- 1991 American League Championship Series
alcs = yes
year = 1991
champion_manager = Tom Kelly
champion_games = 95-67, .586, GA: 8
Toronto Blue Jays(1)
runnerup_games = 91-71, .562, GA: 7
October 8– October 13
Dick Stocktonand Jim Kaat
radio_network = CBS Radio
radio_announcers = Jim Hunter and
Larry Barnett, Mark Johnson, Rocky Roe, Tim Welke, Mike Reilly, Jim McKeanThe 1991 American League Championship Serieswas played between the Minnesota Twinsand the Toronto Blue Jaysfrom October 8to October 13. The Twins defeated the favoured Blue Jays, winning the Series 4 games to 1. Minnesota would go on to face (and ultimately defeat) the Atlanta Bravesin the 1991 World Series, ranked by ESPNas the greatest ever played.
Kirby Puckettwas named the Series MVP, based on his .429 batting average, two home runs, and six RBI.
The Twins finished the 1991 regular season with a 95-67 record (.586) and handily took the
American League Westdivision crown by eight games over the Chicago White Sox. The Blue Jays were similarly successful during the 1991 season, compiling a 91-71 record (.562) and winning the American League Eastdivision by seven games over the Boston Red Soxand Detroit Tigers. The Twins and Blue Jays played their final regular season series against each other (after both teams had clinched their respective divisions and were resting their starters), with the Blue Jays winning two of the three games. Newspapers were predicting a series of tense and close contests in the following ALCS.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins
Minnesota wins the series, 4-1
October 8, 1991at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodomein Minneapolis, MinnesotaLinescore
Jack Morris(1-0)|LP= Tom Candiotti(0-1)|SV= Rick Aguilera(1)|
Game 1 saw a surprise starter for Toronto as Blue Jays manager
Cito Gastonchose knuckleballer Tom Candiottito face the Twins over his new young gun Juan Guzmán and his left-handed ace Jimmy Key. Twins manager Tom Kelly opted to counter with All-Star Game starter and Minnesotanative Jack Morris. Gaston would draw questions later when the decision seemingly swung the series against Toronto.
In the bottom of the first,
Dan Gladdensingled and Chuck Knoblauchdid the same. After a strikeout by Kirby Puckett, Twins first baseman Kent Hrbekflew out to center field, moving Gladden to third. Knoblauch stole second and with two on and two out, Chili Davissingled both home to give the Twins an early 2-0 lead.
In the second, the Twins added two more runs. Shane Mack singled off Candotti, stole second, and moved to third on a line out to right by
Mike Pagliarulo. He then scored on a Greg Gagne single, and consecutive singles again by Gladden and Knoblauch plated Gagne to give the Twins a 4-0 lead.
In the third, Davis walked with one out, stole second, and scored on a double by Mack. Candiotti's line read: 16 batters faced, five runs, eight hits, and four stolen bases. He was also responsible for Mack, perched on second. But reliever
David Wells, as well as the rest of the Blue Jays relievers shut down the Twins and held them scoreless for the rest of the game.
In the top of the fourth, the Blue Jays tried to claw back into the game. After a
Roberto Alomarsingle, Joe Carterdoubled and Blue Jays third base coach Nick Leyvasent Alomar home. Two perfect throws from the Twins nailed Alomar at the plate for the first out and the squelching of the Blue Jay rally. Carter went to third and scored on John Olerud's subsequent ground out to make the score 5-1.
In the sixth, the Blue Jays got within a single run. Five consecutive singles by Devon White, Alomar, Carter, Olerud, and
Kelly Gruberwith only one out plated three runs and made the score, 5-4. But Carl Williscame on to get the last two outs, and the Minnesota relief corps held the Blue Jays the rest of the way for a 5-4 victory for the Twins and starter Jack Morris. Rick Aguileragot the save while Candiotti was saddled with the loss.
The victory gave the Twins a 1-0 lead in games in the ALCS. It also put them one win short of tying the post-season record for most consecutive wins at home held by the
New York Yankees.
October 9, 1991at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodomein Minneapolis, MinnesotaLinescore
WP=Juan Guzmán (1-0)|LP=
Kevin Tapani(0-1)|SV= Duane Ward(1)|
The number two pitcher on each staff faced off as Juan Guzmán took the hill for the Blue Jays and Kevin Tapani for the Twins. A win would not only give the Twins a 2-0 lead, it would also enable the Twins to set the record for the most consecutive home field wins in post-season history, having won their first seven post-season games (including 1987) in the Metrodome. Unfortunately for the Twins, the Blue Jays came out swinging and held on for a 5-2 win.
Devon White began the scoring in the top of the first when he singled, stole second, moved to third on Roberto Alomar's bunt, and scored on Joe Carter's single to give the Jays a 1-0 lead. In the third, White and Alomar struck for two more Blue Jays runs when White doubled, moved to third on Alomar's single, and both scored after Alomar stole second and Kelly Gruber singled both home with two outs. The Blue Jays led, 3-0. The Twins got a run back in the bottom of the third when Chuck Knoblauch singled, stole second, and scored on Kirby Puckett's single. Knoblauch scored again in the sixth when he walked, moved to second on Puckett's ground out, and scored on a single by Brian Harper. The run cut Toronto's lead to 3-2.
