Tag Archives: winning streak

2003 Rewind: Game Ninety-eight

MINNESOTA 5, SEATTLE 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, July 21.

Batting stars:  Torii Hunter was 3-for-4 with a home run, his seventeenth.  Chris Gomez was 3-for-4.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base, his ninth.  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-4 with a double.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his seventh.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks and striking out one.  Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition star:  Willie Bloomquist was 2-for-4.

The game:  Stewart led off the bottom of the first with a double and scored on a pair of ground outs to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  In the second Jones and Gomez opened with singles and a double play scored a run.  Guzman then doubled and scored on a Stewart single to make it 3-0 Twins.  Hunter homered in the third to give the Twins a 4-0 advantage.

It looked like that would hold up, as the Mariners did not get a man past first for six innings.  With two out in the seventh, however, Mike Cameron doubled, Ben Davis walked, and Mark McLemore hit a two-run double.  Bloomquist singled to put men on the corners, and consecutive RBI singles by Ichiro Suzuki and Randy Winn tied the score.

The Twins put men on first and third in the seventh but did not score.  In the eighth, however, singles by Hunter and Jones again put men on the corners, and this time Gomez delivered an RBI single to put the Twins ahead 5-4.  Seattle went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  Juan Rincon (2-3).  LP:  Arthur Rhodes (2-3).  S:  Guardado (23).

Notes:  A. J. Pierzynski was back behind the plate after missing a couple of games.  Gomez remained at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was the DH.

Justin Morneau pinch-hit for Luis Rivas in the seventh and walked.  Denny Hocking pinch-ran for him and stayed in the game at second base.

Jones raised his average to .307.  Stewart went up to .301.

LaTroy Hawkins gave up a run in a third of an inning and raised his ERA to 2.64.  Juan Rincon struck out both men he faced to drop his ERA to 2.96.

Joel Piniero started for the Mariners and pitched 6.2 innings.  He gave up four runs on ten hits and a walk and struck out three.

Edgar Martinez walked and singled.  In both cases he was forced at second base.  He did not bat again, as John Mabry pinch-hit for him in the seventh.  I don't know if Martinez injured himself sliding into second or if something else was going on.  He would miss the rest of the series, but would be back in the lineup after that.

The Twins had won five in a row and climbed back to .500.  This was the first time they had won five in a row since May 4-9.

Record:  The Twins were 49-49, in second place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were a half game ahead of third-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game Ninety-six

MINNESOTA 9, OAKLAND 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, July 19.

Batting stars:  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer (his eighth), a walk, and three runs.  Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, two runs, and three RBIs.  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Juan Rincon struck out three in two shutout innings, giving up a walk.

Opposition stars:  Terrence Long was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer (his eleventh), a walk, a stolen base (his second) and two runs.  Ramon Hernandez was 2-for-4 with a home run, his twelfth.  Scott Hatteberg was 2-for-4 with a walk.

The game:  The Twins put runners on second and third with one out in the second but did not score.  The Athletics took advantage of that, taking the lead in the top of the third.  Mark Ellis drew a one-out walk and Long homered, making it 2-0 Oakland.  It went to 3-0 in the fourth when Hernandez homered.

The Twins came back in the bottom of the fourth.  Mientkiewicz led off with a single and LeCroy drew a one-out walk.  With two down, Chris Gomez and Mohr hit back-to-back doubles that plated three runs, tying the score.  The Athletics got the lead back in the fifth when Long walked, stole second, and scored on a Miguel Tejada single.  But the Twins took their first lead in the bottom of the fifth when Shannon Stewart led off with a walk and Mientkiewicz hit a two-run homer, making it 5-4 Minnesota.

The Twins took control of the game in the seventh.  Cristian Guzman singled and Stewart walked.  A bunt moved the runners up and Mientkiewicz was intentionally walked to load the bases.  It looked like the strategy might work, as Torii Hunter hit into a force out at the plate for the second out.  But LeCroy foiled the strategy with a bases-clearing double, putting the Twins up 8-4.  An error brought home one more run and the Twins were in command.  Oakland put two on in the eighth and one in the ninth, but did not come close to getting the tying run up to bat.

