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Gigantes Recap: Game Three

GIGANTES 9, AGUILAS 8 AT GIGANTES (12 INNINGS)

Batting stars:  Jose Siri was 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, and two runs.  Abiatal Avelino was 2-for-5 with two walks and two RBIs.  Carlos Peguero was 2-for-5 with a walk.  Oneil Cruz was 2-for-5.  Richard Urena was 2-for-6 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Tiago Da Silva struck out three in three innings of relief, giving up one run on one hit and one walk.  Carlos Ramirez struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up two hits.  Domingo Tapia struck out two in a perfect inning.  Ramon Ramirez pitched a scoreless inning despite giving up a hit and two walks.  He struck out one.  Wily Peralta pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and striking out one.  Yerry De Los Santos struck out all three men he faced.

Opposition stars:  Victor Robles was 3-for-5 with a home run, a walk, and two RBIs.  John Nogowski was 3-for-6 with three RBIs.  Deivy Grullon was 2-for-4.  Wilmer Difo was 2-for-5 with a double, a walk, and two runs.  Juan Lagares was 2-for-6.

The game:  Robles homered leading off the game to put Aguilas up 1-0.  The Gigantes took the lead with two in the bottom of the first.  Siri doubled and a pair of walks loaded the bases.  Juan Francisco then delivered a two-run single to make it 2-1 Gigantes.

It went to 4-1 in the second.  Siri walked and scored on an error which sent Ronald Guzman all the way to third.  A wild pitch scored Guzman.  Aguilas got back into it in the third.  Edmundo Sosa doubled and scored on a two-out single-plus-error by Lagares.  Melky Cabrera then delivered an RBI single to make it 4-3.  Aguilas tied it in the fourth.  Difo doubled, went to third on Grullon's single, and scored on a double play.

The Gigantes took the lead back in the fifth.  With one out Peguero and Urena singled and a hit batsman loaded the bases.  Curz and Siri each had an RBI single to make it 6-4 Gigantes.  Each team scored once in the seventh, bringing the score to 7-5.

Aguilas went back in front in the eighth.  Singles by Rodriguez, Difo, and Grullon loaded the bases.  With one out Robles had an RBI single and Nogowski had a two-run single, making the score 8-6 Aguilas.  The first two Gigantes were retired in the ninth, but Gilberto Celestino singled, Ronald Guzman walked, and Avelino delivered a game-tying single to send the game to extra innings.

There was no scoring in the tenth or eleventh.  In the twelfth we started the "man on second" rule.  It did Aguilas no good, as all three of their batters struck out.  An intentional walk started the bottom of the inning.  A bunt/fielder's choice loaded the bases.  Peguero then hit a sacrifice fly to end the game.

WP:  De Los Santos (1-0).  LP:  Jose Adames (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Avelino is batting .556.  Siri is batting .462.  Peguero is batting .364.  Celestino and Webster Rivas are each batting .333.  Guzman is batting .308.  Urena is batting .300.

The teams combined to use twenty-one pitchers.  Aguilas used twelve and the Gigantes used nine.  I still don't know for sure if there's a three-batter minimum, but there may be, because the only pitcher to face fewer than three batters did so to end the inning.

The Gigantes have gone to extra innings in each of the last three games.  I don't know what the major league record is, but three seems like it has to be pretty close.

The Gigantes again had a ton of scoring chances, going 5-for-18 with men in scoring position.  They stranded 18.

Record:  The Gigantes are 2-1, tied for second with the Tigres del Licey.  The Toros del Este are in first place, but due to rainouts have only played one game.  They are, of course, 1-0.

Next game:  The Gigantes are at Escogido tonight.

Gigantes Recap: Game Two

ESCOGICO 9, GIGANTES 6 AT GIGANTES (12 INNINGS)

Batting stars:  Abiatal Avalina was 3-for-4 with two walks and three runs.  Jose Siri was 3-for-6 with two runs.  Ronald Guzman was 2-for-6 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Rogelio Armenteros struck out five in three shutout innings, giving up no hits and one walk.  Randy Rosario pitched a perfect inning.  Montana DuRapau retired all four men he faced, striking out two.  Ramon Ramirez pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one.  Yunior Marte pitched a scoreless inning despite allowing three walks.

