Tag Archives: winning streak

2003 Rewind: Game Fourteen

MINNESOTA 4, DETROIT 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, April 16.

Batting stars:  Corey Koskie was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-3 with a double, a hit-by-pitch, and two runs.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4 with a double.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his third.

Pitching stars:  Rick Reed pitched six innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk and striking out five.  Johan Santana retired all four batters he faced, striking out one.  Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Wil Ledezma retired all seven batters he faced, striking out three.  Bobby Higginson was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.

The game:  The Tigers put a man on second with two out in the first and did not score.  The Twins put men on second and third with one out in the first and did not score.  The Twins got on the board in the second when Bobby Kielty and Pierzynski started the inning with back-to-back doubles, putting Minnesota up 1-0.  They got one more in the third.  Guzman was hit by a pitch and Koskie singled, putting men on first and third with none out.  Torii Hunter then hit into a double play which scored a run and made it 2-0.

The Twins put together a two-out rally in the fourth.  Jones and Guzman singled with two down and Koskie hit a two-run double to increase the lead to 4-0.  The Tigers cut the lead in half in the fifth.  Eric Munson singled and scored on a one-out double by Matt Walbeck.  With two out, Bobby Higginson hit an RBI single and it was 4-2.

And there it stayed.  Detroit did not get a hit after the fifth inning.  They did get a pair of two-out walks in the seventh, but Santana came in to retire Carlos Pena on a fly ball.  Detroit did not get a baserunner after that.

WP:  Reed (1-2).  LP:  Adam Bernero (0-3).  S:  Guardado (6).

Notes:  Kielty was at DH in this game.

The Twins made no in-game lineup substitutions.

Kielty was 1-for-3 and was batting .370.  Jones raised his average to .358.  Guzman raised his average to .341.  Koskie raised his average to .311.

Dustan Mohr was 0-for-4 and was batting .125.  Hunter was 0-for-4 and was batting .137.

Juan Rincon pitched two-thirds of an inning without giving up a run.  He and Santana each had an ERA of zero.  Guardado lowered his ERA to 1.35.

Tiger players with a Twins connection are Walbeck and Munson.  Craig Paquette was drafted by them but did not sign.

Bernero pitched 5.2 innings, giving up four runs on ten hits and two walks.  He struck out none.  Detroit had a 1-12 record at this point in the season.

The Twins had won three, lost six, and now had won five.  They would go for the series sweep the next day.  If they got it, it would be the fifth consecutive series sweep they had been involved in to start the season.

Record:  The Twins were 8-6, tied for second with Chicago in the American League Central, 3.5 games behind Kansas City.

Random Rewind: 1987, Game Fifty-seven

MINNESOTA 5, KANSAS CITY 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, June 9.

Batting stars:  Dan Gladden was 3-for-5 with two stolen bases, his tenth and eleventh.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a double, scoring once and driving in one.  Tim Laudner was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fifth.  Mark Davidson was 1-for-2 with a triple, two walks, and a stolen base (his sixth), scoring once.

Pitching stars:  Joe Niekro struck out six in 6.1 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on nine hits and three walks.  Keith Atherton struck out four in 2.2 perfect innings.

Opposition stars:  Willie Wilson was 2-for-5 with a double and a stolen base (his fifteenth), driving in one.  Jaime Quirk was 2-for-4 with a double and a run.  Kevin Seitzer was 1-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base (his third), scoring once.

The game:  With one out in the first Seitzer walked and Danny Tartabull singled.  A passed ball moved the runners up and a ground out put the Royals up 1-0.  The Twins loaded the bases with two out in the first and had two on with two out in the second, but the score did not change.

It changed in the third.  Puckett led off with a double.  Gaetti singled to put men on first and third, Gene Larkin singled home the tying run, and a sacrifice fly made it 2-1 Twins.  The Twins had two on in the fourth and Kansas City had two on in the fifth, but it stayed 2-1.

Until the bottom of the fourth.  Tom Brunansky hit a one-out double and Laudner hit a two-out two-run homer to make it 4-1 Twins.  The Royals again put two on in the sixth, but did not score again until the seventh, when Quirk and Wilson hit back-to-back doubles to cut the margin to 4-2.  They had men on first and third with one out, but could do no more damage.

The Twins added a run in the eighth.  Davidson led off with a walk and Randy Bush and Gladden singled, loading the bases with none out.  A sacrifice fly was all they could get out of it, but it was enough.  Atherton retired the last eight Kansas City batters to preserve the victory.

WP:  Niekro (4-4).  LP:  Danny Jackson (2-8).  S:  Atherton (1).

Notes:  Al Newman started at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne and led off, with Gladden batting second.  Gene Larkin played first base in place of Kent HrbekDavidson was in right field, with Tom Brunansky at DH and Roy Smalley out of the lineup.

This was Niekro's first start as a Twin.

Puckett raised his average to .319.  He would finish at .332    Larkin was batting .362.  He would finish at .266.

