Tag Archives: winning streak

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-one

MINNESOTA 5, TEXAS 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, September 6.

Batting stars:  Shannon Stewart was 3-for-5.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-4 with a double.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-5.  A. J. Pierzynski was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his tenth.

Pitching stars:  Brad Radke pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and no walks and striking out four.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Shane Spencer was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  Rafael Palmeiro was 2-for-4 with a double.  Ryan Drese pitched 3.1 scoreless innings of relief, giving up three hits and striking out one.

The game:  The Twins started the scoring in the second.  Jones led off the inning with a single and scored on Torii Hunter's triple.  With two out Stewart singled to put the Twins up 2-0.

The Twins added to their lead in the third.  Mientkiewicz singled and Matthew LeCroy walked.  A balk moved the runners up, a ground out scored one, and Pierzynski hit a two-run homer to give the Twins a 5-0 lead.

The Rangers had only one hit through the first four innings.  They scored in the fifth, however, when Mark Teixeira singled and scored from first on Spencer's double.  They added another run in the seventh when Laynce Nix doubled and scored on Spencer's single.

But that was it.  They got a hit in each of the last two innings but did not bring the tying run up to bat.

WP:  Radke (11-10).  LP:  R. A. Dickey (8-7).  S:  Guardado (33).

Notes:  Stewart was in left and Jones in right.  Lew Ford pinch-ran for LeCroy in the seventh.

Stewart raised his average to .314.  Jones went up to .308.  Pierzynski was at .304.

With Santana's short start yesterday, the Twins needed someone to step up.  As so often happened back then, the someone was Radke.  He got his ERA below five, this time to stay, at 4.93.  Hawkins got his ERA below two, also to stay, for the first time since July 13 at 1.98.

Dickey lasted just 2.2 innings, allowing five runs on six hits and three walks and striking out two.  He was also called for two balks in the game.  I'm sure that's nowhere near the record, but it is somewhat unusual.

The Twins were just 2-for-16 with men in scoring position.  They made the two count, though.

This has to be one of the best games for Ryan Drese in his career.  In 2003 he was 2-4, 6.85, 1.85 WHIP in 46 innings (11 games, 8 starts).  For his career he was 34-39, 5.31, 1.57 WHIP in 565.2 innings (105 games, 96 starts).  He wasn't any good in AAA either:  17-11, 4.68, 1.45 WHIP.  Teams obviously saw something in him to keep giving him chances, but whatever they saw did not translate into getting batters out consistently.

The Twins had won four in a row, seven of nine, and nine of twelve.  The Royals dropped both ends of a doubleheader, but the White Sox won.

Record:  The Twins were 75-66, tied for first with Chicago in the American League Central, three games ahead of Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty

MINNESOTA 10, TEXAS 7 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, September 5.

Batting stars:  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-3 with two runs.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4 with a triple and four RBIs.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his thirteenth.  Matthew LeCroy was 1-for-4 with a home run, his sixteenth.

Pitching stars:  Juan Rincon pitched three perfect innings, striking out two.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Michael Young was 3-for-4 with a grand slam, his thirteenth homer.  Jason Jones was 2-for-4 with a double.  Alex Rodriguez was 2-for-4 with a home run, his forty-first.  Shane Spencer was 2-for-5.

The game:  The Twins led all the way, but there were some uneasy moments.  Shannon Stewart led off the bottom of the first with a double, was bunted to third, and scored on a sacrifice fly to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  In the second Jones singled, Corey Koskie walked, Pierzynski and Guzman had RBI singles, and a sacrifice fly made it 4-0 Twins.

The Rangers got on the board in the third.  Three singles loaded the bases, a ground out scored one, and a wild pitch scored another, cutting the lead to 4-2.  But the Twins came roaring back in the bottom of the third.  Jones singled, Koskie walked, Pierzynski singled to load the bases, and Guzman brought them all home on a four-run triple-plus-error, putting the Twins up 8-2.  With Johan Santana on the mound, it looked like an easy win for the Twins.

But Texas had something to say about that.  In the fourth a double and two walks loaded the bases with one out.  Young then hit a grand slam.  Later in the inning Rodriguez homered, and the lead was suddenly down to 8-7.

But as happened so many times in this season, the Twins bullpen came in and shut down the opposition.  The Rangers could come up with only two singles after that, one in the eighth and one in the ninth, and neither man got past first base.  The Twins got some insurance in the sixth.  Rivas tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly, and LeCroy homered later in the inning.

WP:  Rincon (4-6).  LP:  Mickey Callaway (1-6).  S:  None.

Notes:  Stewart was in left with Jones in right.  Doug Mientkiewicz returned to the lineup at first base.

Stewart was 1-for-3 and was batting .312.  Jones was batting .306.   Pierzynski was at .304.

Santana's string of excellent performances came crashing to a halt.  He struck out six in four innings, but allowed seven runs on eight hits and two walks.

Hawkins lowered his ERA to 2.00.

The Twins scored three runs on sacrifice flies.  I have no idea what the record is--I'm sure it's more than three--but three by one team in one game is at least somewhat unusual.

This was the one season of Jason Jones' major league career.  He played in forty games and batted .215/.298/.355.  He had hit all through the minors, and continued to hit in AAA in 2004.  His total minor league numbers were .286/.375/.458, and those numbers are not skewed by huge numbers in the low minors or anything.  The Rangers didn't have a super outfield in 2003--yes, they had Juan Gonzalez, but they also had Shane Spencer and Ryan Christenson.  In 2004 their outfield was David Dellucci, Laynce Nix, and Kevin Mench.  He was a corner outfielder, which limited him some, but still.  There was obviously something the Rangers didn't like about him, and apparently other teams saw it, too.  He retired after spending 2004 in AAA at age twenty-seven.  It seems like he should've gotten more of a chance, but as we've observed before, no one ever promised that baseball or life would be fair.

