Stayin' Alive: Twins win Game 5
|| TWINS COVERAGE
||SIGHTS & SOUNDS
|| ATHLETICS COVERAGE
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
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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
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 >
By Mychael Urban / MLB.com
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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
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
"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 >
|Minnesota Twins 5, Oakland Athletics 4|
|Minnesota|| AB|| R|| H|| RBI|| BB||SO||LOB||AVG|
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).
|Oakland|| AB|| R|| H|| RBI|| BB||SO||LOB||AVG|
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.
Team LOB: 6.
SB: Durham (1, 2nd base off Radke/Pierzynski).
Outfield assists: Dye (Guzman at 3rd base).
|Minnesota|| IP|| H|| R|| ER|| BB||SO||HR||ERA|
|Radke (W, 2-0)
|Romero (H, 2)
|Hawkins (H, 1)
|Oakland|| IP|| H|| R|| ER|| BB||SO||HR||ERA|
|Mulder (L, 1-1)
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.
Box score official statistics approved by Major League Baseball and the Office of the Commissioner
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