Friday August 10, 2001
Straight from Charlton’s Baseball Chronology
In the Twins 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay‚ Minnesota 1B Doug Mientkiewicz makes all 3 outs in the bottom of the 2nd without touching first base. The Devil Rays have Toby Hall on 3B and Randy Winn on 1B with no outs in the inning when Aubrey Huff hits a weak grounder to Mientkiewicz. The first sacker crosses the diamond to chase Hall back to third then tags out Winn who had run all the way around from first. Mientkiewicz then catches Hall wandering off the base to complete an unassisted double play. The next Rays’ batter‚ Jared Sandberg‚ hits a towering foul pop-up that Mientkiewicz caught for the third out.
Of course, those of us who were paying attention in 2001, remember this as the period of time in which the Twins slumped their way out of first place. The loss to the Rays was the start of a four-game sweep at the hand of the Rays, and an eight-game losing streak that would move the Twins from a first-place tie with Cleveland to a 4.5 game deficit.
What’s worse: after play on July 19, the Twins had a three-game lead in the division. From July 20 to August 21, the Twins went 7-24, and were effectively out of the race 5.5 games behind Cleveland.