June 27, 1999
The Twins struggled to score runs in 1999, and had a particularly difficult time in the first two games of a late-June three-game series at Tiger Stadium. The lineup managed to put together just one run on 12 hits over the first two games. Fortunately for the Twins, the Tigers only scored twice in game one, so the teams had split two games in which only three total runs were scored.
Enter an unlikely Twins hero. Denny Hocking had been with the Twins for seven seasons, though it wasn’t until 1997 that he saw more than 50 games in a season. He entered the game on June 27 batting .258/.311/.344 on the year, almost right in line with his career averages.
Denny Hocking led the Twins in an offensive explosion against the Tigers. Hocking himself went 5-for-6 with two runs scored in the game. Three of his five hits were doubles, giving him eight total bases for the game.
Hocking wasn’t the only source of offense in the game. Doug Mientkiewicz, a .226/.344/.328 hitter coming into the game, went 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Brent Gates hit a two-run home run, and he, Jacque Jones, and Todd Walker had two hits each. Cristian Guzman, hitting ninth, had three RBI, giving him 12 for the season.
It all added up to a 12-7 Twins victory. In all, the Tigers went through seven pitchers to retire the suddenly hot Twins.
Hocking had a four-hit game on April 17, 1999, his previous career high. On May 18, 2000 he will match the feat.