May 8, 2022

Twins’ Polanco, pitching the difference in 1-0 win over A’s

Twins second baseman Jorge Polanco hit a solo home run and four pitchers made it stand for a 1-0 win over the Oakland A’s on Saturday.

Starter Sonny Gray, fresh off the injured list, struck out seven over four innings and the bullpen was just as strong, including fireballer Jhoan Duran, who struck out five in two innings to pick up his second save of the season. The win went to reliever Griffin Jax. Twins pitching limited the A’s to just three hits.

The Twins go for the sweep on Sunday. Chris Paddack gets the ball.

Extra innings…

-Polanco had three of the Twins’ five hits on Saturday. Nick Gordon and Royce Lewis had the other two hits.

-The Twins are 17-11 and lead the Chicago White Sox by three games.

-The Twins are also 6-3 in one-run games.

-On May 8, 1968, the A’s and Twins met again but this time Catfish Hunter pitched a perfect game to beat the Twins 4-0 before only 6,300 fans at Oakland-Alameda Coliseum. It was a herculean performance by Hunter because not only did he strike out 11 over nine innings, he also went 3-for-4 at the plate and drove in three of the A’s four runs. Harmon Killebrew struck out three times.

The perfect game was the lead story on the Minneapolis Tribune sports page.

“James (Catfish) Hunter, a 22-year-old right hander who moved from high school to the major leagues three years ago, moved into baseball history Wednesday night by hurling a perfect no-hit, no-run game in a 4-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins.”

The 1967 Twins won 91 games and the ’69 team won the division, but 1968 was a down year for the club, the team finishing in seventh place out of 10 American League teams with a record of 79-83.

The Detroit Tigers won the AL Pennant, backed as they were by pitcher Denny McLain and his 31-6 record. The Washington Senators finished in 10th place with a record of 65-96, despite towering slugger Frank Howard smashing 44 home runs and driving in 106 runs.

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Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

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.