Twins Short Hops: Game 3
An afternoon of mistakes dooms Minnesota to elimination
OAKLAND -- Fielding the Twins' Game 3 loss to the Athletics on a short hop ...In < 30 words...
Brad Radke was unable to keep the Twins alive, allowing four runs in the first three innings. The Twins trailed 4-0 after three innings and were done. Frozen moment
Torii Hunter tried to score from second on a one-out single by Rondell White in the sixth. But right fielder Milton Bradley made a strong throw to the plate and Hunter was out as he tried to slide around catcher Jason Kendall's tag. Big number
.053 -- The Twins' final average with runners in scoring position after getting just one hit in 19 at-bats in those situations. Game balls
Justin Morneau -- 2: He went 2-for-4 at the plate, but his seventh-inning error cost the Twins four runs.
Hunter -- 3: He had a double and a home run, but also a curious sacrifice bunt in the second inning. He was also thrown out trying to score from second on White's single in the sixth. Twins bullpen -- 1: They couldn't keep it close, giving up four runs in the eighth inning. Sense of October
Manager Ron Gardenhire announced before Game 3 that Carlos Silva would pitch Game 4 and Johan Santana would pitch Game 5. He acknowledged that the Twins had to win Game 3 to make that possible. But in the first week in October, it's three and done. Lines of the Game
Twins' first four hitters
16 AB, 1 R, 4 H, 0 2B, 1 HR 1 RBIs
Comment: Morneau hit a home run in the eighth, but there wasn't much offense generated by the top of the lineup from Luis Castillo, Nick Punto and Joe Mauer.
4 IP, 4 R, 3 ER 5 H, 1 BB, 2 Ks
Comment: This is obviously not the way he wanted to go out. Spoken
"I'm in shock. Three games? After the way we played in the second half? We played so well. Now, to be swept in three games, it doesn't much sense." -- Hunter, on Minnesota's early exit from the 2006 postseason.
Pitchers and catchers report in 130 days or so.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.