But that early power attack, led by five home runs (two by Harmon Killebrew) provided enough cushion against the Dodgers’ last-minute push, as Minnesota reclaimed the Series lead with an 8-6 victory in Game 3.
Minnesota jumped out to a hot start against Los Angeles starter Claude Osteen. Tony Oliva led off the game by lining a sinker over the right field wall, and two innings later Zoilo Versalles (with Oliva on base) and Killebrew went back to back to give the home squad a 4-0 lead.
Though the Dodgers put men on base in every inning, they didn’t get on the scoreboard against Camilo Pascual until the fifth inning. After pinch hitter Wally Moon singled, Maury Wills singled him to third and stole second, and Jim Gilliam singled them both home.
But the fifth inning quickly proved a tumult for Los Angeles. With Osteen out of the game, Bob Miller entered in relief. After Pascual struck out, Oliva singled, Versalles singled, and Killebrew clobbered Miller’s offering over the fence in left. Don Mincher immediately followed by sending a baseball into the stands in right, doubling Minnesota’s scoring output and knocking Miller from the game.
Though three Dodger relievers would keep the Twins off the scoreboard for the rest of the game, the deficit was too much for L.A. to overcome. Lou Johnson’s seventh-inning homer off Dave Boswell cut the gap to five, but the Dodgers would get no closer until the ninth.
To start the final frame, Bill Pleis entered in relief for the Twins, with Rich Rollins replacing Killebrew at third on a double switch. Pleis promptly gave up a triple to Jim Lefebvre, walked two to load the bases, saw a run come home on Ron Fairly’s sacrifice fly, and loaded the bases again on a Wes Parker single. Closer Al Worthington entered in hopes to quash the Dodgers’ threat and finish the game, but a Willie Davis single and John Roseboro walk let in two of Pleis’ willed baserunners. But pinch hitter John Kennedy flied out and Wills bounced to first to end the ballgame.
Killebrew was named player of the game by whatever part of OOTP 21’s AI decides player of the game, driving in four runs on his two home runs.
The Twins, now leading the Series 2-1, will send Jim Merritt to the mound, while the Dodgers will counter with Johnny Podres.
- Harmon Killebrew: 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI
- Tony Oliva: 3-5, HR, 3 R, RBI
- Zoilo Versalles: 2-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
- Camilo Pascual: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 4 K
- Bill Pleis: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB
- Bob Allison: 0-4, K