October 9, 2002
ALCS, Game Two
Twins Lead Series, 1-0
Twins: Jacque Jones (LF), Cristian Guzman (SS), Corey Koskie (3B), David Ortiz (DH), Torii Hunter (CF), Doug Mientkiewicz (1B), Michael Cuddyer (RF), A.J. Pierzynski (C), Luis Rivas (2B), Rick Reed (P)
Minnesota, the underdog in spite of being the AL Central winner and Anaheim being the Wild Card, pulled out an exciting 2-1 victory over the favorite Angels in Game One. In Game Two, Rick Reed was out to make up for his disappointing performance in the ALDS against Oakland, facing off against the gaunt, 29-year old Ramon Ortiz. Ortiz was coming off the best year of his career, a campaign that saw him throw a career high 217.1 innings while posting a career best ERA of 3.77.
It was amazing that rookie manager Ron Gardenhire stayed with Reed as long as he did. Darin Erstad's first inning homer was an early indication that it was going to be a bumpy ride, and it only got worse in the second. The first three batters reached safely, including back-to-back doubles to score a run. Two batters later Adam Kennedy broke for second base and, at almost the same instant, Scott Spiezio tried to take home from third base. Spiezio was caught in the rundown but managed to knock the baseball away from A.J. Pierzynski, whose ire was aroused when no interference was called. Spiezio scored and instead of a 2-0 game and inning over, it was a 3-0 game with Kennedy now standing on third base with one away.
David Eckstein singled to give Anaheim two more runs than they should have had, making it a 4-0 contest heading into the third inning.
Reed was still pitching in the top of the sixth when, with one away, Troy Glaus tripled and came home on Brad Fulmer's home run. That was the final straw, and Gardy finally came out to relieve his starting pitcher. Johan Santana came on and struck out two as he saw six up and six down.
The Twins finally mounted an offensive in the bottom of the sixth. Cristian Guzman doubled and Corey Koskie followed it with a single to score him, putting Minnesota on the board. Following a David Ortiz strikeout, Torii Hunter doubled to put runners on second and third with one away. Doug Mientkiewicz came through with a big time single to bring them both home, closing the gap to 6-3. That chased Ortiz, and Brendan Donnelly ended hopes of a bigger inning by retiring Cuddyer and Pierzynski.
Minnesota would threaten again in the bottom of the eighth before Troy Percival came on and close the door with a four-out save.
The game wasn't as close as it should have been thanks to the missed interference call in the second, but at the same time it always felt like the Twins had a comeback lurking just around the corner. Until, of course, Percival entered the game. He owned the Twins for his entire career with the Angels.
With the win the Angels took a series tie back to Anaheim.
Also in the 2002 ALCS: