A late-season O’s-Twins match-up provided a glimpse of other teams’ respective futures
by Matthew Taylor
It was a game that featured familiar faces, all of which are now in different places: Mike Mussina, David Ortiz, Cristian Guzman, Jacque Jones, Torii Hunter, A.J. Pierzynski, J.C. Romero, LaTroy Hawkins, Jerry Hairston, Chris Richard, and then-Major League rookie Johan Santana.
This week’s Flashback Friday revisits the O’s game from this very date eight years ago – Sept. 5, 2000. The Birds defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-5 before a less-than-robust crowd of 6,285 at the Humpert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Mussina (9-13) got the win, Romero (2-5) took the loss. Ryan Kohlmeier closed it out for the O’s, recording the 10th of his 13 saves that season.
Baltimore shared the offensive wealth on the day with six different players recording an RBI: Delino DeShields, Cal Ripken, Brook Fordyce, Chris Richard, Mark Lewis, and Gene Kingsale.
The rookie Santana pitched 3.1 innings in relief for the Twins, giving up one hit, walking two, and striking out none; he finished the season with a career high 6.49 ERA in 86 innings pitched. Ortiz, hardly an O’s nemesis at the time, collected two hits in five at-bats and finished the season batting .282 with 10 home runs and 63 RBIs.
The O’s were still losing back then, as their 63-75 record attests, but the team hadn’t yet started its tradition of late summer swoons; the Birds won 8 of their final 10 games to close out the 2000 season.
Flashback Extra: Speaking of Chris Richard, the former O’s first baseman/outfielder/designated hitter is still kicking it around in the minors these days and was recently named the co-MVP of the Durham Bulls. Richard batted .293 with 26 homers and 88 RBIs for the Bulls this season. He also earned the Media “Good Guy” Award and the Team Spirit Award.