MINNESOTA 3, CALIFORNIA 1 IN CALIFORNIA
Date: Sunday, September 6.
Batting stars: Leo Cardenas was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. George Mitterwald was 2-for-3 with a double. Cesar Tovar was 2-for-5 with a home run (his tenth), a double, and three RBIs.
Pitching stars: Tom Hall pitched eight innings, giving up one run on four hits and one walk and striking out six. Ron Perranoski pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.
Opposition star: Clyde Wright pitched 6.1 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out six.
The game: Neither team had a baserunner for the first two innings. That changed in the third when Rich Reese walked and Tovar hit a two-out two-run homer to make it 2-0 Twins.
The Angels got their first hit in the third, when Joe Azcue singled. They had their first threat in the fourth when, with one out, Jim Fregosi singled and Alex Johnson doubled, sending Fregosi to third. But Ken McMullen fanned and Tommie Reynolds bounced back to the pitcher. It would be their only threat until the ninth inning.
The Twins picked up a run in the seventh on doubles by Mitterwald and Tovar. California did not have a baserunner in innings five through eight. In the ninth Sandy Alomar walked and Jarvis Tatum singled, putting men on first and second with none out, bringing the tying run up to bat. A pair of ground outs scored a run and left a man on third. McMullen walked, putting the tying run on base, but Billy Cowan flied to center to end the game.
WP: Hall (7-6).
LP: Wright (19-10).
S: Perranoski (27).
Notes: Danny Thompson was again at second base in place of Rod Carew. Steve Brye pinch-ran for Mitterwald in the seventh, with Tom Tischinski going in to catch. Jim Holt went to center field in the seventh, with Tovar moving to left and Brant Alyea going to the bench. Frank Quilici went to second base in the ninth, with Thompson going to third and Harmon Killebrew coming out of the game.
Tony Oliva was 1-for-4 and was batting .317. Hall had an ERA of 2.65. Perranoski had an ERA of 2.15.
The Twins swept the series between the first and second place teams. It would be overstating it to say the pennant race was over at this point--the two teams still had four-game series coming up, plus they had to deal with Oakland--but this series obviously went a long way toward clinching the division.
As we've seen, Hall both started and relieved in 1970. He was excellent in both roles, going 7-1, 2.12, 1.01 WHIP in eleven starts (76.1 innings) and 4-5, 2.96, 4 saves, 1.06 WHIP in 41 relief appearances (79 innings).
This was the best season of Clyde Wright's career. He went 22-10, 2.83, 1.21 WHIP, made the all-star team, and finished sixth in Cy Young voting. He was also excellent in 1971 and 1972 and pretty good in 1973. It fell apart for him after that, but for those four years, he was really good.
The Twins would now have a thirteen-game homestand, hosting Milwaukee, Oakland, and the White Sox for three each before taking on California for four.
Record: The Twins were 81-55, in first place in the American League West, six games ahead of California and Oakland.