July 8: Minnesota 2, Oakland 1 (10 innings)
Rube Waddell and Camilo Pascual had a brilliant pitchers duel for nine full innings. Pascual gave up one run on a solo Jimmie Foxx dong, and the Twins got one run on a Mickey Vernon single. Joe Cronin walk, and Goose Goslin single.
Eddie Guardado came on to pitch the top of the 10th for the Twins, and made his 17th straight appearance without allowing an earned run and lowered his ERA to 0.78.
Waddell stayed on the hill for Oakland in the bottom of the 10th and immediately ran into a Harmon Killebrew smash that walked it off for the Twins. It was a needed bright spot for Killebrew in what has been a frustrating year (.263 wOBA in limited action).
Pascual started the year terribly with a 7.02 ERA in his first six starts. He seems to have made some crucial adjustments ever since, and has a 2.48 ERA in his last 11 games. He has been a superb number three starter in that time, even if he’s overshadowed by rotation-mates Johan Santana & Walter Johnson.
R H BB OAK 000 001 000 0 - 1 5 1 MN 000 100 000 1 - 2 9 1 HR: J. Foxx (14), H. Killebrew (4) starters IP R ER HR BB SO R. Waddell 9.0 2 2 1 1 7 C. Pascual 9.0 1 1 1 1 8 OAK 44-38, MN 44-38
July 9: Minnesota 2, Oakland 0
Speaking of Santana…he continued his run as the most dominating starter in the league with 7.1 shutout innings in this one. A Mickey Cochrane single and Rickey Henderson walk were all the A’s could muster against Santana’s savage stuff. Firpo Marberry and Joe Nathan finished the game without allowing a hit to combine with Santana on a one-hit shutout.
Santana’s league-best ERA dipped to 1.98. And he hasn’t allowed an unearned run all year. He can’t throw nearly as many innings as some pitchers, but he’s been so good that he still might be the hurler of the year so far.
Lefty Grove allowed a lot more base runners than Santana, but he still kept the game scoreless for the first seven innings. Oakland shortstop Bert Campaneris committed an error to allow Stan Spence to reach first base leading off the eighth inning. Chuck Knoblauch pinch ran and swiped second base, and Mickey Vernon laced his second triple of the game to drive in Knoblauch. Tony Oliva doubled in Vernon for an insurance run.
R H BB OAK 000 000 000 - 0 1 3 MN 000 000 02x - 2 10 1 HR: none starters IP R ER HR BB SO L. Grove 7.1 2 1 0 1 3 J. Santana 7.1 0 0 0 1 4 OAK 44-39, MN 45-38
July 10: Minnesota 3, Oakland 2
After scoring one total run in the first two games, the A’s got to face Walter Johnson! They did get to the Big Train for 10 hits and four walks, but Johnson almost seemed to be toying with them. Nearly every time a runner got on, Johnson bore down and stranded them. The A’s stranded 11, including two innings in which they left the bases full. Terry Steinbach and Eddie Collins each hit a triple and came around to score for the extent of Oakland’s scoring for the day. (They’ve now scored four total runs in their last four games.)
Tim Hudson was mostly excellent for Oakland, but the Twins bunched up four safeties to start the third to score all three of their runs. Rod Carew walked, Tony Oliva singled, Vernon doubled, and Sam Rice singled to get all the offense Johnson needed.
Don’t know for sure, but I would bet this was the first series of the year in which neither team scored four runs in a game.
R H BB OAK 001 000 001 - 2 10 4 MN 003 000 00x - 3 8 4 HR: none starters IP R ER HR BB SO T. Hudson 7.0 3 3 0 3 3 W. Johnson 9.0 2 2 0 4 7 OAK 44-40, MN 46-38