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The Twins Almanac for April 30-May 6


Matt Johnson

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April 30, 1961

Killebrew’s First HR as a Twin

 

Trailing the White Sox 5-2 in the bottom of the 11th in Bloomington, Harmon Killebrew hit his first home run in a Twins uniform. The White Sox held on to win 5-3 with Bob Shaw pitching all 11 innings.

 

All told Harmon Killebrew would hit 573 home runs, fifth-most in baseball history at the time he retired, and still 11th all-time as of 2016. He hit 84 home runs as a member of the Washington Senators, 475 in a Twins uniform, and 14 as a Kansas City Royal in 1975.

 

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May 1, 1996

Twins Win on Paul Molitor Walk-Off Hit-By-Pitch

 

The Twins held a 5-3 lead vs. Kansas City heading into the top of the ninth when 1994 AL Rookie of the Year Bob Hamelin hit a two-run home run off of Dave Stevens to tie the game. Hamelin had also homered in the second, both times with Jose Offerman aboard. Royals all-time saves leader Jeff Montgomery set the Twins down in order in the bottom of the ninth. His second inning of relief did not go so smoothly, however. After popping Pat Meares up for the first out, Montgomery walked Rich Becker and Chuck Knoblauch. A single by Chip Hale loaded the bases for the future-Hall of Famer Paul Molitor who Montgomery beaned, forcing in the winning run.

 

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May 1, 2005

Johan Santana Loses for First Time in 20 Starts

 

Johan Santana pitched eight strong innings versus the Angels at the Dome, allowing only two runs on two hits, solo home runs by Vladimir Guerrero and Jose Molina. Bartolo Colon, however, held the Twins scoreless, allowing only two hits through 7 ⅓ innings. Shannon Stewart drove in the Twins only run with a solo home run off Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth.

 

Santana had gone 17-0 in his last 20 starts going back to his 2004 Cy Young-winning season. He would go 16-7 in 2005 and finish third in Cy Young balloting. He won the award again in 2006 when he and the Yankees’ Chien-Ming Wang tied for the major league lead with 19 wins.

 

May 1, 2009

Joe Mauer Homers in First At-Bat Back from Disabled List

 

After missing the first 22 games of the season with a lower back injury, Joe Mauer homered in his first at-bat back from the disabled list. Playing Kansas City at the Metrodome, Mauer came up with two down in the first. After taking Sidney Ponson’s first two pitches, Mauer deposited his 2-0 offering in the left-center field seats.

 

Mauer led-off the fourth inning with an opposite field double and scored on a Justin Morneau single up the middle. Mauer walked in the fifth and scored on Morneau’s sixth home run of the season. He finished the day 2-for-3 with a walk and three runs scored as the Twins beat the Royals 7-5.

 

Mauer went on to hit 11 home runs and drive in 32 runs in the month of May en route to his third batting title and being named the 2009 American League MVP. The Twins won the Central Division in ‘09 with a dramatic 12th inning walk-off win in Game 163 vs. Detroit, but were swept by the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs.

 

May 2, 1963

Twins Trade Jack Kralick for Jim Perry

 

The Twins traded pitcher Jack Kralick, who had come with the team from Washington, to the Cleveland ballclub for Jim Perry. Kralick pitched the Twins’ first no-hitter the previous season, on August 26, 1962. Kralick lost the perfect game by giving up a walk with one out in the ninth of the Twins’ 1-0 win over the Kansas City Athletics. The final two outs were recorded on foul pop flies. Though the Twins’ first season in Minnesota (1961) was probably Kralick’ best, he did garner his lone All-Star selection with Cleveland in 1964.

 

Perry’s career had gotten off to a hot start in Cleveland. In 1959 he was runner-up to the Senators’ Bob Allison for American League Rookie of the Year. He tied with Baltimore’s Chuck Estrada for the American League lead with 18 wins in 1960, and made his first All-Star team in 1961.

 

During Perry’s first five seasons with the Twins he was used both as a starter and relief pitcher, including the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 1965 World Series. In 1969 he started 36 of the 46 games he appeared in, winning 20 as the Twins won the American League West pennant. Perry won the Cy Young Award in 1970, his first season in Minnesota in which he was used exclusively as a starter, and tied for the league lead with 24 wins as the Twins again won the West.

 

Perry played ten seasons in Minnesota. He is fifth in Twins history in both wins (128) and innings pitched. In 2011 Perry became the sixteenth player inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame.