WP:  Brad Radke (6-9).  LP:  Mark Mulder (12-7).  S:  None.

Notes:  LeCroy was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  Denny Hocking was at second in place of Luis Rivas.  Chris Gomez was at third in the continuing absence of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was the DH.

Rivas replaced Hocking for defense in the eighth inning.

Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .305.  LeCroy raised his average back to .300.

Radke pitched 6.2 innings, but allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks and struck out five.  His ERA was 5.49.  J. C. Romero did not give up a run, despite allowing two hits and a walk in a third of an inning.  His ERA was 5.02.  Rincon had an ERA of 3.00.

Mulder pitched six innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out five.  Mulder had a fine year in 2003, going 15-9, 3.13, leading the league in complete games with nine and in shutouts with two, and making his first all-star team.  This was the first time he had a game score below fifty in about six weeks.

Stewart got his first hit as a Twin, going 1-for-3 with two walks.

This was the Twins' third consecutive win.  It was the first time they had won three in a row since June 11-13.

Record:  The Twins were 47-49, in second place in the American League Central, 6.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were a half game ahead of third place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game Ninety-five

MINNESOTA 3, OAKLAND 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, July 18.

Batting star:  Chris Gomez was 2-for-4 with a stolen base (his second) and two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Johan Santana pitched 7.1 innings, giving up one run on four hits and a walk and striking out seven.

Opposition stars:  Barry Zito struck out nine in an eight-inning complete game, giving up three runs (two earned) on three hits and four walks.  Terrence Long was 2-for-3.

The game:  There were no hits in the game until the bottom of the third.  Dustan Mohr reached on an error, went to second on a ground out, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on the first hit of the game, a Gomez single.

It stayed 1-0 through seven, with neither team getting a man past first base.  In the eighth, however, the Athletics tied the score.  Eric Chavez singled, went to second on Long's single, and scored on a two-out single by Billy McMillon.  But the Twins came right back in the bottom of the eighth.  Jacque Jones led off with a bunt single and was bunted to second.  Shannon Stewart was intentionally walked.  Gomez then delivered an RBI single.  A ground out scored another run, giving the Twins a 3-1 lead heading to the ninth.

Oakland did not go away quietly.  Miguel Tejada walked, and Chavez delivered a two-out double that cut the lead to 3-2 and put the tying run in scoring position.  But Ramon Hernandez flied to center, and the victory was preserved.

WP:  LaTroy Hawkins (6-2).  LP:  Zito (8-7).  S:  Eddie Guardado (21).

Notes:  Gomez was at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Shannon Stewart pinch-hit for Luis Rivas in the eighth, with Denny Hocking taking over at second base in the ninth.

Jones was 1-for-3 and was batting .306.

Santana lowered his ERA to 2.84.  Hawkins pitched two-thirds of an inning without giving up a run to make his ERA 2.47.

Zito had a fine year, but his won-lost record didn't show it.  He was 14-12, but with an ERA of 3.30 and a WHIP of 1.18.  He also had four complete games and one shutout.  His numbers were not all that far off his Cy Young year of 2002, but he received no votes at all in 2003 due to the won-lost record.

The Twins had won two games in a row for the first time since June 28-29.  In fact, this was only the third game they had won since then.

It seemed likely that Santana would stay in the rotation, as of course he did.

Record:  The Twins were 46-49, in second place in the American League Central, 6.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were a half game ahead of third-place Chicago.

 

2003 Rewind: Game Fifty-one

MINNESOTA 6, OAKLAND 5 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, May 28.

Batting stars:  Doug Mientkiewicz was 3-for-4 with a three-run homer (his fourth), a double, and two runs.  Jacque Jones was 1-for-4 with a home run, his fourth.  Dustan Mohr was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his sixth.

