May 26, 1971

County Stadium
Milwaukee, WI

Twins 4, Brewers 1

WPA Leaders
Bert Blyleven 0.29Leo Cardenas 0.20

WPA Goats
Skip Lockwood (MIL) -0.22
Steve Braun -0.11
Rick Auerbach (MIL) -0.11

Big Play
With the score tied at 1-1 in the top of the sixth inning and Jim Holt at first base, Leo Cardenas singled in front of right fielder Bill Voss who committed a throwing error in an attempt to get Holt at third. As a result of the error, Holt scored and Cardenas moved to third base. The Twins took a 2-1 lead and never looked back.

This was the second in a three-game series at Milwaukee that wrapped up a 10-game road trip for the Twins. The first seven games were in California – four against the Angels and three versus the A’s. The Twins had won just three of those four games, prompting a pregame pep talk from Twins manager Bill Rigney prior to the opening of the Milwaukee series on May 25.

The Twins, who won the AL West in both of the previous two seasons, were 6 1/2 games out of first. According to Bob Fowler’s account of Rigney’s speech, the manager suggested that the 1971 version of the Twins was not doing “the little things” like they did in the previous two seasons. He specifically mentioned a lack of bunting and poor base running. Rigney also called for an immediate stop to clubhouse “griping and moaning” that also didn’t occur in 1969 or 1970.

The players seemed to be introspective in response to the manager’s sermon. Tony Oliva suggested that it might “bring the club back together” and a few others expressed hope that it might be a turning point.

Pre-speech, the Twins were 21-21. They won their first two games following the speech, but went 53-65 for the rest of the season, finishing in 5th place.

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