 

May 2, 1964

Twins Hit Four Consecutive Home Runs

 

Tony Oliva gave the Twins a 2-0 lead vs. the Athletics in Kansas City with a third inning home run. The teams were tied 2-2 entering the top of the ninth when Harmon Killebrew hit a solo home run to put the Twins in front. Rocky Colavito, however, tied it up in the bottom of the inning, singling in Ed Charles. The A’s came perilously close to the walk-off win. After Colavito advanced to second on a passed ball, the Twins filled first with an intentional walk. Both runners moved up on a groundout to the pitcher, the second out of the inning. The Twins then issued a second intentional walk, loading the bases. Manager Sam Mele then brought Bill Pleis. With zero margin for error, Pleis struck out his man, forcing extra innings.

 

Neither team threatened to score in the tenth. Then Tony Oliva led off the top of the eleventh with a home run, followed by Bob Allison and Jimmie Hall. Kansas City then went to the bullpen, but to no avail, as Harmon Killebrew made in four in a row and the Twins beat Kansas City 7-3.

 

Seven teams in the history of Major League baseball have hit four consecutive home runs, most recently the Diamondbacks in 2010. The last American League team to do so was the White Sox in 2008 when Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez and Juan Uribe went back-to-back-to-back-to-back.

 

This wasn’t the only time the Twins made home run history against the Kansas City Athletics. The Twins set an American League record by hitting five home runs in a single inning on June 9, 1966 against KC at the Met in Bloomington. The Athletics erupted for four runs in the first off Camilo Pascual, who only lasted ⅔ of an inning. Facing 1987 Hall of Fame inductee, Catfish Hunter, the Twins pulled within 4-3 on a Bob Allison RBI double in the fifth and a two-run Killebrew homer in the sixth. Then, in the bottom of the seventh, Rich Rollins and Zoilo Versalles connected for back-to-back home runs off of Hunter to take the lead. Reliever Paul Lindblad retired Sandy Valdespino before allowing back-to-back homers to Tony Oliva and Don Mincher. The Athletics then turned to John Wyatt who allowed the Twins’ third consecutive home run, and the fifth of the inning, to Harmon Killebrew, his second of the game.

 

Four National League teams have hit five home runs in an inning. The first time was in 1939 and the most recent in 2006. All four were against the Cincinnati Reds.

 

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May 2, 2010

Wilson Ramos Debuts with 4-Hit Game

 

22-year-old Venezuelan catcher Wilson Ramos made his major meague debut going 4-for-5 with a double and run scored in Cleveland. The following night, at home versus Detroit, Ramos went 3-for-4 with a double, becoming the third player in major league history with seven hits in his first two games, and the first since the Chicago Cubs’ Coaker Triplett in 1938.

 

Ramos played seven games for the Twins before being traded to the Washington Nationals for closer Matt Capps. The Twins would go on to win the American League Central with a 94-68 record. They were swept out of the playoffs by the New York Yankees.

 

Ramos was the second Twin to debut with a four-hit game. 24-year-old Kirby Puckett went 4-for-5 with a run scored in his major league debut on May 8, 1984 in 5-0 Twins win in Anaheim. Hitting leadoff, Kirby grounded out in his first at-bat before collecting four straight singles. Puckett was the sixth player in American League history to debut with a four-hit performance.

 

Kirby would finish third in American League Rookie of the Year balloting behind Seattle’s Alvin Davis and Mark Langston. The Twins’ Tim Teufel finished right behind Kirby in fourth place. Roger Clemens came in sixth. In the National League, future-World Series Hero Dan Gladden finished fourth behind Doc Gooden, Juan Samuel, and Orel Hershiser.

 

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May 3, 1986

Puckett Leads Off Consecutive Games with First-Pitch Home Runs

 

Twins leadoff hitter Kirby Puckett homered on the Tigers’ Walt Terrell’s first pitch of the game. He had homered on Jack Morris’s first pitch the day before. It was already his 11th home run of the young season.

 

Morris struggled mightily in the May 2 matchup, as the Twins touched the ‘73 Highland Park grad for four runs on four hits and four walks in just 1 ⅓ innings. Even Steve Lombardozzi got in on the act, leading off the second inning with a home run. Kirby was 3-for-6 with two RBI and three runs scored in the Twins 10-1 win. 23 games into the ‘86 season, Kirby was hitting .396.

 

Tigers pitching fared better on May 3, however. In addition to Kirby’s first-pitch home run, Gary Gaetti also homered in the first, driving in Tom Brunansky. Walt Terrell recovered, though, and kept the Twins off the board until, leading 7-3 with two out in the ninth, he gave up a solo home run to Gaetti. He then struck out pinch-hitter Billy Beane to complete the 7-4 Tigers victory.

 

Twins White Sox Baseball

 

May 3, 2011

Francisco Liriano Pitches a No-Hitter

 

Francisco Liriano pitched the fifth no-hitter in Twins history on a chilly 42 degree night in Chicago, beating the White Sox 1-0. Liriano entered the game with a 1-4 record and 9.13 ERA.