Pitching star:  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Aaron Harang pitched four shutout innings of relief, giving up one hit and two walks and striking out two.  Mark Ellis was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Scott Hatteberg was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Erubiel Durazo was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Terrence Long was 2-for-5.  Chris Singleton was 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk.

The game:  The Athletics jumped on starter Joe Mays for three runs in the first inning.  With one out, Hatteberg and Eric Chavez singled, Miguel Tejada hit an RBI double, and Durazo walked to load the bases.  A sacrifice fly brought home a second run and Long's RBI single brought home the third.

The Twins tied it with three in the second.  Bobby Kielty reached on an error, Torii Hunter singled, and Mientkiewicz hit a three-run homer to make it 3-3.  The Twins took the lead in the third when Jones homered, but Singleton homered leading off the fourth to tie it again at 4-4.  The Twins took the lead again in the bottom of the fourth when Mientkiewicz singled and Mohr hit a two-run homer.  It was 6-4 Twins.

Oakland did not threaten again until the seventh.  Hatteberg led off with a double, but was still on second with two out.  Durazo then hit an RBI single to cut the lead to 6-5.  Ramon Hernandez singled, moving the tying run to second, but Long flied out to end the inning.

The Athletics threatened again in the eighth.  Ellis singled, Singleton walked, and Hatteberg was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with one out.  But a foul out and a ground out ended the inning.  Durazo had a leadoff single in the ninth, but a double play took them out of the inning and the game.

WP:  Mays (6-3).  LP:  John Halama (2-4).  S:  Guardado (15).

Notes:  Denny Hocking was at second base in place of Luis Rivas.  Chris Gomez was at shortstop in place of Cristian Guzman.  Kielty was the DH.

Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .333.  Mohr was 1-for-4 and was batting .316.  Hocking was 0-for-3 and was batting .163.

Mays pitched six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks and striking out two.  His ERA was 5.48.  Johan Santana gave up a run in two-thirds of an inning to make his ERA 2.88.  LaTroy Hawkins was unscored upon in two-thirds of an inning to drop his ERA to 1.52.  J. C. Romero retired both men he faced to make his ERA 2.82.  Guardado's ERA dropped to 1.59.

Halama pitched four innings, giving up six runs (five earned) on five hits and no walks and striking out five.

This was Harang's first major league appearance in 2003.  He had pitched in sixteen games in 2002.   It was his only relief appearance of the season.

The Twins had won four in a row, six out of seven, nine of eleven, eleven of fourteen, and seventeen of twenty-two.

Record:  The Twins were 31-20, in first place in the American League Central, 4.5 games ahead of Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Fifty

MINNESOTA 4, OAKLAND 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, May 27.

Batting stars:  Corey Koskie was 1-for-3 with a home run, his seventh.  Bobby Kielty was 1-for-1 with a three-run homer, his eighth.

Pitching stars:  Kenny Rogers pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and no walks and striking out five.  Eddie Guardado struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Eric Byrnes was 2-for-4 with a double.  Scott Hatteberg was 2-for-4 with a double.  Barry Zito struck out ten in an eight inning complete game, giving up four runs on three hits and two walks.  Ramon Hernandez was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his sixth.

The game:  Neither team did much on offense until the fourth, when Koskie hit a two-out homer to put the Twins up 1-0.  The Athletics had a couple of two-out singles in the sixth, but did not get on the board until the seventh, when Miguel Tejada led off with a double and Hernandez hit a one-out two-run homer, giving Oakland a 2-1 lead.  It went to 3-1 in the eighth on back-to-back doubles by Byrnes and Hatteberg.

The Koskie homer was the only hit the Twins had for seven innings.  In the eighth, however, Dustan Mohr hit a one-out double and Doug Mientkiewicz was hit by a pitch.  Kielty then pinch-hit for Luis Rivas and hit a three-run homer, giving the Twins a 4-3 advantage.  The Athletics went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  J. C. Romero (1-0).  LP:  Zito (6-4).  S:  Guardado (14).

