).  He made the all-star team for the ninth time.

Ventura, on the other hand, was on the decline, although you couldn't prove it by this game.  The Yankees would trade him to the Dodgers at the July deadline for Bubba Crosby and Scott Proctor.  These were two of just 14 home runs he would hit on the season, his lowest total since 1997, when he was injured much of the year.  His OPS of .741 was the lowest since his first full season in 1990.  He thirty-five, which is old in baseball but not that old.  But he was just about done.  He would play only one more season.

Having lost the first game of a four-game series, the Twins were hoping the string of sweeps would not continue.

Record:  The Twins were 9-7, third in the American League Central, 3.5 games behind Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Thirteen

MINNESOTA 6, DETROIT 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, April 15.

Batting stars:  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-3 with a triple and two walks.  Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs.  Luis Rivas was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse struck out eight in 6.1 innings, giving up four runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks.  J. C. Romero pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.  Eddie Guardado struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Carlos Pena was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, a walk, and two runs.  Dmitri Young was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

The game:  Hunter homered leading off the second to put the Twins up 1-0.  They put two on with two out in the third but did not score.  It cost them, as the Tigers took the lead in the fourth.  With one out, Ramon Santiago doubled and Pena hit a two-run homer, giving Detroit a 2-1 lead.

The Twins tied it in the fifth.  Rivas singled with one out in the first and Guzman hit a two-out triple.  The Twins went into the lead to stay in the sixth.  They opened the inning with singles by HunterMientkiewicz, and LeCroy to take a 3-2 advantage.  With two out, Rivas hit an RBI double and Jacque Jones delivered a two-run single, making the score 6-2.

The Tigers did not go away quietly.  Pena walked and Young reached on an error to start the seventh.  With one out, Eric Munson hit a two-run double to cut the lead to 6-4 and bring the tying run to the plate.  LaTroy Hawkins came in to retire the next two batters and end the inning.  Detroit still wasn't done.  Young led off the ninth with a double and Shane Halter hit a two-out single, bringing the go-ahead run to bat.  But Craig Paquette flied out and the Twins won.

WP:  Lohse (2-1).  LP:  Mike Maroth (0-4).  S:  Guardado (5).

Notes:  Michael Cuddyer remained in right field.  Dustan Mohr replaced him for defense in the ninth.

Jones was 1-for-5 to drop his average to .347.  Guzman raised his average to .317.  Mientkiewicz raised his average to .314.

Hunter raised his average to .149.  Cuddyer went 0-for-4 and was batting .167.  A. J. Pierzynski was 0-for-4 and was batting .179.

Lohse had an ERA of 1.69.  Hawkins retired both men he faced and had an ERA of zero.  Romero's ERA was 2.57.  Guardado was at 1.59.

Rivas was 8-for-16 with a triple and a double in the last four games.

The Twins had stretched their winning streak to four games.  Would this be their fifth consecutive series sweep?  We shall see.

Record:  The Twins were 7-6, tied for second with Chicago in the American League Central, 4.5 games behind Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Ten

MINNESOTA 6, TORONTO 4 IN TORONTO

Date:  Friday, April 11.

Batting stars:  Luis Rivas was 3-for-4 with a triple, a stolen base, and two runs.  Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-4 with a double.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-4.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  LaTroy Hawkins struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  J. C. Romero struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.  Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition star:  Shannon Stewart was 3-for-5 with a triple, two doubles, and two RBIs.

The game:  It was scoreless until the third.  Tom Wilson led off with a double and Mike Bordick drew a one-out walk.  Stewart then delivered an RBI double and Frank Catalanotto added a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0 Blue Jays.  The lead lasted just a half inning.  Jacque Jones and Guzman started the inning with singles.  Corey Koskie then hit a two-run double to tie it up.  The next two batters went out, but LeCroy hit a two-out run-scoring double to give the Twins a 3-2 lead.