On the other end of the scale, Laudner was batting .163.  He would finish at .191.  Newman was batting .193.  He would finish at .221.  The Twins batted .261, tenth in the league.  Boston led at .278.

Kent Hrbek led in home runs with 34.  Brunansky was second at 32 and Gaetti was right behind at 31.  Puckett hit 28, Laudner 16, Bush 11, and Gagne 10.  The Twins hit 196 home runs, fifth in the league.  Detroit led with 225.

As you recall, the Twins rotation was Frank Viola (17-10, 2.90) and Bert Blyleven (15-12, 4.01) and not much else.  The rest of it was Les Straker (8-10, 4.37), Mike Smithson (4-7, 5.94), and Niekro (4-9, 6.26).  The bullpen wasn't much better.  The closer, Jeff Reardon, was 8-8, 4.48, although he had 31 saves.  The only reliever with a sub-four ERA was Juan Berenguer at 3.94.  The Twins were eleventh in ERA at 4.63, with Toronto leading at 3.74.  The Twins were tenth in WHIP at 1.42.  Toronto led there, too, at 1.30.

This was the fourth game of a seven-game winning streak for the Twins.  They would win ten of eleven.

Record:  The Twins were 31-26, in second place in the American League West, one percentage point behind Kansas City.  They would finish 85-77, in first place, two games ahead of Kansas City.

The Royals were 30-25, in first place in the American League West, one percentage point ahead of Minnesota.  They would finish 83-79, in second place, two games behind Minnesota.

Rewind record:  The Twins are 57-52 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 1993, Game One Hundred Fifty-one

MINNESOTA 5, NEW YORK 4 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Tuesday, September 21.

Batting stars:  Pedro Munoz was 3-for-4 with two home runs (his eleventh and twelfth) and all five RBIs.  Brian Harper was 3-for-4.  Dave Winfield was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Jeff Reboulet was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Willie Banks struck out six in five innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on three hits and five walks.  Carl Willis struck out two in two perfect innings.

Opposition stars:  Danny Tartabull was 2-for-3 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch.  Bobby Munoz pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out two.

The game:  Dion James hit a one-out double in the first, went to third on a ground ball, and scored on a wild pitch to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.  It stayed 1-0 until the fourth.  With one out, Winfield and Harper singled and Munoz hit a three-run homer, putting the Twins in front 3-1.

The Yankees got one back in the bottom of the fourth when Mike Stanley walked, Bernie Williams singled, and Wade Boggs reached on an error.  It stayed 3-2 until the sixth, when Winfield doubled and Munoz delivered a two-out two-run homer to make it 5-2 Minnesota.

It couldn't come easy, of course.  New York cut the margin to 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth when Mike Gallego doubled and scored on a Jim Leyritz single.  It stayed 5-3 until the ninth.  Rick Aguilera retired the first two Yankees, but Tartabull singled, Matt Nokes singled, and Stanley hit an RBI single, cutting the margin to 5-4 with Williams coming up to bat.  But Williams grounded out to first, and the game was over.

WP:  Banks (10-11).  LP:  Jim Abbott (10-13).  S:  Aguilera (31).

Notes:  Terry Jorgensen was at first base in place of Kent Hrbek.  Jorgensen was primarily a third baseman--he played just nine games at first in this season, starting only three.  Jeff Reboulet was at third in place of Mike Pagliarulo.  Pags played 79 games at third, Jorgensen 45, and Reboulet 34.

David McCarty was in right field.  Kirby Puckett played the most games in right, 47 (compared to 95 in center).  Munoz played 41, McCarty 34, and Winfield 31.  Munoz was in left in this game, a place he played 64 games (tied with Shane Mack.  Mack played 67 games in center).

Harper was batting .305--he would finish at .304 and was the only .300 hitter on the team.  Puckett came close--he was at .293 and finished at .296,  The Twins batted .264, ninth in the league.  New York and Toronto led at .279.

Hrbek led the team with 25 home runs.  Puckett was second at 22 and Winfield followed at 21.  Munoz hit 13, Harper 12, and Mack 10.  The Twins hit 121 home runs, twelfth in the league.  Texas led at 181.

It was a hitters' year, but even allowing for that the Twins' rotation wasn't very good.  Kevin Tapani led in starts and went 12-15, 4.43.  Scott Erickson was 8-19, 5.19.  Banks led the starters in ERA, going 11-12, 4.04.  Jim Deshaies was 11-13, 4.41.  They never really found a fifth starter.  Rookie Eddie Guardado started 16 games and went 3-8, 6.18.  Mike Trombley made 10 starts and went 6-6, 4.88, stats which obviously include his relief appearances.  Aguilera was solid in the bullpen, posting 34 saves with an ERA of 3.11.  Willis was 3-0, 3.10 with 5 saves and Larry Casian was 5-3, 3.02.  The Twins were next-to-last in ERA at 4.71.  Chicago led at 3.70.  The Twins were twelfth in WHIP at 1.46.  Boston led with 1.33.

