MINNESOTA 3, SEATTLE 1 IN SEATTLE
Date: Sunday, May 25.
Batting stars: Torii Hunter was 2-for-2 with two walks. A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4 with a stolen base. Chris Gomez was 2-for-4. Dustan Mohr was 1-for-3 with a home run (his fifth) and a walk.
Pitching stars: Rick Reed pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and no walks and striking out one. LaTroy Hawkins pitched a perfect inning and struck out one. Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.
Opposition stars: Ryan Franklin pitched 6.2 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and four walks and striking out four. Bret Boone was 2-for-4 with a home run (his twelfth) and a double.
The game: Jacque Jones led off the game with a walk. Corey Koskie drew a one-out walk, and Bobby Kielty singled to put the Twins up 1-0. Mohr homered leading off the second to make it 2-0.
The Mariners had only three hits, all singles, through the first six innings and never got a man past first. That changed in the seventh, when Boone led off with a home run to cut the Twins lead to 2-1. The Twins got the run back in the eighth when Kielty singled, went to third on a stolen base-plus-passed ball, and scored on Hunter's single.
Seattle got a one-out double by Boone in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate. A pair of fly outs ended the game.
WP: Reed (3-5). LP: Ryan Franklin (3-3). S: Guardado (13).
Notes: Todd Sears was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz. Mientkiewicz came in for defense in the eighth. Gomez was at second in place of Luis Rivas. Kielty was the DH.
Jones was 1-for-4 with a walk and was batting .343. Mohr was batting .318. Gomez raised his average to .313.
Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.19. Guardado lowered his ERA to 1.74.
This was the first of three stolen bases for Pierzynski in 2003. Three was his career high, equalled in 2010. For his career he had 15 stolen bases and was caught stealing 23 times. I'm no sabremetrician, but I don't think that's a very good percentage.
I know Chris Gomez was a member of the Twins, but I don't have any actual memory of his time with the team. Does anyone remember, were we excited about him at this point, when he was batting over .300? Were we thinking he should replace Rivas at second base? Or did we think that it was just a small sample size fluke, which it turned out to be? I have no idea.
In his last three starts, Reed had pitched 22 innings and given up 4 runs on 19 hits and 3 walks. He had lowered his ERA from 5.87 to 4.10.
Sears was sent back to AAA after this game. He was batting .278/.365/.426, so it wasn't terribly fair, but Mientkiewicz was ready to resume regular duties at first base and there simply wasn't a spot for him. He would come back for a couple of weeks in late July/early August, but then would be traded to San Diego for Alex Garcia, a middle infielder who couldn't hit. He spent one year in Class A Quad Cities, then played two years of independent ball.
I don't remember Bret Boone as a slugger, but already hit his twelfth home run of the season in this game. He would hit 35 on the season. He went through 2000, his age thirty-one season, only having hit 20 homers twice (24 in 1998, 20 in 1999). Then, in his early-to-mid thirties, he hit 37, 24, 35, and 24 home runs. A suspicious person might wonder if he had some help, although it should be pointed out that I'm aware of no evidence to support that suspicion.
The Twins had won four of five, seven of nine, nine of twelve, and fifteen of twenty, and nineteen of twenty-five.
Record: The Twins were 29-20, in first place in the American League Central, 2.5 games ahead of Kansas City.