Game 3 was a show for Devon White and Roberto Alomar, and in the seventh they put the contest out of reach. After Manuel Lee walked, the Twins relieved Tapani with Steve Bedrosian. White walked to put runners on first and second with one out. Alomar's single scored Lee, and White moved to third on an error by Shane Mack. White then scored his third run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Joe Carter, giving the Blue Jays a 5-2 lead. That was how the game ended.
Juan Guzman was the winning pitcher, and Keven Tapani the loser. Duane Ward got his first post-season save. The Blue Jays ended Minnesota's quest for a record home winning streak and both teams headed to Canada with the games count standing at one win apiece.
October 11, 1991at SkyDome in Toronto, OntarioLinescore
Mark Guthrie(1-0)|LP= Mike Timlin(0-1)|SV= Rick Aguilera(2)
Mike Pagliarulo(1)|HomeHR= Joe Carter(1)|
With the series tied at one win apiece, the teams ventured across the border to Toronto's
Skydomewhere Jimmy Keysquared off against the Twins' twenty-game winner, Scott Erickson. The Blue Jays quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first when Joe Carterhomered with two outs. The Jays got another run when Kelly Grubersingled, John Olerudsingled, and Candy Maldonadodoubled Gruber home.
The Twins got on the board in the fifth when Shane Mack led off with a triple and scored on
Kent Hrbek's ground out. The Twins tied it in the sixth when Chuck Knoblauchdoubled and scored on Kirby Puckett's single. The tie got rid of Jimmy Keyas David Wellscame on in relief.
The score stayed 2-2 until the tenth. Reliever
Mike Timlincame on and after retiring Gene Larkin, gave up an eventual game-winning homer to pinch-hitter Mike Pagliarulo, who was hitting for Scott Leius. Rick Aguileraclosed out the bottom of the tenth with a 1-2-3 inning to give the Twins a 3-2 win and a 2-1 lead in games. Another notable event in this game was the hamstring injury to Joe Carter, the Blue Jays' most influential hitter, who injured himself trying to make a circus catch in the outfield. Although Carter played in the next two games as the Designated Hitter, he was in obvious discomfort and was largely a non-factor in the following two games.
October 12, 1991at SkyDome in Toronto, OntarioLinescore
Jack Morris(2-0)|LP= Todd Stottlemyre(0-1)|SV=
For the fourth game, Morris returned to the mound for Minnesota against Toronto's
Todd Stottlemyre. The Blue Jays took the lead in the bottom of the second, when Candy Maldonadosingled to center, took second on a wild pitch by Morris, and came home on a single by Pat Borders. The Twins, however, came back in a big way in the fourth – Kirby Pucketthit a solo home run, Chili Davis, who had doubled, scored on a single by Mike Pagliarulo, and a two-run single by Dan Gladdenplated both Pagliarulo and Shane Mack. This turn of events gave the Twins a 4-1 lead.
October 13, 1991at SkyDome in Toronto, OntarioLinescore
WP=David West (1-0)|LP=
Duane Ward(0-1)|SV= Rick Aguilera(3)
With their backs against the wall, the Blue Jays sent Candiotti to the hill for Game 5 against the Twins' Tapani. In the top of the first, Puckett hit a solo home run to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead. The Twins added another run the next inning, when Davis singled, moved to second and then third on consecutive passed balls by Toronto catcher
Pat Borders, then came home on a single by Mack.
In the bottom of the second, Tapani struck out Maldonado, but Blue Jays manager
Cito Gastondid not agree with home plate umpire Mike Reilly's call. He continued arguing until Reilly finally ejected him, depriving the Jays of the guiding hand of their manager. Nevertheless, Toronto took a 3-2 lead in their half of the third courtesy an RBI single by Alomar, an RBI double by Carter, and a groundout by Olerud. Alomar added a two-run single in the fourth to give the Jays a 5-2 lead.
In the sixth, the Twins stormed back to tie the game. Mack singled, stole second, then moved to third on a base hit by Pagliarulo. The Jays tried to nab Mack at the plate when Gladden hit into a fielder's choice, but Borders missed the throw by third baseman Gruber and Mack scored. Knoblauch followed by lashing a double to right field that scored both Pagliarulo and Gladden, and the game was knotted at 5.
In the eighth, Minnesota took the lead for good when Gladden singled, stole second, moved to third on a base hit by Knoblauch, and came home on a single by Puckett. Hrbek then drove both Knoblauch and Puckett in with a single to left, giving the Twins an 8-5 advantage. Rick Aguilera shut the door on the Jays in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Twins their second American League pennant in five years.
1991 ALCS (4-1):
Minnesota Twinsover Toronto Blue JaysLinescore
Toronto Blue Jays
| Total Attendance: 263,987 Average Attendance: 52,797
Quotes of the Series
* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/1991_ALCS.shtml Baseball-Reference.com] - 1991 ALCS
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