Minnesota Secures Series in Toronto

July 25: Toronto 3, Minnesota 2

Roy Halladay nicely kept the Minnesota offense in check, but Kirby Puckett scored two with Joe Cronin driving him in both times. That was enough for a 2-0 Twins lead after seven and a half innings because Camilo Pascual was doing even better holding down the Blue Jay bats.

Rod Carew made an error to start the bottom of the eighth that allowed Gregg Zaun to reach. Tony Fernandez followed that up with a triple to cut the score to 2-1. Joe Nathan came in and struck out his first two men before Carlos Delgado unleashed his 21st bomb for the winning runs.

                  R H BB
MN  101 000 000 - 2 8  2
TOR 000 000 03x - 3 4  4

HR: C. Delgado (21)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Pascual   7.0  2  0  0  4  7  
R. Halladay  7.0  2  2  0  1  3 

MN 52-45, TOR 44-53

July 26: Minnesota 6, Toronto 3

This time it was Toronto carrying a 2-0 lead late into the game. Jimmy Key was shocking the house for the first six innings by outdueling Johan Santana, who gave up two solo dingers. But a Roberto Alomar error in the top of the seventh seemed to unravel everything for Toronto and they watched Minnesota put up six runs in the final three innings

                  R H BB
MN  000 000 231 - 6 9  3
TOR 001 100 001 - 3 7  3
HR: J. Bautista (16), G. Zaun (2)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Santana  6.0  2  2  2  1  5  
J. Key      7.0  4  3  0  0  1 

MN 53-45, TOR 44-54

mauerJuly 27: Minnesota 6, Toronto 0

The Doyle Alexander magic seems to be slipping away in his last two starts, which have been the shortest outings of his season. He could have used plenty of magic in this one since he was going up against Walter Johnson, who tossed his second straight shut-out and allowed just three hits.

Joe Mauer has struggled with the bat this season (.304 wOBA), but is getting hot of late and bashed four hits and a homer. Sam Rice collected three hits, and four other Twins had two-hit games. Mauer and Kirby Puckett both have four straight multi-hit games.

Minnesota took four of six from Toronto this season.

                  R  H BB
MN  023 000 100 - 6 17  0
TOR 000 000 000 - 0  3  5

HR: J. Mauer (4)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
W. Johnson    9.0  0  0  0  5  6  
D. Alexander  3.0  5  5  1  0  0 

MN 54-45, TOR 44-55

Minnesota Storms Back Late In Rubber Match To Take Series In Baltimore

walterJuly 22: Minnesota 7, Baltimore 0

Lest anyone was worried about Walter Johnson after he made his shortest outing of the year last time out, he got back to being Walter Johnson and shut out the strong Baltimore offense. All the Orioles not named Ken Singleton went 1-for-28 with zero walks. Singleton was scorching hot all series, and was perfect against Johnson with two walks, a single, and a double, but never could get around to score since his mates were all getting shut down.

Joe Cronin slapped two triples, and Mickey Vernon walked twice, singled, and homered.

                  R  H BB
MN  002 300 200 - 7 14  3
BAL 000 000 000 - 0  3  2

HR: M. Vernon (8)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
W. Johnson  9.0  0  0  0  2  5  
U. Shocker  6.2  7  4  1  3  1 

MN 51-43, BAL 52-42

July 23: Baltimore 6, Minnesota 4

The Twins’ first five batters of the fourth inning all reached safely, which brought an end to starter Johnny Niggeling’s day and gave Minnesota a 4-1 lead. After Niggeling’s short day, a string of four Orioles relievers (Hoyt Wilhelm, Stu Miller, Darren O’Day, and Zach Britton) were aces and kept the Twins off the scoreboard the rest of the way.

The Orioles drilled solo homers against Bert Blyleven in the third, fourth, and fifth to get within a run of Minnesota. Eddie Guardado, the Twins shutdown southpaw reliever, was on in the sixth and did not have his good stuff. Ken Williams made it four straight innings with a home run for Baltimore, but this time it was a three run jobbie to give Baltimore the winning runs.