In winning this game, the Twins used probably their best starter (Banks) and their three best relievers (Casian, Willis, and Aguilera).  And they did manage to beat the Yankees, even if just barely.

This was the first game of a stretch in which the Twins would win eight out of nine.

Record:  The Twins were 63-88, in sixth place in the American League West, 22.5 games behind Chicago.  They would finish 71-91, tied for fifth place with California, 23 games behind Chicago.

The Yankees were 83-69, in second place in the American League East, 5 games behind Toronto.  They would finish 88-74, in second place, 7 games behind Toronto.

Random record:  The Twins are 55-49 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 2019, Game Forty-four

MINNESOTA 7, SEATTLE 1 IN SEATTLE

Date:  Friday, May 17.

Batting stars:  Ehire Adrianza was 2-for-3 with a home run (his third), two runs and two RBIs.  Max Kepler was 2-for-4 with three RBIs.  Marwin Gonzalez was 2-for-5 with two runs.

Pitching stars:  Martin Perez struck out seven in 6.2 innings, giving up one run on five hits and four walks.  Matt Magill struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a walk.  Mike Morin pitched a scoreless inning.

Opposition stars:  Austin Adams retired all six men he faced, striking out four.  Edwin Encarnacion was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Dee Gordon was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his twelfth.  Mitch Haniger was 0-for-1 with three walks.

The game:  The Mariners put men on second and third with one out in the first, but a pair of strikeouts ended the inning.  The Twins started the scoring in the third on Adrianza's solo home run.  In the fourth, the Twins opened the inning with consecutive singles by GonzalezC. J. CronWillians Astudillo, and Kepler, making the score 2-0.  They added one more on Adrianza's sacrifice fly to take a 3-0 lead.

The Twins built their lead some more in the fifth.  Jorge Polanco and Gonzalez singled and Cron walked, loading the bases with one out.  Astudillo hit a sacrifice fly, and an error moved everyone up a base.  Kepler then delivered a two-run single, making it 6-0 Twins.

Seattle got their lone run in the bottom of the fifth.  With two out Gordon singled, Haniger walked, and Encarnacion had an RBI single.  They had only one hit after that, a two-out double by J. P. Crawford in the sixth.  The Twins added a run in the ninth when Adrianza singled and scored from first on a two-out double by Jonathan Schoop.

WP:  Perez (6-1).  LP:  Marco Gonzales (5-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Astudillo was the catcher in this game, one of 21 games he caught.  Mitch Garver and Jason Castro split the catching duties almost evenly, with Garver catching 82 games and Castro 78.

Adrianza was at third base.  Miguel Sano, who would become the third baseman, was just getting back from injury.  This was his second game of the season, and he was the DH.  Nelson Cruz, the regular DH, missed a few weeks due to injury.

Gonzalez was in left field in place of Eddie Rosario, who was apparently just given the day off.

The Twins did not make any position player substitutions.

Polanco was leading the team in batting at .331.  He would finish at .295.  Luis Arraez, who had not been brought up yet, would lead the team in batting at .334.  Cruz would be the only other .300 hitter, at .311.  The Twins were second in the league in batting at .270.

Cruz would lead the team in home runs with 41.  The Twins would have eleven batters who hit double-digit home runs:  Kepler (36), Sano (34), Rosario (32), Garver (31), Cron (25), Schoop (23), Polanco (22), Gonzalez (15), Castro (13), and Byron Buxton (10).  As you know, the Twins would set a new record for home runs in a season with 307.

Perez was 6-1, 2.89 at this point of the season.  Unfortunately, he couldn't sustain that, and ended up at 10-7, 5.12.  The Twins had three solid starters:  Jose Berrios (14-8, 3.68), Jake Odorizzi (15-7, 3.51), and Michael Pineda (15-11, 4.01).  They struggled after that, though, with Perez and Kyle Gibson (13-7, 4.84).  When Pineda was suspended they really struggled, which led to Randy Dobnak making a start in the playoffs.

The Twins used 31 pitchers in 2019.  So they won't be forgotten, let's tip our cap to Andrew Vasquez, Chase DeJongJorge Alcala, and Austin Adams, each of whom pitched one or two games for the Twins last season.

This was the fourth game of a five-game winning streak for the Twins.  After a loss they would win six more in a row, meaning they won eleven of twelve.

Record:  The Twins were 29-15, in first place in the American League Central, 5.5 games ahead of Cleveland.  They would finish 101-61, in first place, 8 games ahead of Cleveland.

The Mariners were 22-25, in fourth place in the American League West, nine games behind Houston.  They would finish 68-94, in fifth (last) place, 39 games behind Houston.

Rewind Record:  The Twins are 38-33 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 1972, Game Eleven

MINNESOTA 5, NEW YORK 4 IN NEW YORK (GAME 2 OF DOUBLEHEADER)

Date:  Sunday, April 30.

Batting stars:  George Mitterwald was 3-for-5 with two doubles.  Bobby Darwin was 2-for-3 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch.  Danny Thompson was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Rod Carew was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Dick Woodson pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks and striking out five.  Dave LaRoche struck out two in two innings, giving up an unearned run on two hits.