Toronto came back in the fifth.  Bordick singled and Stewart hit an RBI triple to tie the score.  Catalanotto then singled to put the Blue Jays back in front at 4-3.

The Twins went into the lead to stay in the seventh.  Michael Cuddyer drew a one-out walk and scored on a Rivas triple to tie it 4-4.  Jones then hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5-4 Minnesota.  They added a run in the ninth.  Singles by Cuddyer and Rivas put men on the corners with none out, but Cuddyer was thrown out at the plate when Jones hit a grounder to second.  A Guzman infield single loaded the bases, and Koskie hit an RBI ground out.  Toronto got only one hit after the sixth, a one-out seventh inning double by Stewart.

WP:  Kenny Rogers (1-0).  LP:  Cory Lidle (1-2).  S:  Guardado (3).

Notes:  Cuddyer remained in right field.  He was replaced by Dustan Mohr in the ninth inning.  That was the only positional substitution the Twins made.

Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .333.  He was the only regular over .300.

On the negative side, the Twins still had four regulars below .200.  Torii Hunter went 0-for-5 and was batting .111.  Cuddyer was 1-for-3 to raise his average to .167.  LeCroy went up to .179.  Rivas was up to .192.

Rogers pitched six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five.  It was really a fairly typical performance for him in 2003.  He wasn't awful, but he wasn't really good, either.  He was generally good enough to keep the team in the game if they scored a decent number of runs.

Lidle pitched 6.1 innings for Toronto, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk.  He struck out nine.  2003 was the worst year of his career, as he finished 12-15, 5.75, 1.43 WHIP.  It was his only year as a Blue Jay.  He never really had a good year after leaving Oakland, although he had a couple of not-terrible ones and pitched well for Philadelphia down the stretch in 2004.

The victory snapped a six-game losing streak for the Twins.  Could they get a winning streak going?  We shall see.  They did, at least, move up one spot in the standings.

Record:  The Twins were 4-6, in third place in the American League Central, five games behind Kansas City, which had started the season 8-0.

Random Rewind: 2005, Game Twenty-four

LOS ANGELES 2, MINNESOTA 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, May 1.

Batting star:  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-4 with a home run, his second.

PItching stars:  Johan Santana pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on two hits and two walks and striking out seven.  Juan Rincon pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Bartolo Colon pitched 7.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and no walks and striking out seven.  Vladimir Guerrero was 1-for-4 with a home run, his sixth.  Jose Molina was 1-for-3 with a home run.

The game:  There were no hits on either side until the fourth, when Guerrero hit a two-out home run to give the Angels a 1-0 lead.  The Twins got their first hit in the fifth when Stewart led off with a single, but nothing came of it.  Molina led off the sixth with a home run to make it 2-0.

The Twins threatened in the eighth.  With one out, Jacque Jones singled, Michael Cuddyer singled, and pinch-hitter Joe Mauer walked, loading the bases.  PInch-hitter Matthew LeCroy hit into a double play, and the inning was over.  The Twins got on the board when Stewart led off the ninth with a home run, but the next three batters went out and the game was over.

WP:  Colon (4-2).  LP:  Santana (4-1).  S:  Francisco Rodriguez (6).

Notes:  Mike Redmond was behind the plate in place of Joe Mauer.

Luis Rivas was at second base.  He was still the regular second baseman at this point, but was about at the end of the run.  By the end of the season, Nick Punto would be the regular second baseman.

Juan Castro was at shortstop.  He did end up playing the most games there, 73, but by the end of the season would be replaced by Jason Bartlett.

Lewwwwww Ford was in right field, with Jones moving to DH.  LeCroy and Ford did most of the DHing in 2005, playing 63 and 44 games there, respectively.

Justin Morneau was batting .400.  He would finish at .239.  This was his first full season.  Jones was batting .352--he would finish at .249.  Mauer was batting .304--he would finish at .294, which led the team.  LeCroy was batting .302--he would finish at .260.  The Twins batted .259, which was next-to-last in the league.  Boston led at .281.

