The Twins replay rolls into the month of June, on the heals of an 18-10 May, and 24-19 overall. But the Twins were not staying put with the current roster either (in real-life, the Twins struggled in May). The Twins would make their first significant trades and player transactions in the month of June (note, in addition, earlier in May, the Twins had acquired pitcher Ed Palmquist from the Dodgers).
On June 1st, the Twins traded little used Billy Consolo to the Braves for veteran 2B-man, Billy Martin. Also on June 1st, the Twins traded 3B-man Reno Bertoia and struggling pitcher, Paul Giel to the Athletics for speedy CF/3B, Bill Tuttle. And on June 2nd, the Twins purchased Julio Becquer from the Phillies. These newly acquired players would make an immediate impact with significant playing time for the Minnesota Twins. And on June 14th, the Twins would trade veteran 2B-man Billy Gardner to the Yankees for little used pitcher, Danny McDevitt. The Twins also signed Ted Lepcio as a free agent.
Whether or not the trades would mean more wins for the Twins, would remain to be seen as the season played on. However, the energy and savy experience from a veteran like Billy Martin and speed of a player like Bill Tuttle, would surely change the Twins style of play.
A quick look at the high-lights and low-lights in the June replay …
- Twins open June with 3 consecutive upset wins over the heavy hitting Tigers, winning 3 of 4 in the series.
- The Twins drop 3 of 4 in the very next series, vs the Yankees.
- The long road-trip continues, as the Twins bats are silenced in the 2-game series opener at Baltimore. Jack Fisher for the O’s, twirls a 2-hit shut-out over the Twins.
- With a 3-game sweep of the Red Sox at Fenway, the Twins 18-game road-trip comes to an end, going 10-8 during that stretch. The Twins score a season-high 17 runs in the middle game of the 3-game series.
- Back home after 18 games on the road, the Twins quickly drop the first 2 of a 3-game set to the lowly Athletics.
- June 16th, Sam Mele takes over as Twins skipper and is greeted by getting swept by the Chisox, in a 4-game series.
- With the Orioles in town, Mele get’s his first wins as Twins manager, with a 3-game sweep of Baltimore. The Twins have the Orioles number thus far in ’61, going 9-3 in their 12 games played thus far.
- June 23rd, the Yankees make their 2nd trip to Metropolitan Stadium and rock Camilo Pascual for 3 early homers. The Yankees hit 4 homers in the 10-5 rout of the Twins. Roger Maris hit 2 of them. On the losing side, Harmon Killebrew goes 4 for 4, with 2 HRs, a double and 4 RBI.
- June 29th, Twins trail Boston 11-6 after 6 innings. Twins tie it with 2 in 7th, 3 in 8th and win the game in the bottom of the 11th, 12-11. Lenny Green goes 5 for 7, with 5 singles, Killebrew hits his 24th and 25th homers, and Twins pound out a season-high 19 hits.
- June 30th, Jack Kralick and the Twins lead Kansas City, 3-0 heading into the bottom of the 9th. Dick Howser hits a 3-run HR to tie the game for the Athletics. Twins lose in the bottom of the 10th when Hank Bauer hits a pinch-hit triple scoring Haywood Sullivan from 1st.
- Harmon Killebrew hits 11 homers in the last 13 games of June. Killer hit 15 homers for all of June, and has 26 homers heading into July.
The month of June:
(click on game scores below for either the REPLAY boxscore or the ACTUAL boxscore)
Series #18: Twins at Tigers, June 2, 3, 4 (2)
TWINS RECORD: Replay (27-20) – Actual (19-28)
Game #44, Dan Dobbek, gaining a rare starting lineup appearance, playing RF and batting 5th, goes 2 for 5 with a HR and 4 RBI.
Series #19: Twins at Yankees, June 5 (2), 6, 7
TWINS RECORD: Replay (28-23) – Actual (19-32)
Cookie Lavagetto and Ralph Houk. Happier times for Cookie, as his days as Twins first ever manager are numbered.
Series #20: Twins at Orioles, June 8, 10
TWINS RECORD: Replay (29-24) – Actual (20-33)
Game #52, Jack Fisher twirls 2-hit, CG, shut-out win for the Orioles over the Twins.
Series #21: Twins at Red Sox, June 11 (2), 12
TWINS RECORD: Replay (32-24) – Actual (21-35)
Bob Allison goes 5 for 10 in the 3-game series at Fenway, with 2 HR, and 8 RBI.
Series #22: Athletics at Twins, June 13, 14, 15
TWINS RECORD: Replay (33-26) – Actual (23-36)
Jim Lemon goes 2 for 3, with 2 walks, blasting a 3-run homer and driving in 4 RBI, in the Twins 12-1 win over the Athletics in the rubber game of the series.
Series #23: Twins at White Sox, June 16, 17, 18 (2)
TWINS RECORD: Replay (33-30) – Actual (24-39)
Sam Mele, the new Twins skipper, takes over June 16th. The White Sox earn a 4-game sweep over the Twins.
Series #24: Orioles at Twins, June 20, 21, 22
TWINS RECORD: Replay (36-30) – Actual (25-41)
The Twins Earl Battey, goes 6 for 6 in the first 2 games of the 3-game sweep of the Orioles. And the Twins domination of the Orioles in 1961 continues, with the Twins winning 9 of the first 12 meetings between the clubs.
Series #25: Yankees at Twins, June 23, 24, 25
TWINS RECORD: Replay (37-32) – Actual (26-43)
Jack Kralick’s pitching is one of the main reasons for the Twins being 5 games over .500 at this point in the season. With a CG, 6-1 win over the Yankees, Kralick improves to 12-3 on the season, with a 1.92 ERA in 122 IP and 15 starts.
Series #26: Red Sox at Twins, June 27 (2), 28, 29
TWINS RECORD: Replay (39-34) – Actual (28-45)
Harmon Killebrew goes 7 for 18 in 4-game series vs Boston, with 5 HR, 10 RBI.
Series #27: Twins at Athletics, June 30, July 1, 2
TWINS (end of June) RECORD: Replay (39-35) – Actual (29-45)
June closes on a sour note, with the 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Athletics (the 1st of a 3-game series continuing into July).
The Twins finish 15-16 for the month of June, but are running 10 wins ahead of their actual 1961 record.
Note: A quick run comparison at the end of June, has the Twins scoring 359 runs (vs 322 actual) and allowing 330 runs (vs 406 actual). One thing I have noticed is the Twins are not making nearly as many errors as they should be, and have not been giving up as many unearned runs as expected. Their team ERA thru 73 games is 4.23, compared to their actual full-season team ERA of 4.28, which is almost right on.
TWINS month-by-month Summaries (click on link to read):
JUNE (W-L): 15-16 (10-21 Actual)
Earl Battey is first Minnesota Twins player to appear on the cover of the monthly Baseball Digest (June, 1961)