Opposition stars:  Mike Kekich pitched 5.2 innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on ten hits and two walks and striking out four.  John Ellis was 2-for-4 with a home run.  Roy White was 1-for-4 with a home run.

The game:  The Twins loaded the bases in the first inning but did not score.  In the second, Ellis hit a one-out homer to get the Yankees on the board.  Later in the inning Jerry Kenney walked and Kekich hit a two-out triple to make the score 2-0 New York.

The Twins tied it in the fourth.  Darwin and Steve Brye led off the inning with singles.  With one out Mitterwald hit a ground-rule double to put the Twins on the board.  With two out, Cesar Tovar was hit by a pitch, loading the bases, and Thompson walked to force in a run.  With the bases still loaded the Twins had a chance to take the lead, but Carew struck out to end the inning.

The Twins took the lead in the sixth, however, when Tovar singled and scored on a double-plus-error by Thompson.  The lead lasted until the bottom of the sixth, when White homered to tie it 3-3.

In the eighth, Mitterwald singled, Danny Monzon reached on an error, and Tovar was hit by a pitch to load the bases with none out.  Thompson struck out, but Carew delivered a two-run single to give the Twins a 5-3 lead.  The Twins had a chance for a bigger lead, loading the bases with two out, but a ground out ended the inning.

The lead held up, but it wasn't easy.  With one out in the ninth Felipe Alou doubled and scored on Ellis' single-plus-error, cutting the margin to 5-4.  The tying run was on second, but Thurman Munson fouled out and Ron Swoboda was caught looking to end the game.

WP:  Woodson (2-0).  LP:  Fred Beene (0-1).  S:  LaRoche (4).

Notes:  Mitterwald shared time behind the plate with Phil Roof and Glenn Borgmann, with Rick Dempsey playing a handful of games.  Borgmann did not come up until mid-season (it was his rookie year), and he took over the starting job at that point.

Rich Reese pinch-ran for Harmon Killebrew in the eighth and remained in the game at first base.

Darwin was batting .439 in the young season.  He would finish at .267.  Mitterwald was batting .375.  He would finish at .234.  Thompson was batting .311.  He would finish at .276.  Carew, who was batting just .227, would end up leading the team in batting at .318.  The Twins finished fourth in the league in batting average at just .244.

Killebrew would lead the team in home runs with 26.  Darwin would hit 22 and Eric Soderholm, who would become the starting third baseman, had 13.

1968 was The Year of the Pitcher, but 1972 was a pretty good year for pitchers, too.  Here are the Twins' starters:  Bert Blyleven:  17-17, 2.73; Woodson, 14-14, 2.72; Jim Perry, 13-16, 3.35; Ray Corbin, 8-9, 2.62; Jim Kaat, 10-2, 2.06; Dave Goltz, 3-3, 2.67.  The designated hitter would come in the next year to try to generate more offense in the American League.

LaRoche was pretty much the co-closer with Wayne Granger.  Granger had 19 saves and LaRoche 10.

Despite Kekich's RBI triple, he was not a good batter.  He was not even a good batter for a pitcher.  His career numbers are .120/.140/.134.  This was the only triple of his major league career.  He also had just one double, in 1969, and no home runs.

The Twins lost the first game of the doubleheader, snapping a six-game winning streak.  The win in the second game would start a five-game winning streak.  The Twins were 23-12 at the end of May, but would not have another month in which they were over .500.

This was a strike/lockout year, so the season did not begin until April 15.  That's why, on April 26, the Twins were only playing their eleventh game.

Record:  The Twins were 8-3, in first place in the American League West, one game ahead of Oakland.  They would finish 77-77, in third place, 15.5 games behind Oakland.

The Yankees were 4-8, in fifth place in the American League East, 3.5 games behind Detroit.  They would finish 79-76, in fourth place, 6.5 games behind Detroit.

Random record:  The Twins are 32-27 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 2007, Game Fifty-one

MINNESOTA 9, CHICAGO 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, May 29.

Batting stars:  Justin Morneau was 3-for-4 with a home run (his sixteenth), two doubles, a walk, and four RBIs.  Michael Cuddyer was 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, and three runs.  Luis Castillo was 3-for-5 with a walk and a stolen base, his third.  Jason Bartlett was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Jeff Cirillo was 2-for-5 with a double.  Jason Kubel was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer (his second), a walk, and two runs.

Pitching stars:  Boof Bonser pitched 6.2 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on seven hits and three walks and striking out six.  Carmen Cali pitched a perfect inning.  Ramon Ortiz pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Alex Cintron was 2-for-5.  Boone Logan pitched 1.2 perfect inning.

The game:  The White Sox scored first.  In the first inning Darin Erstad and Jim Thome singled and Jermaine Dye walked, loading the bases with one out.  Paul Konerko hit a sacrifice fly to put Chicago up 1-0.