Notes:  Mientkiewicz returned to the lineup at first base.  Denny Hocking went in to play second base after Kielty pinch-hit for Rivas.

Jacque Jones was 0-for-4, dropping his average to .335.  Mohr was 1-for-3 and was batting .318.  Matthew LeCroy was 0-for-3 and was batting .303.

This was Rogers' first game score over 50 in a month and his first over 60 since April 17.

Zito had four complete games in 2003.  Three of them were losses, two of them to the Twins.  He had only three more complete games after 2003.

The Twins had won three in a row, five of six, eight of ten, ten of thirteen, sixteen of twenty-one, and twenty of twenty-five.

Record:  The Twins were 30-20, in first place in the American League Central, 3.5 games ahead of Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Forty-nine

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.

2003 Rewind: Game Forty-six

MINNESOTA 6, OAKLAND 5 IN OAKLAND

Date:  Thursday, May 22.

Batting stars:  A. J. Pierzynski was 3-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Chris Gomez was 2-for-5 with a triple, a double, and two runs.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-5 with a double.  Bobby Kielty was 1-for-3 with a home run (his seventh), two walks, and three RBIs.

Pitching star:  Juan Rincon retired all five batters he faced.

Opposition stars:  Eric Brynes was 1-for-3 with a home run (his third) and two RBIs.  Mark Ellis was 1-for-2 with a home run (his fourth), two walks, and two runs.

The game:  The Twins had two on with two out in the second but did not score.  In the third, however, Jones led off with a double and Kielty hit a one-out two-run homer to put the Twins up 2-0.

The lead lasted until the bottom of the third.  Ellis led off with a walk and Chris Singleton doubled, putting men on second and third.  A sacrifice fly scored a run, Scott Hatteberg singled, and Eric Chavez hit a two-run triple to put the Athletics up 3-2.  That lead lasted until the top of the fourth.  Gomez led off with a double and scored on Pierzynski's single to tie it.  Luis Rivas reached on a fielder's choice and with one out Cristian Guzman and Kielty walked, putting the Twins up 4-3.  Torii Hunter then singled to make it 5-3.

Brynes led off the fifth with a home run to cut the lead to 5-4.  The Twins loaded the bases in the seventh but did not score.  They had two on with two out in the eighth but did not score.  In the ninth, however, Gomez hit a one-out triple and scored on Rivas' two-out single to give the Twins an insurance run at 6-4.  They needed it, as Ellis hit a two-out home run to make the score 6-5.  Adam Piatt then grounded out to end the game.

WP:  Joe Mays (5-3).  LP:  John Halama (2-3).  S:  Guardado (12).

Notes:  Matthew LeCroy was again at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz.  He was replaced, however, in the second inning by Denny Hocking.  There's no obvious reason revealed by the play-by-play, so one assumes it was either injury or illness.

Gomez was at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Kielty was the DH.

Jones raised his average to .341.  LeCroy was 0-for-1 and was batting .319.  Dustan Mohr was 1-for-5 and was batting .305.

Hocking was 1-for-4 and was batting .175.

Mays pitched five innings, giving up four runs on five hits and three walks and striking out two.  His ERA was 5.43.

Rincon lowered his ERA to 1.27.  J. C. Romero retired both men he faced and had an ERA of 3.00.  LaTroy Hawkins retired both men he faced and had an ERA of 1.25.  Guardado gave up a run in one inning and had an ERA of 1.83.

Halama started for Oakland.  He went six innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and four walks and striking out three.  I remember him as being a lot better than he actually was.  He had only one year with an ERA under four (3.56 in 2002) and four years with an ERA over five.  His best WHIP was 1.36 in 2004 and he only had one other season where it was under 1.40.  For his career, he was 56-48, 4.65, 1.45 WHIP in 911 innings.  He was in 262 games, 119 of them starts.

Chris Berman's nicknames eventually got old, but I did like John "Dalai" Halama.

The Twins had won five of six, seven of nine, thirteen of seventeen, and seventeen of twenty-two.

