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Catcher Jose Morales congratulated closer Joe Nathan after the Twins rallied to beat the Tigers on July 4, 2009.

Star Tribune file photo,

Twins' Fourth of July memories

  • July 3, 2013 - 10:13 PM

The most talked about July 4th Twins game in franchise history was the 1973 debut of Eddie Bane, written about in today’s paper by Patrick Reusse to commemorate the 40th anniversary. It made us wonder, though: What other notable Twins’ performances on Independence Day have followed? It sent us into a downward spiral through baseball-reference.com, but we emerged with five more July 4 Twins memories which you might have forgotten:

 

1 1976: Game 2 of a doubleheader at old Met Stadium against the Angels featured the best kind of drama. Minnesota went ahead 5-0 early, only to have Ron Jackson’s grand slam off Bill Campbell tie the score 5-5 in the top of the seventh. But with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, the Twins’ Rod Carew responded with a grand slam of his own to fuel a 9-5 victory.

 

2 1982: Perhaps the most notable thing about this game is that the Twins actually won. The 4-3 win over Toronto boosted the team’s record to 23-57, a pace for fewer than 50 wins for a season. They wound up a little better at 60-102. In the game itself, Jeff Little induced a double play to escape a mess created by Ron Davis in the top of the ninth, preserving a 3-3 tie, and then Gary Gaetti hit a walk-off homer off Dave Stieb — who threw a complete game in a losing effort — leading off the bottom of the ninth

 

3 1992: A home game against the Orioles was tied 1-1 through 14 innings before Baltimore responded with a run in the top of the 15th. In the bottom half, the first two Twins hitters struck out … before two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Chili Davis, whose two-run single gave the Twins a 3-2 victory.

 

4 1993: The Twins’ 4-3 home victory over the Brewers was rather nondescript except for this: It marked the first career victory for Eddie Guardado. As a starter in this game, Guardado — a recent inductee in the Twins Hall of Fame — allowed two runs in seven innings.

 

5 2009: Nick Punto’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth sparked the Twins to a 4-3 comeback victory over Detroit. It wasn’t a huge deal at the time, but it made the difference at the end of the year when the teams finished tied in the AL Central standings — leading to Minnesota’s memorable Game 163 victory.

Michael Rand

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