                  R  H BB
MN  000 400 000 - 4  8  5
BAL 001 113 00x - 6 11  5

HR: K. Singleton (8), F. Robinson (19),
K. Williams (7), C. Ripken (7)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Blyleven   5.1  3  3  3  2  4  
J. Niggeling  3.0  4  3  0  3  2 

MN 51-44, BAL 53-42

July 24: Minnesota 7, Baltimore 5

Minnesota’s Dutch Leonard got another start in what had been Jim Shaw’s spot in the rotation most of the year and it was rough going for Leonard this time out. The Orioles jumped him for five quick runs and Leonard was out after recording only six outs. Frank Robinson drove in four of the five against Leonard on two home runs.

Shaw himself came on in long relief and, wouldn’t you know it, was aces. Sort of. He somehow didn’t allow any runs in six innings of work, despite placing birds on bases with abandon. Shaw stranded 11 Orioles in his six innings, including leaving the bases loaded in three frames.

Jim Palmer was dandy for eight innings and handed over a 5-3 lead to Darren O’Day in the top of the ninth, but O’Day ran into a bunch of Minnesota hits and coughed up the lead. Mickey Vernon, Kirby Puckett, Joe Cronin, Joe Mauer, and Cecil Travis all roughed up O’Day with base hits and all of a sudden the Twins had won the series. Kirby Puckett had a big day with three doubles.

It wasn’t a good series for Baltimore, but it certainly wasn’t Ken Williams’ fault. He reached safely 11 times in 14 plate appearances, including two doubles a dinger. He rocketed up the leader boards to second in wOBA and runs created.

                  R  H BB
MN  011 000 104 - 7 11  0
BAL 212 000 000 - 5 13  6

HR: G. Goslin (2), F. Robinson-2 (21)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Leonard  2.0  5  5  2  0  0  
J. Palmer   8.0  3  3  1  0  3 

MN 52-44, BAL 53-43

Minnesota Contacts Series Win in Boston


July 19: Minnesota 6, Boston 5

It was Jim Shaw’s turn in the Twins rotation, but manager Bucky Harris elected to substitute Dutch Leonard in place of the struggling Shaw. Leonard drew a tough game considering Pedro was on the mound for Boston, but Minnesota managed to pull out a win. Minnesota’s offense is usually all about making contact and dropping in singles, and in the fifth inning they placed three singles and drew three rare walks to score four runs on Pedro.

The score was tied at five with the starters out of the game by the eighth. Jonathan Papelbon gave up the winning run in the ninth on the strength of more Minnesota singles, this time from Rod Carew and Mickey Vernon.

                  R  H BB
BOS 001 103 000 - 5 10  5
MN  000 041 001 - 6 11  3

HR: none

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
P. Martinez  7.0  5  5  0  3  6  
D. Leonard   7.1  5  2  0  5  0 

BOS 57-34, MN 49-42

July 20: Minnesota 5, Boston 3

Boston knocked two hits more than the Twins, including three doubles and a homer compared to zero extra base hits for Minnesota. But Camilo Pascual scattered Boston’s hits, whereas Cy Young couldn’t stop the singles train in the eighth as the Twins came from behind to take the lead on six doinkers.

                  R  H BB
BOS 000 300 000 - 3 13  2
MN  002 000 03x - 5 11  1

HR: F. Lynn (3)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Young    7.2  5  5  0  1  1  
C. Pascual  8.0  3  3  1  2  2 

BOS 57-35, MN 50-42

July 21: Boston 5, Minnesota 1

Minnesota was aiming for a sweep with the electric Johan Santana on the mound, but Santana looked human in this one and the Minnesota singles express dried up against a sharp Lefty Grove. Tris Speaker and Jimmie Foxx knocked three singles apiece, and Dwight Evans collected two doubles and a ding-dong.

Santana’s and Pedro Martinez’s ERAs both took a small hit in this series, but they remain one and two in the league in that category. With Grove’s excellent start, the Red Sox now rather obnoxiously have four hurlers in the league’s top 10 ERAs.

