Tuesday September 26, 1967
California Angels (81-74) @ Minnesota Twins (90-68)
With less than a week left in the 1967 season, the Twins were tied for first place with the Boston Red Sox, while the Chicago White Sox were 0.5 games back, with the Detroit Tigers also on their heels 1.5 games back. The Twins actually held a slight lead before they lost to the Angels 9-2 the day before.
California Angels Minnesota Twins 1. A Rodriguez 3B 1. Z Versalles SS 2. J Fregosi SS 2. C Tovar 3B 3. R Reichardt LF 3. H Killebrew 1B 4. B Morton RF 4. T Oliva RF 5. D Mincher 1B 5. B Allison LF 6. W Held CF 6. R Carew 2B 7. B Knoop 2B 7. T Uhlaender CF 8. B Rodgers C 8. J Zimmerman C 9. J McGlothlin P 9. J Kaat P
Jim Kaat took the mound for the Twins. Kaat was just one year removed from his 25-win season, and was having another solid season, coming into the game with a 15-13 record and a 3.11 ERA.
Kaat was perfect through the first two innings, and the Twins offense got on the board in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, Bob Allison tripled off of Jim McGlothlin and later scored when Rod Carew knocked him in with a single.
The Angels answered in the top of the third in what was a nightmare inning for Kaat and the Twins. A lead off single by Bobby Knoop represented the first hit off of Kaat, who walked the next batter, Buck Rodgers. McGlothlin came to the plate batting .132/.179/.151, so the Twins figured to get at least an out before the lineup turned over. Swinging away, the Angels pitcher hit a grounder to the Kaat, who threw to Cesar Tovar at third to get the lead runner. Unfortunately, Tovar dropped the ball and the Angels had the bases loaded with nobody out.
Lead off man Aurelio Rodriguez made Kaat pay for the error by knocking a two-run single to center. Kaat finally got the first out, but loaded the bases again with one out by hitting Rick Reichardt with a pitch. This time it was clean-up man Bubba Morton that made the Twins pay for the mistake, though his infield single only scored one.
In the end, the third inning could have been worse for the Twins. With the bases loaded, Kaat settled down to strike the final two men out, and the Twins escaped only down 3-1. After the third, Kaat settled in, allowing just three more Angels to reach safely the rest of the game.
Bob Allison’s solo home run in the bottom of the fourth cut the lead to a single run, but the Twins remained down until the sixth inning. With Tovar at first and no outs, Harmon Killebrew smacked home run number 42 off of McGlothlin, the shot that gave the Twins the lead for good. A couple of unearned runs later in the inning pushed the home team’s lead to 6-3.
Killebrew hit one more home run in the seventh for good measure, his 43rd (tied for the league lead at the time) that wrapped up the scoring for the game. Kaat completed his 16th win by allowing just five hits and striking out 13 while walking only two Angels. The Twins, with the help of a Red Sox loss, took a one game lead in the American League.
AL W L GB WP RS RA MIN 91 68 - .572 663 574 BOS 90 69 1.0 .566 711 601 CHW 89 68 1.0 .567 526 473 DET 89 69 1.5 .563 661 567
Stars of the Game
1. Harmon Killebrew MIN 2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI
2. Jim Kaat MIN W, CG, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 13 K
3. Bob Allison MIN 3-for-3, 3 R
Unfortunately, as it turned out, this was the last victory for the Twins in 1967. They dropped the series finale against California the next day, then were swept in Boston in a two-game series in which they only needed to win one to take the pennant.