Wednesday October 18, 2006
Twins’ Season Ends in Extra Innings, Monroe Sends Twins Packing with Two Home Runs
Just days ago the Twins had a 3-1 lead in the ALCS and what seemed like an absurd advantage with Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano scheduled to pitch Games 5 and 6. That the series even made it to a seventh game was a miracle by the Tigers, and they completed the run with a dramatic Game 7 victory highlighted by Craig Monroe’s 10th inning, game winning home run – his second of the game.
Things looked better for the Twins early in the game. With Kenny Rogers on the mound, Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer each knocked in first inning runs, both on ground ball singles.
Then in the second inning, the multi-time Gold Glove winner Kenny Rogers committed two consecutive errors to allow the Twins a 3-0 lead.
Though Radke was perfect the first time through the Detroit lineup, Craig Monroe got to him in the fourth inning with a two-run home run. The score remained 3-2 until the ninth inning.
Joe Nathan had come on to pitch in the top of the eighth with two outs. He promptly retired Magglio Ordonez on a lazy fly ball. The Twins had a lead with Joe Nathan on the mound entering the ninth, about as automatic as it gets. In this series, however, nothing has been automatic for the Twins. Carlos Guillen led off the inning with a double. The next batter, Ivan Rodriguez, took a Nathan pitch between Hunter and Cuddyer for a run scoring triple. With the score tied, Alexis Gomez hit a sacrifice fly to right. Though Nathan retired the next two batters, the Twins entered the bottom of the ninth trailing by one.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Luis Castillo provided some hope when he lined a single to left off of Todd Jones. Nick Punto followed with a single of his own, pushing Castillo to third. Joe Mauer lined the thid consecutive Twins hit to right to tie the score, and Cuddyer grounded out to send the game into extra innings and set up Monroe’s heroics for the Tigers.
Box and Play-by-play below the fold