The 10th place Kansas City Athletics and the 2nd place Minnesota Twins had split the first two games of a three game series with a couple of 3-2 games at Metropolitan Stadium. Cal Ermer’s Twins came back from a 2-0 deficit in the first game on Thursday by scoring a run an inning in the 6th, 7th, and 8th; the first and last of which were solo home runs by Harmon Killebrew, who brought his season’s total to 24, enough to tie Frank Howard for the AL lead.
On Friday Twins’ pitcher Jim Kaat allowed a couple of runs on four singles in the fourth inning while three Athletics pitchers held the Twins’ offense down to earn a 3-2 win.
It might have seemed improbable that the third game of the series would end with the exact same score, but that is what went down at the Met. Starter Dean Chance ran into some trouble in the top of the first. With one out, shortstop Zoilo Versalles booted a grounder by Mike Hershberger. Hershberger stole second before Chance issued a walk to the number three hitter John Donaldson. Hershberger and Donaldson advanced on a double steal putting both in scoring position for Ramon Webster’s two-RBI single that put the A’s ahead 2-0. The A’s were aggressive on the base paths, stealing four bases in the top of the first inning and seven total off of the battery of Chance and Earl Battey.
Harmon Killebrew struck with his third solo home run of the series in the bottom of the frame to cut the Kansas City lead in half.
Both Chance and Kansas City pitcher Lew Krausse settled in after the first inning. Kansas City only managed to scatter four more singles off of Chance, who at one point retired 10 consecutive batters. Krausse put his own string together, and would have retired 15 Twins in a row had it not been for an error in the bottom of the sixth. Krausse ran into a bit of trouble in the eighth when Bob Allison, pinch hitting for Chance, doubled to right with one out. After the second out was recorded and Allison moved to third, manager Al Dark went to left-handed Tony Pierce, who did his job by retiring Rod Carew with a harmless ground out to first base.
After Ron Kline pitched around a lead off single in the visitor’s half of the ninth, The Twins would send Harmon Killebrew and Tony Oliva to face A’s reliever Jack Aker. On consecutive pitches from Aker, Killebrew and Oliva blasted solo home runs to send the home fans away from the Met happy with a 3-2 Twins win.