February 11, 2019

The day the Twins and Red Sox turned 10 double plays

The Twins Almanac is a website and active twitter feed that reports on the history of the team, its players and those athletes with a connection to Minnesota.

An old Twins Almanac tweet showed up in my own twitter feed last week, reminding me of a time when the Twins turned two triple plays against the Boston Red Sox in July 1990. I am familiar with that moment, but I was totally unfamiliar with what happened the following day: The Twins and Red Sox turned 10 double plays to tie a major league record.

Even better: Who remembers Twins infielder Fred Manrique?

The Twins won the World Series in 1987, then won 91 games the following season before slipping a bit in ‘89 and ‘90. The Twins were 42-46 heading into a three-game series at Fenway Park on July 16-18, 1990.

The Twins won the opener 3-2, scoring two runs in the top of the ninth inning to earn the victory. Senor Smoke got the win to improve to 7-2 and closer Rick Aguilera picked up his 22nd save.

The next game they lost, shut out 1-0 by Boston starter Tom Bolton and Ex-Twin Jeff Reardon. The Twins, though, still grabbed headlines by turning two triple plays, Gary Gaetti to Al Newman to Kent Hrbek.

In the final game of the series, both teams combined for 26 hits, but Boston scored only a 5-4 win, likely because of the Twins’ defense.

The six double plays for the Twins, according to Baseball-Reference.com:

Al Newman-Fred Manrique-Kent Hrbek (three times).

-Fred Manrique-Al Newman-Kent Hrbek.

-Kent Hrbek-Al Newman-Kent Hrbek.

-Fred Manrique-Kent Hrbek.

The four double plays for the Red Sox:

-Jody Reed-Tim Naehring-Carlos Quintana.

-Carlos Quintana (Unassisted, apparently).

-Jody Reed-Carlos Quintana.

-Tim Naehring-Jody Reed-Carlos Quintana.

Manrique spent one season with the Twins in 1990. He appeared in 69 games and hit .237.

Although the defense did its best to preserve the win, Senor Smoke took the loss and fell to 7-3. Reliever Dennis Lamp got the win for the Red Sox and Reardon his 17th save.

The record for most double plays in one game by one team is seven.

Extra innings…

-Rest in peace, Frank Robinson. Hall of Famer Robinson, who slugged 586 home runs, died last week at the age of 83. Robinson started his career in the National League where he became a star for the Cincinnati Reds. He won the NL MVP in 1961. But later, thinking that Robinson’s best years were behind him, the Reds traded him to the Baltimore Orioles. In l966, his first season in the American League, Robinson hit .316 with 49 home runs and 122 RBI and was named AL MVP. It was also the beginning of a dynasty for the Orioles, a team that had power, pitching and a great defense. They won the World Series in 1966, followed by wins or appearances in the World Series in ’69, ’70, ’71, ’79 and ’83.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.