Opposition stars:  Jim Haley was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Josh Lowey pitched three innings of relief, giving up one run on three hits and a walk.  Tai Tiedemann struck out four in two innings, giving up an unearned run on no hits and no walks.

The game:  The Gigantes struck first.  In the first inning Siri singled, Avelino walked, a ground out moved them to second and third, and Kelvin Gutierrez delivered a two-run single.  The lead went to 3-0 in the third when Avalina singled and scored from first on Guzman's double.

Escogido got on the board in the fourth when Wander Franco walked, went to third on a wild pitch-plus-error, and scored on another wild pitch.  Each team scored once in the fifth.  For Escogido, doubles by Otto Lopez and Jimmy Paredes plated the run.  For the Gigantes Siri singled, stole second, and scored on an Avalina single, making the score 4-2.

It went to 5-2 in the seventh when Avalina walked, went to third on Guzman's single, and scored on an error.  In the eighth, however, Escogido scored three times to tie it.  Ivan Castillo doubled and Franco singled, putting men on first and third.  A ground out scored a run and Haley's single again put men on first and third.  A hit batsman loaded the bases and Julio Y. Rodriguez hit a two-run single, knotting the score at 5-5.

There was no score in the ninth.  There was no score in the tenth.  There was no score in the eleventh.  So, in the twelfth, we used the "start with a man on second" rule.  For Escogido, a strikeout and a walk put men on first and second.  Haley doubled home the go-ahead run, a sacrifice fly brought home another, a walk and a hit batsman filled the bases, and Tres Barrera's two-run single made it 9-5 Escogido.  The Gigantes scored one on an error, but did not bring the tying run up to bat.

WP:  Tiedemann (1-0).  LP:  Ryan Kussmaul (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Gigantes batters walked nine men and hit five.

The Gigantes again had a ton of at-bats with men in scoring position and could not cash them in.  They went 2-for-22 with men in scoring position, stranding twelve.  Escogido was 6-for-20 with men in scoring position, stranding eleven.

The Gigantes used twelve pitchers, six of them for less than an inning.  I couldn't tell if they have a three-batter minimum rule, as each pitcher who faced fewer than three batters did so to end an inning.

The Gigantes have opened with two extra-inning games.  I don't suppose that's a record or anything, but it does seem at least somewhat unusual.

Record:  The Gigantes are 1-1, tied for second place with three other teams, a half game behind the Toros del Este.

Next game:  The Gigantes host Aguilas tonight.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Sixty-one

MINNESOTA 3, TORONTO 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, October 5.

Batting stars:  Shane Mack was 3-for-4 with two doubles.  Chili Davis was 2-for-4 with a home run, his twenty-ninth.  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Scott Erickson pitched six shutout innings, giving up four hits and four walks and striking out two.  He threw 92 pitches.  Rick Aguilera pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk and striking out one.

Opposition star:  Roberto Alomar was 2-for-2 with a home run (his ninth) and two walks.

The game:  The Twins took the lead in the first inning when Chuck Knoblauch walked and scored from first on a Kirby Puckett double.  Each team got a man to third base in the second inning, but neither scored.  Each team put men on first second with one out in the fifth, but each was taken out of the inning by a double play.

The Twins stretched their lead to 2-0 in the sixth when Davis homered.  They scored again in the seventh when Knoblauch was hit by a pitch, stole second, and scored on a Hrbek single.

The Blue Jays got on the board in the eighth when Alomar led off the inning with a home run, but did not get a hit after that.

WP:  Erickson (20-8).  LP:  Juan Guzman (10-3).  S:  Aguilera (42).

Notes:  The Twins used their regular starting lineup.  Junior Ortiz was behind the plate in place of Brian Harper, but that always happened when Erickson pitched.

Paul Sorrento pinch-hit for Ortiz in the sixth.  Lenny Webster replaced him in the seventh and went behind the plate.  Jarvis Brown pinch-ran for Puckett in the seventh and stayed in the game in center field.  Scott Leius pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the eighth.

Puckett was 1-for-3 and was batting .319.  Mack raised his average to .309.  Erickson lowered his ERA to 3.18.  Carl Willis pitched two-thirds of an inning without allowing a run and lowered his ERA to 2.63.  Aguilera lowered his ERA to 2.35.

