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Continued: The opener, April 6, 1982: Mariners torpedo Twins 11-7

  • Article by: JAY WEINER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: December 28, 2013 - 8:47 AM

The ball eluded him. Cruz scored. It was 3-1 and the one was Engle’s first-inning homer.

Three innings later, Engle and rookie center fielder Jim Eisenreich failed to communicate on a bloop single by Mariner Joe Simpson. Engle wanted the ball. Eisenreich didn’t hear him and the two bumped each other. The ball was loose, runners advanced to second and third and Maler, up next, hit a sacrifice fly. It was 4-1.

Though not for long. Gaetti hit a three-run homer to deep left field in the bottom of the fourth, two innings after failing in his attempt to get, he says, the first inside-the-park homer of his career. This was the fourth outfield play of the night that hurt the Twins. Mariners center fielder Joe Simpson made it.

When he rounded third, “I felt my legs feeling like lead,” said the 23-year-old third baseman “with the 35-year-old legs.” As he chugged toward Mariners catcher Jim Essian he decided to slide headfirst.

“Actually it was more like a fall than a slide.” Essian tagged his left hand. “Less than six inches. Less than the length of my fingers,” said Gaetti.

Hatcher understood. Three innings later, the Mariners bases were loaded. The score was 7-4 and Maler lofted a dying plopper behind shortstop Roy Smalley and in front of Hatcher.

“I had it. I had it in my glove,” Hatcher said. “But my glove stuck to the turf. It didn’t slide.”

He said it was like a Velcro effect.

“Maybe I’ll put Vaseline on my glove the next time. But my glove hit the turf and I thought I broke my wrist.”

Three runs scored.

What remained was another Gaetti homer, and a two-run single by Kent Hrbek, following an Engel walk and a Smalley double.

What remained was Gaetti saying, “I think anybody that comes in here is going to be a power team. If you bloop the ball it bounces 20 feet and it’s a double.” Or you can hit home runs.

That wasn’t the way the Twins were supposed to win games this year. They were supposed to go with the pitching and the defense. They didn’t last night and they lost.

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    That’s a fond farewell to the Metrodome after 31 years, or a measure of the time we endured it.

  • Twins third baseman Gary Gaetti was called out by umpire Bill Haller at the plate trying to stretch a triple into an inside-the-park-homer in the Metrodome-opening 11-7 loss to Seattle on April 6, 1982.

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San Francisco - LP: J. Peavy 2 FINAL
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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