MINNESOTA 9, BOSTON 4 IN BOSTON
Date: Sunday, May 4.
Batting stars: Corey Koskie was 3-for-5 with a double and two runs. Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Todd Sears was 2-for-4. Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4 with two runs. Dustan Mohr was 2-for-5 with a double and two runs.
Pitching stars: J. C. Romero struck out three in two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk. Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.
Opposition stars: Manny Ramirez was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs. Bill Mueller was 2-for-5 with a double.
The game: It did not look good early. With two out in the first inning Nomar Garciaparra doubled, Ramirez hit an RBI single, and David Ortiz had a run-scoring double, putting the Red Sox up 2-0. In the third Mueller hit a one-out double, Garciaparra walked, Ramirez hit an RBI double, and Kevin Millar had a run-scoring single, making it 4-0 Red Sox.
The Twins, meanwhile, were doing very little on offense, managing just three hits in the first five innings. It was a different story in the sixth, however. Mohr led off with a double and went to third on a Guzman single. Koskie got the Twins on the board with an RBI double. LeCroy singled to make it 4-2. With one out Sears hit a sacrifice fly to cut the margin to one, and Michael Cuddyer delivered a two-out triple to tie the score 4-4.
The Twins had another big inning in the seventh. Mohr singled, Guzman reached on an error, and Koskie singled, loading the bases. LeCroy came through with a two-run single to put the Twins ahead. An error produced another run, Cuddyer walked to load the bases, and Tom Prince hit a two-urn double to make the score 9-4 Minnesota.
Boston could come up with only a couple of harmless singles after that, and the Twins had the victory.
WP: Kenny Rogers (4-1). LP: Mike Timlin (3-1). S: None.
Notes: Prince was again behind the plate and Sears was again at first base. Mohr was in left field, with Jacque Jones given the day off. Cuddyer was in right.
Doug Mientkiewicz pinch-ran for LeCroy in the seventh. I suspect that was one of a very few pinch-running appearances for Mientkiewicz in his career. Bobby Kielty pinch-hit for Mientkiewicz when his spot came up in the eighth.
Sears raised his average to .333. Kielty was 0-for-1 and was batting .300.
Luis Rivas was 0-for-3 and dropped back below the Mendoza line at .198.
Rogers pitched six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out three.
Guardado lowered his ERA to 0.71.
Tim Wakefield started for the Red Sox. He pitched well for five innings, but his line was 5.2 innings, four runs, eight hits, three walks, and four strikeouts. Wakefield was thirty-six in 2003, and so would only play another eight years. In only four of his nineteen seasons would he have an ERA under four, and he only made one all-star team, but he pitched for a very long time. Of course, throwing the knuckleball helped with that. For his career he was 200-180, 4.41, 1.35 WHIP. He appeared in 627 games, 463 of them starts, and pitched 3226.1 innings. A pretty solid career.
The Twins took the series and had now won five out of six to get back to .500 and to climb up to second place in the division.
Record: The Twins were 15-15, in second place in the American League Central, five games behind Kansas City.