Jones led in home runs with 23, with Morneau right behind at 22.  LeCroy hit 17, Torii Hunter 14, Cuddyer 12, and Stewart 10.  The Twins hit 134 home runs, which was twelfth in the league.  Texas led with 260, well ahead of second-place New York at 229.

Santana was the clear ace of the staff, going 16-7, 2.87.  Carlos Silva was 9-8, 3.44--this was the year he walked an incredible 9 batters in 188.1 innings.  Two of the walks were intentional, so you could say he really only walked 7.  Brad Radke was 9-12, 4.04 and Kyle Lohse was 9-13, 4.18.  The weak link was Joe Mays, who was 6-10, 5.65.  The Twins kept him in the rotation until September, when he finally replaced by rookie Scott Baker.

The Twins had an excellent bullpen.  Joe Nathan was 7-4, 2.70, 43 saves.  The team's only other save went to Jesse Crain, who was 12-5, 2.71.  Juan Rincon was 6-6, 2.45 and J. C. Romero was 4-3, 3.47.  Matt Guerrier also contributed, going 0-3, 3.39.

The Twins were fifth in the league in ERA at 3.71.  Cleveland led at 3.61.  The Twins were second in WHIP at 1.23, just behind Cleveland's 1.22.

I wonder what the record is for most runs in a game where all the runs came by solo home runs.  I don't suppose this is all that close, but it would be interesting to know.

This loss snapped a five-game winning streak.  They would lose two more, then win the next four.

Record:  The Twins were 15-9, in second place in the American League Central, 2.5 games behind Chicago.  They would finish 83-79, in third place, 16 games behind Chicago.

The Angels were 14-11, in first place in the American League West, one game ahead of Oakland.  They would finish 95-67, in first place, seven games ahead of Oakland.

Rewind record:  The Twins are 55-50 in Random Rewind games.

1991 Rewind: Game Thirty-two

MINNESOTA 5, MILWAUKEE 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, May 14.

Batting stars:  Kent Hrbek was 3-for-4 with two runs.  Chili Davis was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer (his eighth) and two runs.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-5 with a double.

Pitching star:  Jack Morris pitched a complete game, giving up one run on two hits and two walks and striking out seven.

Opposition star:  Jim Gantner was 2-for-4 with two doubles.

The game:  The Twins got a couple of two-out singles in the first, but nothing came of them.  Gantner hit a one-out double in the fourth but did not move past second.  Gladden hit a two-out double in the fifth and was stranded.  So we remained scoreless into the sixth.

And then we were not scoreless any more.  Hrbek singled and Davis followed with a two-run homer.  It did not kill the rally, as Pedro Munoz had a two-out single and scored on a double by Mike Pagliarulo.  

The Brewers got on the board in the seventh when Gantner led off with a double and scored on a pair of ground outs.  The Twins got the run back with interest in the bottom of the seventh.  With two out, Hrbek singled, Davis reached on an error, and Harper hit a two-run double to make the scored 5-1.  That's where it stayed, as Milwaukee did not get a hit after Gantner's seventh-inning double.

WP:  Morris (3-4).  LP:  Jaime Navarro (2-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Munoz was the right fielder.  Other than that, it was the standard Twins lineup.  Randy Bush pinch-hit for Munoz in the seventh, with Shane Mack going to right for defense.  Al Newman went in for defense in the ninth to replace Pagliarulo.

Harper raised his average to .383.  Chuck Knoblauch was 1-for-5 and was batting .331.  Davis raised his average to .324.  Puckett was 1-for-5 and was batting .309.

Bush was 0-for-1 and was batting .195.

Harper was 12-for-20 with three doubles in his last five games.  Davis was 6-for-11 with three home runs in his last three games.

Morris got his ERA down to 5.04.  That was the lowest it had been all season.

The Twins had won four in a row and seven of nine.