It was the third straight win for the Twins.  Chicago and Kansas City both won, too, so the Twins did not gain any ground.

Record:  The Twins were 74-66, tied for first with Chicago in the American League Central, 1.5 games ahead of third-place Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Thirty-five

MINNESOTA 2, TEXAS 0 IN TEXAS

Date:  Saturday, August 30.

Batting star:  Corey Koskie returned to the lineup and was 2-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  Johan Santana pitched six shutout innings, giving up five hits and no walks and striking out four.  Juan Rincon struck out two in 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.  Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Mark Teixeira was 3-for-4 with two doubles.  Mickey Callaway pitched six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and no walks and striking out four.

The game:  The Rangers had men on first and third with two out in the first but did not score.  Michael Young had a one-out double in the third and Shane Spencer reached on a two-base error in the fourth.  Those were the only men to be in scoring position for either team in the first five innings.

In the sixth, however, A. J. Pierzynski led off with a single, Denny Hocking followed with a double, and Shannon Stewart delivered a two-run single, putting the Twins up 2-0.

And that was all the scoring in the game.  Teixeira led off the bottom of the sixth with a double but stayed on second.  Jacque Jones hit a two-out double in the seventh but had a similar fate.  Teixeira had another double with two out in the eighth and again was stranded.  The Twins put men on first and second with none out in the ninth, but again the score remained 2-0.  Texas went out in order in the bottom of the ninth.

WP:  Santana (9-3).  LP:  Callaway (1-5).  S:  Guardado (31).

Notes:  Hocking was at short in place of Cristian Guzman, who would not return to the lineup until September 2.  Jones was in left and Stewart in right.  Dustan Mohr replaced Stewart in right field in the ninth.

Stewart was 1-for-4 and was batting .313.  Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .308.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 0-for-3 and was batting .301.

Santana lowered his ERA to 2.72.  He made six starts in the month of August and went 5-0, 1.07, 0.95 WHIP.  He struck out 44 in 42 innings, giving up 30 hits and 10 walks.  His ERA went from 3.49 to 2.72.

LaTroy Hawkins retired the only man he faced to drop his ERA to 2.09.

I remember Mickey Callaway as a manager and pitching coach, and of course he's been in the news lately for other reasons.  But I have no memory of him as a pitcher.  This was his first start as a Texas Ranger--he had been released by the Angels in late July.  Over half his major league appearances came in 2003--he appeared in 40 games, 23 of them this season.  He did not justify it:  he went 1-7, 6.68, 1.78 WHIP.  This was one of the few good games he pitched in his career, and he still didn't get a win for it.  For his career, he went 4-11, 6.27, 1.71 WHIP.  He made 20 starts in his 40 games and pitched 130.2 innings.  His only major league "success" came in 2002, when he made six starts for the Angels at the end of the season and went 2-1, 4.19.

The Twins had won three in a row and five of six.  The White Sox won and Kansas City didn't play (presumably a rainout), so the Twins moved into a tie for second place.

Record:  The Twins were 71-64, tied for second with Kansas City in the American League Central, a half game behind Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Eighteen

MINNESOTA 5, CLEVELAND 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, August 11.

Batting stars:  Dustan Mohr was 3-for-4 with two doubles and a stolen base, his fourth.  Luis Rivas was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fourth.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse pitched eight innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out four.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Jody Gerut was 3-for-4 with a double.  Terry Mulholland struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up two hits.

The game:  The Twins opened the scoring in the third inning.  Mohr led off with a double and Cristian Guzman followed with an RBI single.  Rivas then hit a one-out two-run homer to make it 3-0 Twins.  The Indians got one back in the fourth on two singles and a doubleplay grounder, cutting the lead to 3-1.

It stayed 3-1 until the sixth.  Torii Hunter was hit by a pitch with two out and scored on A. J. Pierzynski's double.  Mohr followed with a run-scoring single to make it 5-1 Minnesota.

There was no more scoring until the ninth.  Gerut and Ben Broussard opened the inning with back-to-back doubles.  Ryan Ludwick singled, bringing the tying run to the plate in the dangerous Travis Hafner.  But Hawkins got him to hit into a double play, bringing home a run but emptying the bases.  Josh Bard then struck out to end the game.

WP:  Lohse (9-9).  LP:  Jake Westbrook (5-7).  S:  Hawkins (1).

Notes:  Stewart was in left, Mohr in right, and Jones at DH.  Michael Restovich pinch-ran for Jones in the eighth.

Stewart was 0-for-3 and was batting .316.  Jones was 1-for-3 and was batting .305.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-4 and was batting .303.  Pierzynski was 1-for-4 and was batting .301.

Lohse got his ERA back below five at 4.97.

Hawkins lowered his ERA to 2.33.  I don't know why Ron Gardenhire went with Hawkins rather than Eddie Guardado.  Guardado had pitched the day before, but had thrown just fifteen pitches.  He had not pitched the day before that, and after all, he was "Everyday Eddie".  This was one of two saves Hawkins had for the season.

Westbrook pitched six innings, but allowed five runs on eight hits and a walk and struck out three.  His ERA was 4.77.

The Twins had won four games in a row and were in striking distance of second place.

Record:  The Twins were 61-57, in third place in the American League Central, 2.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were one game behind second-place Chicago.

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.