The Twins took over from there.  With two out in the second, Jason Kubel walked and Bartlett and Castillo each singled to tie it 1-1.  Cuddyer led off the third with a double and Morneau hit a two-run homer.  That worked so well the Twins did it again later in the inning:  with two out Cirillo doubled and Kubel hit a two-run homer to give the Twins a 5-1 lead.

The Twins added a run in the fourth when Cuddyer singled, Morneau doubled, and Torii Hunter walked, loading the bases, and Mike Redmond hit a sacrifice fly.  They put it away in the fifth.  With two out and none on Castillo and Nick Punto singled, Cuddyer walked, a wild pitch brought home a run, and Morneau doubled home two more.  It was a 9-1 lead for the Twins.

The White Sox made one last attempt to get back in the game in the seventh.  Juan Uribe hit a one-out single, Andy Gonzalez reached on an error, and Cintron singled, loading the bases.  Dye drew a two-out walk to make it 9-2, but that was all Chicago could do.  Their last seven batters were retired.

WP:  Bonser (4-1).  LP:  John Danks (3-5).  S:  None.

Notes:   Redmond was behind the plate in place of Joe Mauer, who was out with an injury.

Cirillo was the DH.  The Twins did not have a regular DH in 2007, with eight players seeing double digit games there.  Kubel had the most with 36.  Others were Jason Tyner (26), Cirillo (24), Mauer (19), Rondell White (19), Redmond (18), Morneau (14), and Garrett Jones (13).

Lew Ford pinch-hit for Hunter in the seventh and stayed in the game in center field.  Chris Heintz pinch-ran for Redmond in the eighth and stayed in the game at catcher.

Castillo was the leading batter for the Twins at .335.  He finished at .304 as a Twin; he actually finished as a New York Met, traded there at the July deadline.  Redmond was batting .320--he finished at .294.  Hunter was batting .314--he finished at .287.

On the other hand, Ford was batting just .184.  He finished at .233.  This would be his last year as a Twin.  He bounced around, played independent ball for a while, and battled his way back to play 25 games for Baltimore in 2012.

Morneau hit 31 homers to lead the team and Hunter 28.  Cuddyer had 16 homers and Kubel 13.  They still were next-to-last in team home runs with 118.

Bonser did not have a good year in 2007.  He did well in this game, but for the season he was 8-12, 5.10, 1.53 WHIP.  The Twins had a pretty good rotation:  Johan Santana (15-13, 3.33), Matt Garza (5-7, 3.69), Carlos Silva (13-14, 4.19), and Scott Baker (9-9, 4.26).  The struggled to find a fifth starter, though, with Kevin Slowey doing the best of the rest at 4-1, 4.73.

This was the third of a five-game winning streak for the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 26-25, in fourth place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Cleveland.  They would finish 79-83, in third place, 17 games behind Cleveland.

The White Sox were 24-23, in third place with Minnesota in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Cleveland.  They would finish 72-90, in fourth place, 24 games behind Cleveland.

Random Rewind: 1993, Game One Hundred Fifty-two

MINNESOTA 5, NEW YORK 2 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Wednesday, September 22.

Batting starsDave Winfield was 3-for-4 with two doubles.  Pedro Munoz was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his thirteenth.  Kent Hrbek was 1-for-4 with a home run, his twenty-second.

Pitching stars:  Kevin Tapani pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and no walks and striking out five.  Carl Willis pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  Rick Aguilera pitched a scoreless inning.

Opposition stars:  Randy Velarde was 2-for-3.  Mike Gallego was 1-for-3 with a home run, his tenth.

The game:  The Twins did almost all of their damage in the second inning.  Hrbek led off the inning with a home run.  Winfield doubled, Brian Harper singled, and Munoz hit a three-run homer, putting the Twins ahead 4-0.

The Yankees had only two hits through the first four innings.  They got on the board in the fifth when Bernie Williams doubled and Velarde singled.  It stayed 4-1 until the eighth.  In the top of the inning Chuck Knoblauch walked, went to second on a ground out, and scored on Kirby Puckett's single.  Gallego homered leading off the bottom of the eighth to make it 5-2.  New York got one man on in the ninth but did not bring the tying run to the plate.

WP:  Tapani (10-15).  LP:  Scott Kamieniecki (9-7).  S:  Aguilera (32).

Notes:  Scott Stahoviak was at third base.  I had completely forgotten that Stahoviak came up as a third baseman.  He played 19 games there in 1993 and 22 in 1995 before moving to first base.  Terry Jorgensen and Jeff Reboulet also saw significant time at third.  Mike Pagliarulo had been the regular third baseman, but he was traded to Baltimore in mid-August.

David McCarty was in right field.  The person who actually got the most games in right field was Puckett, with 47, but he also had the most games in center with 95.  Shane Mack played center when Puckett did not and usually played left when Puckett did.  Munoz had the next highest number of games in right field with 41.  McCarty had 34, Winfield had 31, and Gene Larkin had 25.  Munoz moved to left for this game, which he often did when someone else was in right.