                  R  H BB
BOS 001 120 010 - 5 12  5
MN  010 000 000 - 1  4  3

HR: D. Evans (3), M. Vernon (7)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
L. Grove    8.0  1  1  1  0  1  
J. Santana  6.1  4  4  0  3  4 

BOS 58-35, MN 50-43

Streaking Chicago Sweeps Minnesota Aces

July 15: Chicago 4, Minnesota 3

For most starting pitchers in the Rhubarb, seven innings with three runs allowed is a decent day’s work, but for Johan Santana, it is just about as bad as it has gotten all year. Four consecutive White Sox batters reached in the second inning to plate the three runs against Santana: Luke Appling singled, Sherm Lollar walked, Robin Ventura doubled, and Eddie Collins singled. The Sox added another run in the eighth against Firpo Marberry.

The Twins nearly came back to tie it up while Ed Walsh tried to complete the game in the ninth. Singles by Joe Cronin and Cecil Travis knocked out Walsh in favor of Terry Forster. A Stan Spence sac fly got Minnesota within a run. That potential tying run stood at first base with two outs and Rod Carew, the man with the second most hits in the league, stood in the box, but Forster rolled Carew over on a groundout to second to finish the game.

                  R  H BB
MN  010 000 011 - 3 12  1
CHI 030 000 01x - 4  7  4

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Santana  7.0  3  3  0  3  5  
E. Walsh    8.1  3  3  0  1  1 

MN 48-40, CHI 46-42


July 16: Chicago 7, Minnesota 1

Minnesota’s other ace, Walter Johnson, was next on the docket, and Chicago handed him his first or second worst start of the season. Johnson lasted just 5.1 innings, which was the first time he failed to pitch at least seven innings all year. Most surprisingly was Johnson’s lack of command as he walked six Chicagoans. Only three of the seven runs recorded against Johnson were earned after Minnesota couldn’t recover from a Cecil Travis error in the second inning.

On the bump for Chitown was southpaw Thornton Lee, making just his fourth start since replacing Red Faber in the rotation. Lee tossed his first complete game while giving up just one. He has a 2.64 ERA in his four starts. “That dog’ll hunt,” said Sox skipper Jimmy Dykes.

Luke Appling had a perfect day at the plate with two walks and two singles.

                  R H BB
MN  000 000 100 - 1 6  4
CHI 240 001 00x - 7 9  8

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
W. Johnson  5.1  7  3  0  6  4  
T. Lee      9.0  1  1  0  4  0 

MN 48-41, CHI 47-42

July 17: Chicago 6, Minnesota 1

After cutting down Minnesota’s two powerhouse pitchers, the less intimidating Bert Blyleven stood on the hill to try to prevent the sweep. The Sox smacked Blyleven all over the field though, racking up four walks, eight hits, and six runs in the Dutchman’s four innings.

Frank Thomas reached four times in the game, and Minnie Minoso, Joe Jackson, Chet Lemon, and Harold Baines all reached thrice. Baines drove in four.

The Sox are on a 16-2 tear that has pulled them into a tie for fourth with Minnesota.

                  R  H BB
MN  000 010 000 - 1  5  1
CHI 201 300 00x - 6 11  7

HR: K. Puckett (3)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Blyleven  4.0  6  6  0  4  1  
J. Rigney    9.0  1  1  1  1  1 

MN 48-42, CHI 48-42

Minnesota Victorious In Series With Detroit

bertJuly 12: Minnesota 4, Detroit 1

Bert Blyleven made a mighty fine start for Minnesota, holding Detroit to a single run in 8.2 innings. The winning run actually got to the plate for Detroit in the top of the ninth with the bases juiced, but Joe Nathan came in and whiffed Bobby Veach to finish the game.

