1987 World Series Game 3: Minnesota Twins (2-0) @ St. Louis Cardinals (0-2)

Tuesday October 20, 1987

Cardinals 3, Twins 1

Twins fans were treated to something they had yet to see in the 1987 post-season: a pitcher’s duel. Unfortunately, the outcome did not go the Twins’ way.

John Tudor and Les Straker exchanged scoreless innings for the first five frames. In that time, no base runner advanced past second base for either team.

The scoring began in the sixth. After getting Dan Gladden to ground out to start the inning, Tudor walked the next two batters. The free passes to Greg Gagne and Kirby Puckett represent the only walks Tudor issued in the game. He would pay for it later in the inning when a Tom Brunansky single scored Gagne from third.

Straker pitched an uneventful sixth inning, and ended his first World Series appearance with a very impressive line.

Minnesota Twins       IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR
Straker                6     4   0   0   2   4   0

Tom Kelly defended his decision to lift Straker in the sixth (quoted in Mark Vancil’s game recap in the Star Tribune).

“Lester gave us just what we wanted, six innings,” said Kelly. “Check his history. After six he gets a little shaky. He gave us a beautiful game, but he had men on base every inning.”

Paul McEnroe recorded Straker’s reaction:

“I didn’t expect to come out,” he said softly.

“Tired, no I wasn’t tired. I didn’t say anything when he (manager Tom Kelly) told me he’s taking me out. He’s been doing that all year.

“I was real surprised when he took me out.”

Enter Juan Berenguer. Kelly’s plan was to go with Berenguer for two innings, then to bring on Reardon to close the game out. Unfortunately for the Twins, the plan changed quickly when Berenguer ran into trouble immediately in the seventh.

Jose Oquendo greeted Berenguer with a single to start off the inning. Tony Pena advanced Oquendo to second with a single of his own. Terry Pendleton, pinch hitting for Tudor, handed the first out to Berenguer by sacrificing the runners to second and third with a bunt.

Both runners scored when Vince Coleman lined a shot down the third base line, just out of Gary Gaetti’s reach for a two RBI double. Juan Berenguer’s night was finished.

Coleman eventually scored on an Ozzie Smith single off of Dan Schatzeder, but the Cardinals didn’t need the extra run in the end. The Cardinals’ closer, Todd Worrell, held the Twins scoreless on one hit in the eighth and ninth innings.

Player(s) of the Game
John Tudor and Les Straker

Game 4 Tomorrow: MIN Frank Viola (L) 17-10 2.90 ERA 1.18 WHIP vs STL Greg Mathews (L) 11-11 3.73 ERA 1.29 WHIP

Thursday: Game 5 @ STL

if necessary…

Saturday: Game 6 @ MIN
Sunday: Game 7 @ MIN


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