The Blue Jays essentially treated this like a spring training game.  Alomar was the only Toronto player to play the entire game.  The regulars pretty much all came out after two turns through the batting order.  Starter Guzman pitched just three innings, giving up one run on three hits and a walk and striking out two.

Each team stranded eight runners.  They combined to go 1-for-15 with men in scoring position, with Hrbek's eighth-inning single as the one hit.

Record:  The Twins were 95-66, in first place in the American League West, nine games ahead of Chicago.

Toronto was 90-71, in first place in the American League East, six games ahead of Boston.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-nine

CHICAGO 13, MINNESOTA 12 IN CHICAGO (GAME 2--12 INNINGS)

Date:  Thursday, October 3.

Batting stars:  Pedro Munoz was 3-for-6 with a home run (his seventh), a double, a walk, two runs, and two RBIs.  Gene Larkin was 3-for-6 with two doubles.  Scott Leius was 2-for-4 with a home run (his fifth) and two RBIs.  Paul Sorrento was 2-for-5 with a double, two runs, and three RBIs.  Kent Hrbek was 1-for-1 with a two-run homer, his twentieth.  Greg Gagne was 1-for-5 with a home run, his eighth.

Pitching star:  Gary Wayne pitched three innings, giving up one run on four hits and a walk and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Ozzie Guillen was 4-for-5.  Dan Pasqua was 4-for-6 with a home run (his seventeenth), a double, a walk, and three runs.  Warren Newson was 3-for-4.  Carlton Fisk was 3-for-7 with two home runs (his seventeenth and eighteenth), a double, three runs, and six RBIs.  Craig Grebeck was 2-for-5 with a double and a walk.  Lance Johnson was 2-for-6 with a double, a stolen base (his twenty-fifth), and two runs.  Tim Raines was 2-for-7 with a stolen base, his fifty-first.

The game:  The White Sox got on the board in the third when Guillen doubled, went to third on Raines' single, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  The Twins responded with six in the fourth.  Gagne led off with a home run to tie the score.  Munoz and Chili Davis singled, Larkin had an RBI double, Lenny Webster walked, Sorrento had a two-run single, and Leius had an RBI single.  Jarvis Brown drew a one-out walk to load the bases, and with two out Munoz walked to force in a run.  The Twins left the bases loaded, but they led 6-1 and things looked good.

It didn't last.  In the fourth, Johnson reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a stolen base-plus-error-plus-error, making it 6-2.  In the fifth Pasqua and Fisk hit back-to-back home runs to make it 6-4.  The Twins got a run back in the sixth on a pair of errors, making it 7-4, but in the bottom of the fifth Frank Thomas homered, Pasqua and Fisk hit back-to-back doubles, and Newson had an RBI single, tying the score 7-7.

Chicago took the lead in the seventh.  A single and two walks loaded the bases and Fisk hit a two-out grand slam to give the White Sox an 11-7 lead.  Leius homered in the eighth to make it 11-8, but in the bottom of the eighth Johnson doubled, went to third on Grebeck's single, and scored on a sacrifice fly to increase the lead to 12-8.

Munoz led off the ninth with a homer to make it 12-9.  With two out Webster singled and scored from first on a Sorrento double.  Hrbek then hit a pinch-hit two-run homer to tie it 12-12.

The Twins had men on second and third in the tenth but could not score.  Chicago had men on first and third in the tenth but could not score.  In the twelfth Joey Cora singled, was bunted to second, and scored on a Matt Merullo single to win the game for the White Sox.

WP:  Brian Drahman (3-2).  LP:  Terry Leach (1-2).  S:  None.

NotesBrown was in center field in place of Kirby Puckett.  He batted first.  Gagne batted second.  Munoz was in left in place of Dan Gladden and batted third.  Larkin was in right field in place of Shane Mack.  Webster was behind the plate in place of Brian Harper.  Sorrento was at first base in place of Hrbek.  Al Newman was at second base in place of Chuck Knoblauch.

Randy Bush pinch-hit for Chili Davis in the fourth.  Harper pinch-hit for Bush in the ninth.  Hrbek pinch-hit for Leius in the ninth.  Knoblauch then replaced Hrbek and went to second base, with Newman moving to third.  Mike Pagliarulo pinch-hit for Gagne in the tenth and stayed in the game at third base, with Newman moving to shortstop.  Mack pinch-ran for Harper in the tenth.  Gladden pinch-hit for Sorrento in the eleventh.  Gladden then went to left field, with Munoz moving to right and Larkin going to first base.