                  R H BB
DET 000 100 000 - 1 8  4
MN  102 000 01x - 4 9  4

HR: T. Oliva (11)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Verlander  7.1  4  4  1  4  8  
B. Blyleven   8.2  1  1  0  4  3 

DET 40-45, MN 47-38

July 13: Minnesota 8, Detroit 6

Starters Hal Newhouser and Jim Shaw have struggled this season, and they kept right on struggling in this one. They each gave up six earned runs. The Minnesota bullpen provided 4.1 innings of shutout relief, and the Twins got an additional unearned run off Newhouser plus a solo Stan Spence tater against the Detroit ‘pen to emerge victorious.

                  R  H BB
DET 000 240 000 - 6  8  4
MN  010 303 10x - 8 14  3

HR: S. Spence (4)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
H. Newhouser  5.1  7  6  0  3  7  
J. Shaw       4.2  6  6  0  4  0 

DET 40-46, MN 48-38

July 14: Detroit 14, Minnesota 4

After getting frustrated in the first two games, Detroit unleashed to win the series finale in a blowout. Minnesota’s starter Camilo Pascual had been on a roll, but got pounded for nine runs.

Detroit backup catcher Johnny Bassler had just 10 hits on the season before this contest, but had a perfect day with four singles and a walk in the nine spot. Detroit’s six, seven, and eight hitters–George Kell, Charles Gehringer, and Alan Trammell–each had three knocks.

                   R  H BB
DET 010 534 001 - 14 22  3
MN  300 001 000 -  4 12  2

HR: A. Kaline (4), A. Trammell (9), K. Puckett (2)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
G. Uhle     8.0  4  4  1  2  0  
C. Pascual  4.1  9  7  2  1  2 

DET 41-46, MN 48-39

Minnesota Sweeps Oakland in Pitcher Dominated Series

pascualJuly 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

Cleveland Takes Series v. Minnesota To Wrap Up Season’s First Half

June 30: Minnesota 6, Cleveland 4 (10 innings)

Jim Thome couldn’t have done much more to help the Naps win game one, but the rest of his mates couldn’t get anything going against Bert Blyleven nor Joe Nathan. Thome blasted two homers off Blyleven in his first two at bats, and drove in all four Cleveland runs in the process. In his other two plate appearances, he walked and singled.

The Twins attack was more balanced and they kept chipping away against Stan Coveleski. Joe Cronin slapped an extremely unlikely wall-scraping homer in the top of the 10th for the winning run.

                    R  H BB
MN  000 103 000 2 - 6 10  0
CLE 300 100 000 0 - 4  6  4

HR: J. Cronin (3), J. Thome-2 (18)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Blyleven   8.0  4  4  2  3  6  
S. Coveleski  9.2  6  6  1  0  0 

MN 43-36, CLE 39-40

greggJuly 1: Cleveland 7, Minnesota 1

Cleveland starter Vean Gregg threw a dandy complete game, the first start in which he didn’t yield an earned run. A Thome error in the ninth got in the way of it being a shutout for Gregg. The Naps batters had little trouble beating up on Twins starter Jim Shaw, who has had a frustrating first half (6.21 ERA).

                  R  H BB
MN  000 000 001 - 1  6  1
CLE 010 200 22x - 7 11  5

HR: T. Hafner (10)

starters   IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Shaw   6.2  5  5  1  5  4  
V. Gregg  9.0  1  0  0  1  1 

MN 43-37, CLE 40-40

July 2: Cleveland 3, Minnesota 2

Walter Johnson and Addie Joss put on a fine duel. Joss gave up just four hits and no walks in his complete game. Johnson put on a lot more base runners than Joss, but stranded nine of them to take a 2-2 tie into the bottom of the ninth. After Johnson got the first out, Lou Boudreau slammed his second double of the game, and Larry Doby followed that up with a walk-off RBI single.

The Twins struck out once and walked once in the entire series.

                  R  H BB
MN  010 010 000 - 2  4  0
CLE 100 000 011 - 3 10  3

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
W. Johnson  8.1  3  3  0  3  5  
A. Joss     9.0  2  1  0  0  0 

MN 43-38, CLE 41-40