Harper was the lone Twin over .300, at .305.  He would finish at .304.  Chip Hale, who did not play in this game, batted .333 in 186 at-bats.

Stahoviak was batting .175 after this game.  He would finish at .193.  It was his rookie season at age 23.  I'd forgotten that he actually had a fine year in 1996--.284/.376/.469 with 13 homers and 30 doubles.  If he'd been able to stay near that level, he'd have been a good player.  Unfortunately, the next season he batted .229 and he played in only nine big-league games after that.

Tapani pitched well in this game but did not have a good year, going 12-15, 4.43.  Maybe it's because of his fine 1991 season, when he was instrumental in the World Championship, but Tapani really does not appear to have been as good as I remember him.  He wasn't awful, but his career numbers--143-125, 4.35, 1.31 WHIP--are really pretty average.  He was really good in 1991, though.

This was the second game of a stretch in which the Twins would win eight out of nine.

Record:  The Twins were 64-88, in sixth place in the American League West, 22.5 games behind Chicago.  They would finish 71-91, tied for fifth with California, 23 games behind Chicago.

The Yankees were 83-70, in second place, 5 games behind Toronto.  With only nine games left, the loss to the lowly Twins really hurt them.  They would finish 88-74, in second place, 7 games behind Toronto.

Random Rewind: 1979, Game Twenty-four

MINNESOTA 7, DETROIT 6 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, May 4.

Batting stars:  Rob Wilfong was 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs.  Roy Smalley was 2-for-3 with two walks.  Mike Cubbage was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs.  Willie Norwood was 2-for-4 with a stolen base (his third) and two runs.  Ron Jackson was 1-for-3 with a home run (his third) and a walk.  Glenn Adams was 1-for-4 with a home run, his second.

Pitching star:  Mike Marshall pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Rusty Staub was 3-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, and two RBIs.  Ron LeFlore was 3-for-5 with three runs.  Steve Kemp was 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.  Jerry Morales was 3-for-5 with a double.

The game:  The Twins gifted the Tigers a run in the top of the third:  LeFlore singled with one out, followed by a walk to Lou Whitaker.  With two out, walks to Jason Thompson and Staub made it 1-0 Detroit.  The Tigers gifted the run right back in the bottom of the third, as Norwood got an infield single, was bunted to second, went to third on a ground out, and scored on an error, making it 1-1 after three.

Detroit got an unearned run of their own in the fourth, as Morales singled, Alan Trammell reached on an error, LeFlore singled to load the bases, and Kemp had a two-run single, making it 3-1 Tigers.  But again the Twins came back in the bottom of the inning.  Butch Wynegar led off with a single.  With one out, Norwood singled and Wilfong walked, loading the bases.  Cubbage delivered a two-run single and Smalley had an RBI single, putting the Twins up 4-3.  Ron Jackson homered in the fifth, making it 5-3.

The Tigers came back to tie it in the sixth.  Singles by LeFlore and Kemp put men on first and third with one out.  A sacrifice fly scored a run and Staub doubled home another, making it 5-5.  Once again, the Twins countered in the bottom of the inning.  Wilfong singled and scored from first on a Cubbage double, giving the Twins a 6-5 lead.

Detroit tied it once more in the seventh when Morales doubled and scored on a pair of fly balls.  The Twins again took the lead back in the bottom of the inning, when Adams led off the inning with a home run and put the Twins up 7-6.

And that was it.  The Tigers threatened in the eighth, when Kemp doubled and Jason Thompson singled to put men on first and third with one out, but Staub hit into a double play.  Lance Parrish led off the ninth with a single, but he never advanced past first base.

WP:  Marshall (4-1).  LP:  Aurelio Lopez (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Norwood was in center.  He began the year as the regular center fielder, but lost the job in late May, with Ken Landreaux moving over from left to take over in center.  The Twins pretty much just mixed and matched their corner outfielders the rest of the season.  In left it was Bombo Rivera (61 games), Adams (45), and Dave Edwards (36).  In right it was Hosken Powell (85 games), Rivera (50), Norwood (28), Edwards (24), and Rick Sofield (22).

The DHs had a similar situation.  The most used was Jose Morales, with 77 games.  Others used were Adams (54), Danny Goodwin (51), Cubbage (22), Norwood (17), and Craig Kusick (12).

Cubbage was at third base in place of John Castino.  He was in somewhat of a platoon with Castino, but the right-handed Castino got the majority of the playing time.  Presumably Gene Mauch tried to spot Cubbage against right-handers he thought he could hit.

Rivera replaced Adams in right field in the eighth.  Castino pinch-hit for Cubbage in the eighth and stayed in at third base.

The Twins were hitting, at least for average, early in the season.  They had five players with averages of .300 or better.  They were led by Smalley, who was batting .396.  He would be over .400 as late as May 20 and was still batting .373 at the end of June.  He did a belly-flop in the second half, though, and finished at .271.  Wilfong was batting .338--he would finish at .313.  John Castino was batting .333--he would finish at .285.  Landreaux was batting .312--he would finish at .305.  Adams was batting .300--he would finish at .301.

