October 3, 1970
ALCS, Game One
Orioles: Don Buford (LF), Paul Blair (CF), Boog Powell (1B), Frank Robinson (RF), Elrod Hendriks (C), Brooks Robinson (3B), Davey Johnson (2B), Mark Belanger (SS), Mike Cuellar (P)
Twins: Casar Tovar (CF), Leo Cardenas (SS), Harmon Killebrew (3B), Tony Oliva (RF), Brant Alyea (LF), Rich Reese (1B), George Mitterwald (C), Danny Thompson (2B), Jim Perry (P)
After getting swept from the '69 ALCS by the Orioles, Minnesota and Baltimore squared off again the following season with the same stakes on the line. Except this time, the Twins had home field advantage.
Minnesota scored early and often in Game One, pushing across runs in the first, second, fourth and fifth innings for a total of six runs. Killebrew was deadly, drawing first blood and leading off the three-run fifth with a homer. Sadly, it wasn't enough.
Tied at two going into the top of the fourth, the Orioles would bat around. Perry would last the first seven batters of the inning, allowing six to reach safely. The last two hitters homered, the first of which was a grand slam off the bat of Mike Cuellar, the Orioles' pitcher. Once Buford saw the visiting team go back-to-back, Bill Zepp came on in relief but still sandwiched another home run between two strikeouts.
At that point the game was 9-2, and although we know the Twins pulled to within three runs it was as close as Minnesota would get. Baltimore would add another run, and Twins had only one additional base runner the rest of the game. It was an auspicious start for what would not be a fun October.
Rod Carew, who had only just returned to the team on September 22 after a serous knee injury, made an appearance as a pinch hitter. He was 0-for-1, making him hitless since June 21 - one day before Mike Hegan slid hard into Carew as he turned a double play.
October 3, 2006
ALDS, Game 1
Athletics: Jason Kendall (C), Mark Kotsay (CF), Milton Bradley (RF), Frank Thomas (DH), Eric Chavez (3B), Jay Payton (LF), Nick Swisher (1B), Marco Scutaro (SS), Mark Ellis (2B), Barry Zito (P)
Twins: Luis Castillo (2B), Nick Punto (3B), Joe Mauer (C), Michael Cuddyer (RF), Justin Morneau (1B), Torii Hunter (CF), Rondell White (LF), Phil Nevin (DH), Jason Bartlett (SS), Johan Santana (P)
After missing the playoffs for the first time in four years in 2005, the Twins were back on top of the AL Central in 2006. In spite of winning a decade-high 96 games, it still took Kansas City upsetting Detroit to let Minnesota take the division. Here is what I wrote about the charmed '06 campaign and the upcoming series versus Oakland, on October 2, 2006.
Santana was good in this game, striking out eight in eight innings and allowing just five hits and the two runs he surrendered in the second inning. Rondell White, of all people, homered off of Zito in the seventh to bring the Twins to within a run, but Frank Thomas homered for the second time in the game in the to of the ninth, and after Cuddyer tripled to lead off the bottom half he could only score on a Hunter groundout to bring us to the final score of 3-2.
Twinkie Town Game Recap: Athletics Take Game One
Other Events On This Date
- 1965: Former Twins first baseman and six-time Gold Glove winner (two with the Twins and one more the during a season in which the Twins traded him) Vic Power ended his career against Minnesota by going 1-for-5 with the Angels.
- 1999: Minnesota ends the regular season with a tie, putting the cherry on top of a perfectly miserable 63-97-1 season.