MINNESOTA 4, DETROIT 1 IN DETROIT
Date: Saturday, May 18.
Batting stars: Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a home run, his fourth. Greg Gagne was 2-for-4. Shane Mack was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer, his third.
Pitching stars: Mark Guthrie pitched six innings, giving up one run on five hits and four walks. He struck out three. Rick Aguilera pitched two shutout innings, giving up three walks and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Milt Cuyler was 2-for-3 with a stolen base, his tenth. Frank Tanana pitched eight innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and four walks and striking out two. He threw 127 pitches.
The game: All the scoring came early. With two out and none on in the first Puckett hit a home run to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. With two out and none on in the bottom of the first, Guthrie walked three in a row to load the bases, but struck out Travis Fryman to get out of the inning.
Brian Harper led off the second with a single. Kent Hrbek walked, and Mack hit a three-run homer to put the Twins up 4-0. The Tigers got one back in the bottom of the second when Andy Allenson doubled, took third on Cuyler's single, and scored on a sacrifice fly.
And that was all the scoring. Detroit got a man to second in the fourth, when Fryman walked and stole second; in the sixth, on singles by Rob Deer and Pete Incaviglia, and in the seventh, when Cuyler singled and stole second. They had a major threat in the ninth. With one out, Dave Bergman walked. With two out, Aguilera walked Tony Phillips and Lou Whiteaker, loading the bases and bringing the potential winning run up to bat. Alan Trammell hit a fly to deep left, but it stayed in the park and the Twins won the game.
WP: Guthrie (3-2). LP: Tanana (2-3). S: Aguilera (7).
Notes: Mack started in right field in this game, but he was not yet the full-time starter. Other than that, it was the regular lineup.
Harper was 1-for-4 and was batting .385. Chuck Knoblauch was 1-for-4 and was batting .313. Puckett raised his average to .312. Gagne went up to .307. Chili Davis was 0-for-3 with a walk and was batting .300. As you can see, that makes five starters batting .300 or better. It's still only mid-May, but that's pretty good.
Terry Leach pitched a third of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. His ERA was 2.70. Aguilera's ERA was 1.62.
Scott Leius was 1-for-3 to raise his average to .171.
There were eleven walks in the game, seven given by Twins pitchers. Who knows, but one suspects plate umpire Dale Scott might have had a small strike zone. Oddly, six of the seven walks Twins pitchers gave up came in two innings, the first and last. In both of those innings, Twins pitchers walked the bases full but did not allow a run.
Frank Tanana was a fine pitcher, but for some reason the Twins usually did fairly well against him. For his career he was 240-236, 3.66, 1.27 WHIP. Against the Twins, he was 19-20, 4.49, 1.37 WHIP. He only faced the Twins one other time in 1991, though, in late July, and did quite well in that game.
Record: The Twins were 19-17, tied for fourth with California, three games behind first-place Seattle. The Twins were a half game behind Texas for third place.