Milwaukee starter Navarro pitched 5.2 innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and a walk and striking out three.  1991 was his first full season, although he had been with the Brewers for most of 1990.  He was good in 1991, but his best season was probably 1992, when he went 17-12, 3.33, 1.17 WHIP.  He then struggled for a couple of seasons and became a free agent after 1994, signing with the Cubs.  He had two excellent seasons with the Cubs, going 29-18, 3.62, 1.30 WHIP.  He then signed with the White Sox and had three awful years.  He was 25-43, 6.06, 1.69 WHIP.  Amazingly, he stayed in the rotation all three of those seasons, making 87 starts.  He ended his major league career in 2000, playing for Milwaukee and Cleveland, but continued to play in the minors, in independent ball, in Mexico, and in Italy through 2006.  He has been involved in coaching since then, and is currently the pitching coach of Monclova in the Mexican League.

Record:  The Twins were 17-15, third in the American League West, 1.5 games behind Oakland.  They were one game behind second-place Seattle.

1991 Rewind: Game Eighteen

MINNESOTA 7, SEATTLE 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, April 27.

Batting stars:  Dan Gladden was 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs.  Gene Larkin was 2-for-4 with a double.  Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-5.  Kent Hrbek was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer (his second) and a walk.  Brian Harper was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his second.

Pitching stars:  Kevin Tapani pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks and striking out four.  Larry Casian pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

Opposition stars:  Ken Griffey, Jr. was 2-for-4 with a home run (his second) and two runs.  Edgar Martinez was 1-for-2 with two walks.

The game:  Griffey, Jr. homered in the top of the first to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead.  The Twins came back in the bottom of the first, as Gladden led off with a single and Hrbek hit a two-out two-run homer to give the Twins a 2-1 advantage.

It stayed there until the bottom of the fifth.  A couple of Twins threats failed to bear fruit--they loaded the bases in the second and had two on in the third--but in the fifth Chili Davis drew a two-out walk followed by Harper's two-run homer to make the score 4-1.  Seattle got one back in the fifth on consecutive two-out singles by Griffey, Jr., Martinez, and Alvin Davis to make it 4-2.

The Twins put it away in the eighth.  Greg Gagne singled and Larkin reached on an error.  A bunt moved the runners up, Gladden singled one home, and Knoblauch singled home another.  Gladden was then picked off third, but the pitcher threw the ball away and he came in to score the last run of the game.

WP:  Tapani (2-0).  LP:  Brian Holman (2-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Larkin was back in right field, with Kirby Puckett in center and Shane Mack on the bench.  Mack again entered the game for defense and went to center, with Puckett moving to right.  Al Newman started at shortstop in place of Gagne.  Gagne pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the eighth and stayed in the game at short, with Newman moving to third.

Larkin was batting .400.  Harper was batting .349.  Puckett was 1-for-5 and was batting .342.  Knoblauch went up to .338.  Tapani had an ERA of 2.10.

Hrbek raised his average to .172.  Newman was 0-for-3 and was batting .176.  Gladden raised his average to .180.  After hitting a low of .032, he has gone 10-for-30 in the next seven games.

Holman went six innings, giving up four runs on seven his and six walks.  He struck out two.  The low number of strikeouts and the high number of walks in recent games has really been striking.

The Twins had won four in a row and six of seven.  After being swept in a three-game series in Seattle, they were now on the verge of sweeping the Mariners in a four-game series in Minnesota.

This was the period in which Ken Griffey, Sr. and Ken Griffey, Jr. were both in the outfield for Seattle.  Senior has been batting second and playing left, while Junior has batted third and played center.

Sorry I haven't done any player profiles lately.  I just haven't had the time.  I hope I can get back to it in a week or so.  I don't know how much anyone else enjoys them, but they're fun for me to do.

Record:  The Twins were 8-10, tied for sixth in the American League West, 3.5 games behind the White Sox.  They were one game behind California, Kansas City, and Texas, who were all tied for third.

