June 6, 1970
Two weeks after Rod Carew became the first Twin to hit for the cycle, the Twins were still rolling on their way to a second straight AL West title. A win in the first game of three in Washington put the Twins record at 32-15, two games ahead of the California Angels.
The Twins faced an interesting opponent in Washington. Following the franchise move out of the same city, Washington baseball continued in the form of an expansion team in 1961. Like all expansion teams, the new Senators struggled for the first several years, consistently finishing at the bottom of the AL standings. In 1969, the team named hitting legend Ted Williams as its fifth manager, and Washington finally had a winning season, though the team only finished fourth in the six-team AL East.
Coming into the Saturday game against the Twins, the 1970 version of the Senators were 24-26, good for a third place tie in the division. 8,836 fans came to RFK Stadium to watch the second game of the series.
Minnesota Twins Washington Senators 1. C Tovar CF 1. L Maye RF 2. J Holt LF 2. E Stroud CF 3. T Oliva RF 3. F Howard LF 4. H Killebrew 3B 4. M Epstein 1B 5. R Reese 1B 5. B Allen 2B 6. L Cardenas SS 6. A Rodriguez 3B 7. P Ratliff C 7. E Brinkman SS 8. F Quilici 2B 8. J French C 9. J Perry P 9. J Hannan P
The Twins went right to work off of starter Jim Hannan. After Tony Oliva singled with two outs, Harmon Killebrew cleared the left-center field fence for his 15th home run of the season. Before the Senators had a chance to bat, they were down 2-0.
Jim Perry, the Twins’ 20-game winner from the previous season, had a 6-5 record with a 3.00 ERA coming into the game. He was anything but sharp early. Over the first four innings, the Senators had five hits (four singles and a home run) and drew a walk and had a hit batter. Fortunately for Perry and the Twins, they only managed two runs, tying the game on Lee Maye’s solo home run in the fourth inning, his fifth of the season.
The Twins answered in the fifth, however, and it once again came off the bat of Harmon Killebrew. Perry started the rally with a one out single. A hit batter and a walk later, the bases were loaded. With two outs, Killebrew lined a single to center, scoring Perry and Tovar to give the Twins a 4-2 lead.
Perry settled down after the Maye home run and retired the next 11 Senators he faced. A Mike Epstein, who singled in the eighth, was the only Washington baserunner from the fifth inning on. Perry closed out the game by getting Johnny Roseboro to fly out to left field.
Stars of the Game
1. Harmon Killebrew MIN 2-for-4, HR, 4 RBI
2. Jim Perry MIN 9 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2-for-4 at the plate
3. Lee Maye WAS 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
The Twins completed the three-game sweep in Washington with an 11-inning, 10-9 victory on Sunday. The sweep was the start of a slide for the Senators that would end with them in last place, 38 games out at season’s end.