Webster was 1-for-3 and was batting .333.  Harper was 1-for-2 and was batting .313.  Bush was 0-for-2 and was batting .308.  Mack was 0-for-1 and was batting .306.

Kevin  Tapani started and pitched five innings, allowing four runs on eleven hits and two walks and striking out five.  His ERA was 2.99.  Carl Willis allowed three runs in one inning to make his ERA 2.65.

Brown was 0-for-6 and was batting .161.  Newman was 0-for-5 and was batting .194.

Greg Hibbard started for Chicago.  He lasted just three innings, giving up four runs on five hits and a walk and striking out none.  The White Sox used nine pitchers:  Hibbard, Roberto Hernandez, Steve Wapnick, Jeff Carter, Donn Pall, Scott Radinsky, Bobby Thigpen, Ken Patterson, and Drahman.

In eight games against the Twins in 1991, Warren Newson went 6-for-16 (.375).  For his career he batted .326/.425/.579 against the Twins for an OPS of 1.004.  For his career overall, he batted .250/.374/.401.

Fisk's grand slam was his last home run of the season.  He would hit only four more in his career.  He was forty-three at this point, and near the end of his career, but he played two more seasons before finally retiring.

What's more fun than playing a meaningless doubleheader at the end of the season?  Playing two extra-inning games in a meaningless doubleheader at the end of the season!

Record:  The Twins were 94-65, in first place in the American League West, eight games ahead of Chicago.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-four

MINNESOTA 5, TORONTO 0 IN TORONTO

Date:  Saturday, September 28.

Batting stars:  Gene Larkin was 2-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, his second.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-5.  Chili Davis was 1-for-2 with two walks.

Pitching star:  Jack Morris pitched a complete game shutout, giving up six hits and three walks and striking out four.  He threw 121 pitches.

Opposition star:  Roberto Alomar was 2-for-4 with a double.

The game:  There was no score through four.  The Twins had two on with none out in the second, but a double play took them out of the inning.  The Blue Jays had two on with two out in the third and again in the fourth, but could not score.

The Twins broke through in the fifth.  Davis led off with a walk, Shane Mack had a one-out single, and Greg Gagne delivered a two-run double.  The Twins later put men on second and third with two out and Chuck Knoblauch had a two-run single, putting the Twins up 4-0.

That was pretty much it, really.  Toronto drew a couple of walks in the sixth but could do nothing with them.  The Twins added a run in the ninth when Mack was hit by a pitch, was bunted to second, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on Newman's bunt single.

WP:  Morris (18-12).  LP:  Tom Candiotti (13-13).  S:  None.

NotesLarkin was in right field, with Mack in left and Dan Gladden on the bench.  Larkin also batted leadoff.  He's obviously not someone you'd think of as a leadoff batter, but in 17 plate appearances there in 1991, he batted .385/.471/.538, and that will certainly work out of the leadoff spot.  For his career, he batted .339/.447/.516 in 76 plate appearances while batting first.  A small sample size, to be sure, but I think I might have put him there more often to see if he could keep it going.

Newman played third base in place of Mike Pagliarulo and Scott Leius.  Jarvis Brown pinch-ran for Larkin in the seventh and stayed in the game in right field.  Pedro Munoz pinch-hit for Kent Hrbek in the ninth.  Paul Sorrento came in to play first base in the ninth.

Puckett raised his average to .322.  Brian Harper was 1-for-4 and was batting .314.  Mack was 1-for-3 and was batting .306.  Morris lowered his ERA to 3.50.

Leading 4-0 in the ninth, the Twins laid down two bunts.  Apparently back in 1991 the unwritten rules allowed this.  I don't know if they allow it today.  I tried to check, but since the unwritten rules are, well, unwritten, I couldn't find anything.

Toronto used seven pitchers in the game, three of them in the ninth inning.

The White Sox beat Seattle 5-2 to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

Record:  The Twins were 92-62, in first place in the American League West, eight games ahead of Chicago.  They had clinched a tie for the division, and their magic number was now one.

Boston lost, so Toronto continued to lead the East by 3.5 games.