2019 Recap: Game Eighty-five

MINNESOTA 4, OAKLAND 3 IN OAKLAND (12 INNINGS)

Date:  Wednesday, July 3.

Batting stars:  Luis Arraez was 3-for-5.  Mitch Garver was 2-for-6.  Jorge Polanco was 1-for-5 with a home run, his twelfth.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Gibson pitched six innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits and four walks and striking out five.  Zack Littell pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.  Ryne Harper struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  Tyler Duffey pitched a perfect inning.  Blake Parker struck out three in two shutout innings, giving up a hit and two walks.  Taylor Rogers struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Mike Fiers pitched six innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits and no walks and striking out four.  Ramon Laureano was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer (his fourteenth) and a walk.  Robbie Grossman was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Liam Hendriks struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

The game:  Khris Davis reached on an error to start the bottom of the second.  Mark Canha walked and Laureano hit a three-run homer, and that quickly the Athletics led 3-0.  Oakland had chances to add to their lead, but could not take advantage of them.  Marcus Semien opened the third with a double but did not score.  Laureano and Grossman led off the fourth with singles but a force out and a double play ended the inning.  Still, the Athletics led 3-0 through five.

The Twins then pecked away, as Dazzle likes to say.  Singles by Jonathan SchoopMax Kepler, and Garver produced a run in the sixth.  Singles by Arraez and Ehire Adrianza were followed by an error to make the score 3-2.  Polanco hit a two-out homer in the eighth to tie it 3-3.

Each team missed chances in the extra frames.  Oakland started the tenth with two walks but did not score.  The Twins had men on first and third with one out in the eleventh and did not score.  The Twins broke through in the twelfth, though.  Byron Buxton and Kepler drew one-out walks and Garver followed with an RBI single to give the Twins their first lead at 4-3.  A double play took them out of the inning.  Would the lead hold up?

Obviously it did, but the Athletics made it interesting.  Matt Chapman reached on an error to start the inning.  With one out, Jurickson Profar singled, sending Chapman to third, but Profar was thrown out trying to make second, so there were two down with the tying run ninety feet away.  He stayed there, as Canha struck out to end the game.

WP:  Parker (1-2).  LP:  Blake Treinen (2-3).  S:  Rogers (11).

Notes:  Arraez is now batting .431 in sixty-five at-bats.  I wonder what the record is for highest batting average in your first sixty-five at-bats.  Polanco is down to .318.  Harper has an ERA of 2.88.  Duffey is at 2.33.  Rogers' ERA is 1.93.

Arraez was in left field, and while I still don't like playing infielders in the outfield I gather he's done okay there.  Of course, you'll put up with less defense from a guy who bats .431.  Adrianza was at shortstop, with Polanco the DH and Nelson Cruz out of the lineup.

In the second inning, I don't think many people would've predicted that Gibson would get through six without giving up any more runs.  He didn't exactly dominate, but he got by.  The Much Maligned Bullpen came through with six shutout innings, although they didn't exactly dominate, either.  The Oaklands went 1-for-15 with men in scoring position.

I am pleased to see Liam Hendriks pitching well.  I still feel like the Twins didn't give him much of a chance, although I have to admit that he didn't do much with the chances they did give him.  When the Twins waived him after the 2013 season, I doubt that anyone in the front office thought he'd still be pitching in 2019, but here he is.  Good for him.

The Twins made two more errors last night.  I don't have time to go back and count, but they've made an awful lot of errors in recent weeks.  I don't know what happened to that excellent defensive team we had the first couple of months of the season, but I sure wish they'd come back.  Injuries have played a part, of course, but that's not a complete excuse.

The Twins still managed to avoid losing three games in a row.  Of course, it's been about three weeks since they won three in a row.  It would sure be nice to see them put together a little winning streak here before the all-star break.

Record:  The Twins are 54-31, first in the American League Central, seven games ahead of Cleveland.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 131-31!