Record:  The Twins were 27-19, in first place in the American League Central, 1.5 games ahead of Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Forty-five

MINNESOTA 4, OAKLAND 3 IN OAKLAND

Date:  Wednesday, May 21.

Batting stars:  Dustan Mohr was 3-for-4.  Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Torii Hunter was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his seventh.

Pitching stars:  Kenny Rogers pitched six innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and two walks and striking out three.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.  J. C. Romero pitched a perfect inning.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Barry Zito pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks and striking out one.  Eric Brynes was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Miguel Tejada was 2-for-4.

The game:  Brynes led off the game with a walk, followed by singles by Scott Hatteberg and Tejada, loading the bases with one out.  Erubiel Durazo hit a two-out single to score a run and put the Athletics up 1-0.

The Twins put two on with two out in the second but did not score.  In the third, Byrnes led off with a single.  One-out singles by Tejada and Eric Chavez brought a run home to make it 2-0 Oakland.  The Twins tied it in the fourth when LeCroy hit a one-out single and Hunter followed with a two-run homer.  The tie lasted until the bottom of the fourth, when Mark Ellis led off with a single, went to second on a Terrence Long single, went to third on a double play, and scored on a wild pitch, making it 3-2 Athletics.

The Twins had men on first and third with one out in the sixth but did not score.  In the eighth Cristian Guzman singled, went to second on a ground out, and scored on a LeCroy single to tie it 3-3.  Luis Rivas pinch-ran for LeCroy, went to second on a ground out, and scored on Mohr's single to give the Twins their first lead at 4-3.

Oakland got a two-out single in the ninth, but did not more.  The Twins took the game 4-3.

WP:  Hawkins (4-0).  LP:  Chad Bradford (2-3).  S:  Guardado (11).

Notes:  Tom Prince was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  LeCroy was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz.  Denny Hocking was at second base in place of Rivas.  Bobby Kielty was the DH.

Jacque Jones was 1-for-5 and was batting .340.  LeCroy raised his average to .322.  Mohr raised his average to .310.

Hocking was 0-for-4 and was batting .167.

Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.29.  Romero was at 3.10.  Guardado was at 1.45.

Ron Gardenhire clearly went with the B lineup in this game, but it worked.

The Twins had won four of five, six of eight, and twelve of sixteen.

Record:  The Twins were 26-19, in first place in the American League Central, a half game ahead of Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Thirty-four

MINNESOTA 5, BOSTON 0 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, May 9.

Batting stars:  Todd Sears was 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-4 with two runs.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Johan Santana pitched five shutout innings, giving up four hits and a walk and striking out three.  LaTroy Hawkins struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.  J. C. Romero pitched a perfect inning.  Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Jason Shiell struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up a walk.  Jason Varitek was 1-for-2 with a walk.

The game:  Jones and Guzman opened the game with singles.  With one out, Sears singled to put the Twins up 1-0 in the first.

In the second, A. J. Pierzynski led off with a double and scored on a one-out single by Jones.  Guzman followed with a single.  With two out, Sears delivered a three-run homer to make it 5-0 Twins.

And that was it.  The Red Sox had some threats.  Nomar Garciaparra hit a two-out triple in the first.  Bill Mueller had a two-out double in the second.  With two out in the fourth, Shea Hllenbrand singled and Miller reached on an error.  But none of them came to anything, and the last ten Boston batters were retired.

WP:  Santana (2-0).  LP:  Pedro Martinez (3-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Sears was the DH.  There were no in-game lineup substitutions.

Jones raised his average to .338.  Sears was batting .308.

Luis Rivas was 1-for-4 and was batting .191.

Santana's ERA was 1.13.  Hawkins' ERA was 1.38.  Guardado's ERa was 0.66.

I remember that Sears hit a mammoth home run in his short career.  I'm wondering if this might have been it.  He only hit one other homer, so there's a fifty percent chance.  Memory tells me that it took out some lights on the scoreboard or something.  It was a big home run in the game, whether it was a monster homer or not.

