|1991 - Minnesota Twins (4) vs. Atlanta Braves (3) |
Losing Team |
||MINNESOTA (Morris) 5
||Atlanta (Leibrandt) 2 |
||MINNESOTA (Tapani) 3
||Atlanta (Glavine) 2 |
||ATLANTA (Clancy) ***5
||Minnesota (Aguilera) 4 |
||ATLANTA (Stanton) 3
||Minnesota (Guthrie) 2 |
||ATLANTA (Glavine) 14
||Minnesota (Tapani) 5 |
||MINNESOTA (Aguilera) **4
||Atlanta (Liebrandt) 3 |
||MINNESOTA (Morris) *1
||Atlanta (Smoltz) 0 |
|*10 innings |
***12 innings (Night Games: All)
Managers - Tom Kelly, Twins; Bobby Cox, Braves
NOTES: The Minnesota Twins captured their second World Championship in five years during a tight series that included three extra-inning games and five one-run decisions. For only the second time in history, the home team won all seven games. The first time it happened was 1987, a series that also featured the Twins.
It was almost certainly the most unlikely World Series Championship matchup ever, as the Twins and Braves became the first two teams in Major League Baseball history to go from last to first in the space of one season.
This being an "odd year," Minnesota would be home team for the Series. In Game 1, the Twins cruised behind veteran right-hander Jack Morris, 5-2. The key hit was Greg Gagne's three-run homer off Charlie Leibrandt in the fifth inning. Game 2 was closer, but again the Twins prevailed. Minnesota DH Chili Davis blasted a two-run homer in the bottom of the first, and then third baseman Scott Leius broke a 2-2 deadlock with a solo shot in the eighth. That's how it ended, with Rick Aguilera gaining his second save in as many nights.
The Series shifted to Atlanta for Game 3, and the Braves led 4-1 after six frames. But the Twins battled back, and tied the game in the eighth on another two-run homer off the bat of Chili Davis. The score remained 4-4 until the bottom of the 12th when, with two outs, Braves second baseman Mark Lemke singled home David Justice with the winning run. Atlanta evened the Series with yet another dramatic victory, 3-2, in Game 4. In the bottom of the ninth, with runners at first and third, pinch-hitter Jerry Willard's sacrifice fly (barely) scored Lemke with the decisive run. And Game 5 was no contest. The first three innings were scoreless, but then the Braves hammered five Minnesota pitchers for 14 runs, on their way to a 14-5 triumph and a 3-2 edge in the Series.
Game 6 was reminiscent of another Game 6, 16 years earlier. With the score tied 3-3, Twins superstar Kirby Puckett led off the bottom of the 11th inning ... and walloped Charlie Leibrandt's fourth pitch over the left-field fence to extend the Series to seven games. The following game is widely considered to be one of the greatest Game 7's ever. After nine innings, neither team had scored, though the Braves just missed scoring in the eighth when Lonnie Smith wasn't able to score from first base on Terry Pendleton's long double. In the bottom of the 10th, Dan Gladden led off with a double and went to third on a sacrifice bunt. After a pair of intentional walks, pinch-hitter Gene Larkin drove a ball over a drawn-in outfield, and the Twins were World Champs.
Jack Morris, with yet another clutch postseason performance, pitched all 10 innings to earn the victory. And the Twins became just the second team to win the World Series Championship by winning four Series games at home. The first team to do it? These same Twins, just four years earlier.