Minnesota Takes Series In Oakland, Aided By Three Crucial HR Baker Muffs

hr-bakerJune 4: Minnesota 4, Oakland 2

Eddie Collins was on base four times with two walks and two doubles, but his ‘mates never could drive him in.

Barry Zito rolled through eight innings against the Twins allowing only one run. A’s manager Connie Mack sent him back out for the ninth to protect Oakland’s 2-1 lead, but lead-off batter Goose Goslin reached safely after third sacker Home Run Baker botched Goslin’s grounder. Then Joe Mauer walked, pushing Goslin to second, and Mack called in Dennis Eckersley to try to get out of the jam. Eck got close, getting his first two men to fly-out, but pinch-hitting Sam Rice smashed a triple to give Minnesota a 3-2 lead. More bad fielding by Oakland allowed Rice to come home after Jason Giambi mishandled a throw to first. Joe Nathan slammed the door in the bottom of the ninth.

                  R H BB
MN  000 001 003 - 4 9  1
OAK 100 000 100 - 2 8  6

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Shaw     6.1  1  1  0  5  4  
B. Zito     8.0  3  1  0  1  3 

MN 28-27, OAK 28-27

June 5: Oakland 4, Minnesota 1

Walter Johnson wasn’t sharp in the first inning, and Oakland took advantage while they could, slapping four singles and drawing a walk to hang a three spot. Johnson settled down to only allow one more run the rest of the way, but Rube Waddell was sharp from the get-go for Oakland in a complete game gem.

                  R H BB
MN  010 000 000 - 1 7  2
OAK 301 000 00x - 4 9  4

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
W. Johnson  8.0  4  4  0  4  3 
R. Waddell  9.0  1  1  0  2  6

MN 28-28, OAK 29-27

June 6: Minnesota 5, Oakland 4

Similar to Johnson’s start the day before, Johan Santana didn’t have his best stuff in the first inning, and Jimmie Foxx and Al Simmons went back-to-back jimmie-jackin’ in the opening frame.

But Home Run Baker committed two more devastating errors in this one that the Twins made Oakland pay for. Instead of claiming the third out with no runs allowed in the third inning, a Baker error left the door open for Harmon Killebrew to drill a two-RBI double.

Oakland was clinging to a 4-3 lead in the top of the seventh when Baker again muffed a grounder, this one off the bat of Kirby Puckett. Goslin doubled and Joe Cronin singled around the next two outs to drive in two more unearned runs. Baker took full responsibility after the game, saying, “I let my teammates down. We could have won all three games if not for my bone-headed fielding.”

The two wins brought Minnesota over .500 and into a tie for fifth with the slumping A’s.

                  R H BB
MN  002 100 200 - 5 8  5
OAK 300 001 000 - 4 7  1

HR: J. Foxx (10), A. Simmons (9)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Santana  7.0  4  4  2  1  4  
L. Grove    9.0  5  1  0  5  3 

MN 29-28, OAK 29-28
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