 

The Twins’ only run came on a Jason Kubel home run in the fourth. Liriano was far from perfect, giving up six walks, although he did induce three ground ball double plays. Despite averaging 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings on the season, and 9.3 per nine over the course of his career, Liriano only struck out two batters in his no-hit performance. He threw 123 pitches, only 66 of which were strikes. Liriano would finish the season with a 9-10 record and 5.09 ERA. The no-hitter was Liriano’s only complete game as a Twin. He pitched two complete games for the Pirates in 2013.

 

This was the second Twins no-hitter in which six runners reached base. The first was the Twins’ first no-hitter, thrown by Dean Chance on August 25, 1967 in the second game of a doubleheader in Cleveland. Chance completed the no-hitter despite giving up an earned run. He walked the first two batters of the game and then the bases were loaded on an error by third baseman, Cesar Tovar. Chance then threw a wild pitch, giving Cleveland an early 1-0 lead. The Twins would go on to win 2-1 as Chance walked five and struck out eight. Cleveland hit into two double plays.

 

May 4, 1975

The Twins Retire Their First Number

 

Harmon Killebrew signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Royals in January, 1975. The Twins retired his number in a ceremony before the Sunday finale of their first home series against Kansas City the following season. Killebrew’s #3 was the first number retired by the Twins. Killebrew hit a two-run home run in the top of the first. The Twins went on to win 6-3.

 

Minnesota natives Dave Goltz and Tom Burgmeier picked up the win and the save in the first game of the series. Killebrew sat out game two in which Bert Blyleven earned a complete game victory.

 

Quillen

 

May 5, 1882

Lee Quillen Born in North Branch

 

It’s the birthdate of former major league infielder Lee Quillen, born 135 years ago in North Branch, MN. Quillen played four games (three at shortstop) for the eventual 1906 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox. He hit .192 in 49 games as Chicago’s backup third baseman in 1907.

 

Quillen passed away in 1965 at the age of 83. He is buried at Oakland Cemetery in St. Paul.

 

Bender

 

May 5, 1884

Charles Albert Bender Born in Crow Wing County

 

It's the birthdate of the first Minnesotan Hall of Famer, Albert "Chief" Bender, who was elected in 1953.

 

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May 5

Happy 70th Birthday to Larry Hisle

 

It’s the birthday of Larry Hisle, born in Portsmouth, Ohio in 1942. The 14-year major leaguer played five seasons for the Twins, from 1973 to ‘77 when he hit .302 with 28 home runs and an American League-leading 119 RBI.

 

Hisle made Twins history twice in June, 1976. First, on June 4, he hit for the third cycle in Twins history. Then, on June 30, he stole a team record four bases. Lyman Bostock, incidentally, hit for the cycle on July 24, 1976.

 

Hisle was the hitting coach for the back-to-back World Series champion Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and ‘93. In ‘93 the Blue Jays’ John Olerud, Paul Molitor and Roberto Alomar had the first, second and third best batting averages in the American League.

 

In 2010, Fox Sports North included Hisle among their “50 Greatest Twins.” He is currently the Milwaukee Brewers’ Manager of Youth Outreach.

 

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May 5, 2001

LaTroy Hawkins Blows First Save After Record Streak

 

On a Saturday night in Kansas City, the first place (20-8) Twins handed LaTroy Hawkins a 10-8 lead in the bottom of the ninth. Hawkins had converted the first 23 save opportunities of his career, an MLB record. After pulling within a run on a sacrifice fly, however, former Twin David McCarty tied the game with a two-out, line drive single to center, scoring Jermaine Dye. With McCarty aboard in the twelfth, Royals outfielder Dee Brown hit a walk-off home run off of Travis Miller.

 

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May 6, 2015

Eddie Rosario Homers on First MLB Pitch

 

Leading off the bottom of the third against Oakland’s Scott Kazmir at Target Field, Eddie Rosario hit the first pitch he saw in the Major Leagues for an opposite field home run. He was hitless in three subsequent at-bats. The Twins went on to beat Oakland 13-0.

 

Six Twins have homered in their first Major League at-bat: Rick Renick, Dave McKay, Gary Gaetti, Andre David, Luke Hughes and Rosario. Fifteen players in the history of Major League Baseball have homered on their first big league pitch. In 2010, Boston’s Daniel Nava hit a grand slam on his first Major League pitch. In 1981, in the span of less than a month, Kent Hrbek, Tim Laudner and Gary Gaetti each homered in their first Major League game.

 

Keep in touch with @TwinsAlmanac on the Twitter.

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