The 1967 Twins are off to a slow start – Part 6

The Minnesota Twins finished their 1967 Grapefruit League season with a 12-17 record and only the Kansas City Athletics had a worse record. The Twins started the season on the road in Baltimore where they lost two games before coming home to face the Detroit Tigers for their home opener at Met Stadium. 

With 21, 347 fans in the stands Twins starter Dave Boswell faced off against Tiger starter Earl Wilson. Boswell kept the Tigers off the board in the first inning and when the Twins came to bat in the bottom of the first they were ready, Cesar Tovar singled to left and advanced on a passed ball and Rich Rollins then doubled to left scoring Tovar. Wilson walked Tony Oliva but Wilson induced Harmon Killebrew to hit into a double play with Oliva reaching second. Wilson wild pitched Oliva to third and up stepped rookie Rod Carew who quickly singled and had his first big league RBI when Oliva scored. Bob Allison stepped up to the plate but the rookie Carew got picked off first by Wilson and the Twins had their first lead of the season.

The Tigers scored three runs off Dave Boswell in the third inning and kept their 3-2 lead until the bottom of the sixth inning when Bob Allison hit his first home run of the season to tie the game at three. The Twins took the lead for good when Zoilo Versalles scored on a Jerry Lumpe error on a Tovar ground ball to second off reliever Larry Sherry. Versalles led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a home run off Johnny Podres to end the scoring. Jim Merritt who pitched the final four inning of scoreless relief was credited with the win and Tiger starter Earl Wilson took the loss. Box score

The Twins then lost their next two games by identical 4-3 scores to the Tigers and the Indians and on April 18 their record stood at 1-4. Their 1-4 start matched their 1963 start which was the worst start they have had since they started play in Minnesota.

April 18, 1967 AL Standings

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A very interesting SABR article about Earl Wilson

Sporting News May 6, 1967 P11

Sporting News May 6, 1967 P 12

My previous 1967 pennant race articles can be found here.

 

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