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Game 5 October 6, 2002
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   R   H   E 
0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3   5 12 0
0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3   4 11 0
W: Radke (2-0, 1.54)   L: Mulder (1-1, 2.08)  
Box Score | | Gameday
Stayin' Alive: Twins win Game 5

By Mark Sheldon /

Box score >
OAKLAND, Calif. -- In a deciding Game 5 playoff battle, neither fate nor destiny favors either team. If you want to win the series, you simply have to take it.

The Twins, once threatened with contraction, are now destined for the American League Championship Series after taking a 5-4 victory Sunday against the heavily favored Oakland A's; the Twins won the American League Division Series, three games to two.

The Twins now get to continue their storied 2002 campaign against the Anaheim Angels in Minnesota's first ALCS since 1991. The Angels defeated the defending AL champion Yankees, three games to one, in the ALDS. The best-of-seven ALCS begins Tuesday at the Metrodome.

"You can't get rid of the Twins," left-fielder Jacque Jones said. "[Contraction proponents] tried it. Then the strike situation. The Oakland A's were up 2-1 [in the series]. We just never quit."

The resilient Twins are used to taking what they believe is rightfully theirs. They haven't been given much of a chance all season -- and even less respect, even as they continued to win games and widen their lead in the AL Central through several obstacles.

"Everybody wanted to eliminate us, even during the offseason," center fielder Torii Hunter said. "We proved everybody wrong. We got to the playoffs, and now we're going to the second round."

The Twins had a 5-1 lead entering the ninth inning with closer Eddie Guardado, but putting the A's away proved difficult. Oakland rallied back with two hits before Mark Ellis smacked a three-run homer to left field to narrow the lead to one. Guardado surrendered another hit before getting Ray Durham to pop out to second baseman Denny Hocking in foul territory to end the game.

At that point, Minnesota's dugout cleared.

"Watching my players jump around there and hug each other, that's as good as it gets for me," Twins first-year manager Ron Gardenhire said. "My coaching staff -- being able to shake their hands and tell them how good they've done -- that's what [managing] is all about, for me." More >

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By Mychael Urban /

Box score >
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Three Game 5's. Three crushing losses. Three long offseasons.

The A's on Sunday became the first team in the history of Major League Baseball to lose the deciding game of a postseason series -- be it Game 5 or Game 7 -- three years in a row.

In Oakland's case it was Game 5 of an American League Division Series all three times, including the devastation that was the day's 5-4 loss to the visiting Twins, and they'd just as soon not try to compare them.

"I don't even want to think about that," manager Art Howe said. "It hurts. Hurt is hurt."

Everywhere you looked in the Oakland clubhouse after the game, eyes were ringed red. Randy Velarde, who broke into the big leagues in 1984, was tearfully making it official that he had played his last game. Barry Zito's whole face was red when he finally emerged from a lengthy postgame soul search in the dugout.

Some players, most notably Billy Koch, who was hit hard in Game 5, and series stalwart Eric Chavez, wouldn't talk at all.

"I've got nothing to say," said Chavez, who hit .381 in the series, as he walked out the clubhouse door.

Koch, who gave up three runs in the ninth inning, never showed up at his locker.

All because Mark Mulder's gutsy seven-inning stint on three days rest and Mark Ellis' dramatic three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth weren't enough. Just as the Game 4 win at Yankee Stadium wasn't enough in the 2000 ALDS. And just as a two-games-to-none lead in last year's ALDS wasn't enough.

The sting of coming up short is familiar to the core of A's who have been through all three disappointments, but that, Mulder said, only makes it harder to take.

"Any time you get to this point and don't get it done, it's tough," he offered. "It's not the way we wanted it to end, and we expect more of ourselves."

Ellis, a rookie, was feeling it for the first time. More >

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Minnesota Twins 5, Oakland Athletics 4
Jones, LF 5000035.250
Guzman, SS 5230012.286
Koskie, 3B 4000121.143
LeCroy, DH 3121010.444
a-Ortiz, PH-DH 2011000.231
Hunter, CF 5010023.300
Mientkiewicz, 1B 4000003.250
Cuddyer, RF 2020100.385
Mohr, RF 01001001.000
Pierzynski, C 4112015.438
Hocking, 2B 4021011.500
a-Grounded out for LeCroy in the 8th.
2B: Guzman 2 (2, Mulder, Mulder), Hunter (4, Mulder), Hocking (1, Mulder), Ortiz (2, Koch).
HR: Pierzynski (1, 9th inning off Koch, 1 on, 0 out).
RBI: Hocking (1), LeCroy (1), Pierzynski 2 (4), Ortiz (2).
2-out RBI: Hocking, Ortiz.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Jones 2, Guzman 2, Hocking, Hunter 2.
Team LOB: 9.
SB: Guzman (2, 2nd base off Koch/Myers).
DP: (Koskie-Hocking-Mientkiewicz).
Durham, DH 5131001.333
Hatteberg, 1B 3010001.500
b-Piatt, PH 1000011.333
Myers, C 0000000.000
Tejada, SS 4000023.143
Chavez, 3B 4020002.381
Dye, RF 4110012.400
Justice, LF 4110012.238
Ellis, 2B 4123001.368
Long, CF 4000002.167
Hernandez, C 2000011.059
a-Velarde, PH-1B 2010000.600
a-Grounded out for Hernandez in the 8th. b-Struck out for Hatteberg in the 8th.
2B: Justice (1, Guardado).
HR: Durham (2, 3rd inning off Radke, 0 on, 2 out), Ellis (1, 9th inning off Guardado, 2 on, 1 out).
RBI: Durham (2), Ellis 3 (4).
2-out RBI: Durham.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Chavez.
GIDP: Hernandez.
Team LOB: 6.
SB: Durham (1, 2nd base off Radke/Pierzynski).
Outfield assists: Dye (Guzman at 3rd base).
Radke (W, 2-0) 6.26110411.54
Romero (H, 2) 1.01000100.00
Hawkins (H, 1) 0.10000100.00
Guardado 1.043300113.50
Mulder (L, 1-1) 7.09221902.08
Bradford 1.00000000.00
Koch 1.03332219.00
WP: Mulder.
IBB: Cuddyer (by Mulder).
Pitches-strikes: Radke 95-68, Romero 10-7, Hawkins 8-6, Guardado 28-18, Mulder 113-68, Bradford 12-8, Koch 34-21.
Ground outs-fly outs: Radke 7-9, Romero 2-0, Hawkins 0-0, Guardado 1-2, Mulder 6-5, Bradford 3-0, Koch 1-0.
Batters faced: Radke 25, Romero 4, Hawkins 1, Guardado 7, Mulder 30, Bradford 3, Koch 8.
Inherited runners-scored: Romero 1-0, Hawkins 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Joe West. 1B: Laz Diaz. 2B: Gerry Davis. 3B: Chuck Meriwether. LF: Alfonso Marquez. RF: Derryl Cousins.
Weather: 80 degrees, sunny.
Wind: 9 mph, Out to RF.
T: 3:23.
Att: 32,146.
Box score official statistics approved by Major League Baseball and the Office of the Commissioner 

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