Pete Redfern started for the Twins.  He struck out four in four innings, but allowed three runs (one earned) on five hits and four walks.  This would be one of just six starts for Redfern--he spent most of the year in the bullpen and had a fine season, going 7-3, 3.49, 1.30 WHIP.

As you probably know, it was not unusual for Marshall to pitch multiple innings.  He set a league record by appearing in ninety games and pitched 142 relief innings.  That was only his third-highest total of his career--he had pitched 179 relief innings for Montreal in 1973 and 208.1 for the Dodgers in 1974.  He had a fine season for the Twins in 1979 as well, going 10-15, 32 saves, 2.65 ERA, 1.26 WHIP.

This was the last of a six-game winning streak for the Twins.  They would lose one, then win five more, making them eleven of twelve.

Record:  The Twins were 17-7, in first place in the American League West, 1.5 games ahead of California.  They would finish 82-80, in fourth place, six games behind California.

The Tigers were 8-11, in fifth place in the American League East, 5 games behind Boston.  They would finish 85-76, in fifth place, 18 games behind Baltimore.

 

Random Rewind: 1970, Game Seventy-five

MINNESOTA 12, CHICAGO 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, July 5.

Batting stars:  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-3 with a home run (his twenty-fourth), two walks, two runs, and two RBIs.  Leo Cardenas was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and three RBIs.  Jim Holt was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.  Tony Oliva was 2-for-5.

Pitching star:  Stan Williams was perfect over 3.1 innings, retiring all ten men he faced.  He struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Duane Josephson was 2-for-4 with a triple.  Ken Berry was 1-for-3 with a walk.

The game:  The Twins took control early.  They got on the board in the second inning.  Killebrew walked, Rich Reese singled, and Paul Ratliff was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with none out.  They only scored once, on Cardenas' sacrifice fly, but the broke it open in the third.  Cesar Tovar and Holt singled, putting men on first and third with none out.  Oliva had an RBI single, a run scored on a wild pitch, and Killebrew had an RBI single.  A force out and a Ratliff single put men on first and second with one down.  Cardenas had an RBI single, and a sacrifice fly followed.  It was 6-0 Twins and it was never close again.

The Twins added some more in the fifth.  Killebrew led off with a home run.  Reese and Ratliff walked and Danny Thompson had an RBI single.  Cesar Tovar was hit by a pitch, loading the bases, and Holt delivered a two-run single to put the Twins up 10-0.

The White Sox got all of their runs in the sixth.  With one out, Walt Williams walked and Luis Aparicio doubled.  Tom McCraw drove in a run with a double, a ground out brought home a second run, and Josephson tripled in a third run, cutting the Twins' margin to 10-3.  Chicago did not get a baserunner after that, however.

The Twins added single runs in the sixth and seventh.  In the sixth Ratliff was again hit by a pitch and scored on scored on Cardenas' double.  In the seventh Tovar reached on an error, Oliva singled, and Killebrew was intentionally walked, loading the bases with two out.  Reese was then hit by a pitch (the fourth hit batsman of the game) to force in the game's final run.

WP:  Jim Kaat (7-6).  LP:  Bob Miller (3-4).  S:  Williams (7).

Notes:  Ratliff was behind the plate in place of George Mitterwald.

Holt was in left in place of Brant Alyea.  That's kind of misleading, though, because while Alyea is listed as the regular, Holt actually played a few more games in left (76 to 73).  I assume the left-handed batting Holt was somewhat platooned with the right-handed Alyea.

Herman Hill pinch-ran for Tovar in the seventh and replaced him in center field.  Frank Quilici pinch-ran for Killebrew in the seventh inning and went to second base, with Thompson moving from second to third.

Oliva was the Twins leading batter at .326.  He finished at .325.  Killebrew was batting .313.  He finished at .271.  Tovar was batting .311.  He finished at .300.

Thompson was the regular second baseman because Rod Carew missed much of the season due to injury.

Jim Kaat started for the Twins.  He pitched well for five innings, but his line was 5.2 innings, three runs, seven hits, two walks, and no strikeouts.  His ERA was 4.01.  He would finish strong, though, ending at 14-10, 3.56.

Ron Perranoski was the main closer, but Williams got his chances, too.  He had fifteen saves, going 15-for-19 in save opportunities.  He was also 10-1, 1.99, 1,03 WHIP.  That's a very good season in anyone's book.

This was the only triple of the season for Duane Josephson.  Remarkably, he hit six of them in 1968, half his career total.  That was his only year as a regular, and he made the all-star team.  I don't know how many people made he all-star team in their only year as a regular player, but I suspect the list is not very long.  He missed much of the 1969 season due to a blood clot, had to share catching chores with Ed Herrmann in 1970, and was traded to the Red Sox in spring training in 1971.  Injuries limited his playing time that season, and then some guy named Fisk came along.  Josephson was a backup in 1972, then his playing career was over.