Martinez pitched five innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and a walk and striking out five.  He only lost four games in 2003, so this was an unusual thing.  He went 14-4, 2.22, 1.04 WHIP.  He led the league in winning percentage, ERA, FIP, WHIP, hits per nine, homers per nine, and strikeouts per nine.  He finished third in Cy Young voting, behind Roy Halladay and Esteban Loaiza, and while both of them have fine seasons you can make an argument that Martinez should have won it.  The one thing that probably hurt him is that he only made 29 starts and pitched just 186.2 innings.  Nothing wrong with that, but Halladay made 36 starts and pitched 266 innings, and eighty more innings makes a difference.  On the other hand, Halladay's ERA was a full run higher and Martinez actually struck out two more batters even though he pitched eighty fewer innings.  At any rate, Martinez was an excellent pitcher, and it was quite a thing to beat him.

This was Santana's first start of the season.  He was taking the place of Rick Reed, who missed a start due to injury.  Despite his strong start, he would go back to the bullpen.  His next start came on June 7, and he would not join the rotation until July 11.

The Twins had won consecutive games by a 5-0 score.  They had won nine of out of ten.

Record:  The Twins were 19-15, in second place in the American League Central, 1.5 games behind Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Thirty-three

MINNESOTA 5, TAMPA BAY 0 IN TAMPA BAY

Date:  Thursday, May 8.

Batting stars:  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-2 with two walks.

Pitching star:  Kyle Lohse pitched a complete game shutout, giving up five hits and no walks and striking out three.

Opposition star:  Rocco Baldelli was 2-for-4.

The game:  The Twins opened the game with singles by Jacque JonesCristian Guzman, and Koskie, plating a run.  A double play took them out of the inning, but the Twins led 1-0.  Mohr led off the second with a double, Doug Mientkiewicz singled to put men on first and third, A. J. Pierzynski doubled home a run, and a ground out brought home another, making it 3-0 Twins.

It remained 3-0, with neither team building much of a threat, until the seventh.  Mohr singled, went to second on a passed ball, and scored on an error to make it 4-0.  They added one more in the eighth when Guzman reached on an error, went to second when Koskie walked, took third on a double play, and scored on a Torii Hunter double.

The Devil Rays only once got a man as far as second base.  Al Martin led off the second with a single and stole second with one out.  He was stranded there.

WP:  Lohse (3-3).  LP:  Dewon Brazelton (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Bobby Kielty was the DH.  The Twins made no in-game lineup substitutions.

Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .333.  Kielty was 0-for-4 and was batting .304.

Luis Rivas was 0-for-4 and was batting .188.

By game scores, this was Lohse's second-best game of the season, second to his eight innings of shutout ball on April 3.  He threw 101 pitches.  He would pitch very well through the middle of June, then pitch quite poorly until mid-September, when he got it going again.  His ERA was 3.57 at this point.

Tampa Bay's starter, Brazelton, did not pitch badly.  He went seven innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks and struck out three.  This was only his second game of the season and just the fourth of his major league career.  I don't mean to be unkind to him, but he simply was not a good major league pitcher.  His best season was 2004, when he went 6-8, 4.77, 1.44 WHIP in 120.2 innings (22 games, 21 of them starts).  For his career he was 8-25, 6.38, 1.68 WHIP in 271 innings (63 games, 43 of them starts).  He wasn't very good in AAA, either--14-19, 4.55, 1.44 WHIP in 219.2 innings (42 games, 41 of them starts).  He was drafted third overall, behind Joe Mauer and Mark Prior, which is probably why he got as many chances as he did.  But he walked too many guys, didn't strike out very many, and really had no business having as long a career as he had.  He does have an interesting life story, though, and I encourage you to read the SABR biography of him.

It was yet another series sweep the Twins were involved in, their eighth in ten series.  The Twins had won four in a row and eight of nine.

Record:  The Twins were 18-15, in second place, three games behind Kansas City.