Sunday August 29, 1982
Cleveland Indians (61-64) @ Minnesota Twins (47-82)
1982 is generally considered one of the worst seasons in franchise history, but today is more often regarded with a certain fondness. In essence, it was year one of the rebuilding phase that ultimately led to the success the franchise realized in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
The Twins’ roster was full of now familiar names who were, at the time, young prospects. The Hrbeks, Gaettis, Violas, and Brunanskys would all have to endure a 102-loss season before they realized the success of 1987.
Still, the team did manage to win from time to time in 1982, and actually put together a series sweep or two. One of those came at home late in the season against the Cleveland Indians. The Twins took the first two games 5-3 and 10-0; the latter being the only shut out in the career of Jack O’Connor. 8,926 fans gathered in the newly opened Metrodome for the series finale.
Cleveland Indians Minnesota Twins 1. M Dilone LF 1. M Hatcher RF 2. M Hargrove 1B 2. J Castino 2B 3. T Harrah 3B 3. T Brunansky CF 4. A Thornton DH 4. K Hrbek 1B 5. V Hayes RF 5. G Ward LF 6. R Hassey C 6. G Gaetti 3B 7. R Manning CF 7. R Bush DH 8. A Bannister 2B 8. S Butera C 9. L Milbourne SS 9. L Faedo SS E Whitson P B Castillo P
Things didn’t start of well for the Twins and starting pitcher Bobby Castillo, who allowed a three-run home run to Andre Thornton in the first inning. Castillo settled down after the first, however, and didn’t allow another hit over the next seven innings after giving up four in the first frame.
The Twins first got to Ed Whitson in the second inning when short stop Lenny Faedo drew a bases-loaded walk to push across and unearned run (Gary Ward had reached on an error earlier in the inning). The score remained 3-1 until the sixth inning, when Randy Bush’s sacrifice fly cut the Indians’ lead to one.
The game turned around when Whitson was removed after the seventh inning. Ed had allowed just two runs on five hits over seven innings pitched, but was still pulled in favor of Dan Spillner. It was probably the right move, considering that Spillner was one of the better pitchers on the Cleveland staff, but the Twins displayed what ended up being a small glimpse into their future to spoil Spillner’s outing.
Brunansky started the inning with a double. He reached third when rookie Kent Hrbek hit an infield single. Ward’s single to right scored Brunansky for the tie; and another infield single, this time off the bat of Gaetti, loaded the bases with no outs. Randy Bush’s ground out to short plated the go-ahead run, while Sal Butera added some insurance with a one-out, two RBI single to center.
Castillo finished his complete game, working around a ninth inning single, the only hit he gave up after the first, to retire the Indians and complete the sweep.
Stars of the Game
1. Bobby Castillo MIN 9 IP 5 H 3 R
2. Andre Thornton CLE 3-R 1st inning HR
3. Gary Ward MIN 2-for-3, 2 R, RBI
The relentless attack that led to the comeback was not a common occurrence for the team in 1982, but it certainly would be in the years to come.