The Bob Miller who started for the White Sox was, indeed, the Bob Miller who had pitched for the Twins in 1968-1969.  He was traded to Cleveland over the off-season in a deal that got the Twins Williams and Luis Tiant, but cost them Graig Nettles.  The Indians then shipped him on to Chicago in June.

This was the first game of a five-game winning streak for the Twins.  They had just had a five-game winning streak snapped the day before, so the Twins were in a stretch where they won ten of eleven.

Record:  The Twins were 49-26, in first place in the American League West, 4 games ahead of California.  They would finish 98-64, in first place, 9 games ahead of Oakland.

The White Sox were 28-52, in fifth place in the American League West, 23.5 games behind Minnesota.  They would finish 56-106, in sixth (last) place, 42 games behind Minnesota.

 

Random Rewind: 1980, Game Eighty-one

MINNESOTA 6, SEATTLE 3 IN SEATTLE

Date:  Friday, July 11.

Batting stars:  Rick Sofield was 3-for-4 with a home run (his seventh) and two runs.  Rob Wilfong was 3-for-4 with a triple, a walk, and two runs.  Ken Landreaux was 2-for-5 with a home run (his fourth) and three RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Darrell Jackson struck out eight in 7.2 innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks.  Doug Corbett pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit.

Opposition stars:  Leon Roberts was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer (his seventh), a stolen base (his fifth), and a walk.  Larry Milbourne was 1-for-3 with a walk.

The game:  The Twins got a run in the first when Wilfong tripled and scored on a Landreaux single.  In the second Glenn Adams singled, was bunted to second, went to third on an error, and scored on a squeeze bunt (yes, Gene Mauch was the manager) to make it 2-0.

The Mariners loaded the bases with two out in the third but did not score.  It stayed 2-0 until the sixth, when Milbourne singled, Bruce Bochte hit an RBI double, and Roberts delivered a two-run homer, putting Seattle up 3-2.  The lead only held until the first batter of the seventh, when Sofield hit an inside-the-park home run to tie it 3-3.

The Twins took the lead back in the eighth, when Wilfong walked and Landreaux hit a two-run homer to make it 5-3.  They added one more in the ninth when Sofield singled, went to second on a ground out, and scored on a Wilfong single.  The Mariners got only one hit after their three-run sixth.

WP:  Jackson (7-4).  LP:  Glenn Abbott (7-4).  S:  Corbett (9).

Notes:  Pete Mackanin was at shortstop, replacing Roy Smalley, who was apparently out with a minor injury.  Mike Cubbage, who played third most of his career, was apparently part of a platoon at first base with Ron Jackson.  Glenn Adams was the DH as part of a platoon with Jose Morales.

Morales pinch-hit for Adams in the eighth and Jackson pinch-hit for Cubbage in the eighth.  Dave Edwards pinch-ran for Morales in the eighth.

Jackson was 5'10", 150 pounds.  Herb Carneal's partner at the time, Joe McConnell, used to refer to him as "the little lefthander".  This was by far the best season of his career--he went 9-9, 3.87, 1.34 WHIP.  He had injury troubles after that and never had a good year again.

The Twins really didn't have a bad rotation in 1980.  In addition to Jackson, they had Jerry Koosman (16-13, 4.03), Geoff Zahn (14-18, 4.41), and Roger Erickson (7-13, 3.25).  It's not the 1990s Braves, but it's not bad.  They struggled for a fifth starter, with Pete Redfern (5-5, 4.56) and Fernando Arroyo (6-6, 4.68) usually filling the role.  We think of the Twins not having any pitching at that time, or at least I do, but that's not an awful rotation at all.

They sure didn't have any power, though.  The team hit just ninety-nine home runs in 1980.  The team leaders was John Castino, with thirteen.  Smalley was the only other batter in double figures, with twelve.  Their cleanup batter in this game was Wynegar, who finished the season with five home runs.

I recall Sofield being fairly highly touted as a future star.  Obviously, it didn't happen.  He hit .328 with 27 homers in 1977 in Class A Visalia, but that was the only year he showed any power.  He was the Twins' starting right fielder in 1979 on the strength of a solid but not outstanding year in AA.  He was batting just .241 with an OPS of .582 (although with an OBP of .323) when he was sent down in mid-May.  He came back as a September call-up and batted .400 in 42 plate appearances.  He was again in the starting outfield in 1980, his only full season in the majors.  He batted .247 with an OPS of .661.  He was with the Twins as a reserve for most of 1981, but didn't hit.  The inside-the-park home run in this game may well have been the highlight of his career.

The Twins leading batter at this point of the season was Morales at .347.  He would finish at .303.  Adams was batting .315.  He would finish at .286.

This was the fourth game of a six-game winning streak for the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 37-44, in fourth place in the American League West, 11.5 games behind Kansas City.  They would finish 77-84, in third place, 19.5 games behind Kansas City.

The Mariners were 35-47, in sixth place, fourteen games behind Kansas City.  They would finish 59-103, in seventh (last) place, thirty-eight games behind Kansas City.