62 Los Angeles Angels 4 – 62 Minnesota Twins 0
In a series that was closer than the final score belies, the Los Angeles Angels led by skipper Douglas Zaner swept the Minnesota Twins and their rookie skipper Ron Burnette, 4-0. After a dominate win in game 1, the last 3 games of the series were hard fought 1-run affairs that found the mighty Angels victorious in each of them. The Angels skipper made all the right moves in those taught final 3 games. Quote “I was lucky” did little to take away from excellent decision making that proved to be the difference in those hard fought affairs.
GAME 1: Los Angeles (A) 9 – Minnesota 4
|Leon Wagner 3 HR's|
On paper this looked like a great match up as Dean Chance faced off against Jim Kaat. But alas the Angels bats were too hot today. Led by Leon Wagner's 2 HR's and 5 RBI's the Angels moved out to a 5-0 led by the top of the 6th before cruising to victory. Chance was solid while Kaat started out strongly but seemed to wilt in the 88 degree Minnesota summer. Steve Bilko, yes that fleet-footed Steve Bilko, was 4-5 with 4 RBI's including a two-bagger and a triple. Twins skipper was amazed that Steve could make it all the way to 3rd without running out of breath. It was a portent of things to come.
GAME 2: Los Angeles (A) 5 – Minnesota 4
Bo Belinsky vs. Camilo Pascual. On paper another great match up but the Angels scored 5 times in the 1st two innings and held on for 5-4 win. Leon Wagner had the big bat again as he went 2-4 with 1 HR and 2 RBIs. Belinsky, who definitely stayed out too late the night before was effective for 5 innings allowing only 1 run on 3 hits while walking 4. The Twins made in close in the bottom of the 9th scoring 2 on Harmon Killebrew HR, but Art Fowler was able to get the final two outs without further damage for the save.
GAME 3: Minnesota 2 – Los Angeles (A) 3
|Grounder nets big run|
A heart-breaking loss for the visiting Twins as the Angels score two runs in the bottom of the 9th to win game 3 of the series 3-2. This was close hard fought game all the way. The Angels scored 1st with a run in the 3rd as Leon Wagner continued his hot hitting driving the run in with a base hit. That was all the Angels could muster against Jack Kralick. Ken McBride on the other side was pitching just as well. His only blemish was an unearned run in the 6th that tied the game at 1. Things got interesting as both teams turned to their bullpens. The Angels bullpen walked 5 batters over the final 3 innings but somehow managed to only give up one run as the Twins could not come up with the big hit. They did manage to take the lead in the 8th on, you guessed it, a bases-loaded walk to pinch hitter George Banks. But then things began to unravel for the Twins in the bottom of the 9th. Leading 2-1, they brought in suspect closer, Frank Sullivan. He promptly gave up a 2 bagger to Lee Thomas. A single by Buck Rodgers scored Thomas and to tie the game and set up an extraordinary finish. Things happened so fast that the Angels skipper had to ask for an instant replay review. Tom Satriano grounded into what looked like a double play but great hustle by the slow footed catcher kept the rally alive. With one out and the go-ahead run on third, Jim Fregosi grounded one to the normally sure handed Rich Rollins. But alas it wasn't to be. The ball glanced off his glove allowing Rodgers to score the winning run as pandemonium reigned at the Halo.
GAME 4: Minnesota 3 – Los Angeles 4 – 10 innings
|Hustle & pinch hitting|
The Twins while down, played their hearts out in a tough loss. Jim Kaat seemed to like the dry California summer air as he went 8 innings giving up 3 runs on 6 hits while striking out 7. Eli Grba gave the Angels yeoman mound work as he went 6 giving up 3 earned. The Twins led 3-1 after 6 but the Angels came back with single runs in the 7th and 8th innings to tie the game at 3. In the top of the 9th. Zoilo Versalles tripled with 2 outs, but the Twins could not get him home as Tom Morgan struck out super star to be, Tony Oliva. In the top of the 10th, the Twins loaded the bases after two outs on a single and a couple of walks. But hard throwing Ryne Duren came in and got Bob Allison to ground out meekly to him setting the stage for another Angels rally. A walk to George Thomas and a single by Billy Moran left Angels at 1st and 2nd with 2 outs. Steve Bilko was the scheduled hitter. Steve had been having a pretty good tournament up till then. But this is where the pure genius of the Angels skipper came to fruition. Playing a hunch or reading all his statistics at hand, he pinched hit for Bilko, with …., Tom Satriano. Yes, the same Satriano who's hustle in game 3 allowed the Angels to pull of that 9th inning rally. Tom pays off his managers faith in him with a single scoring Moran with series winning run.
--submitted by Ron Burnette--