Ken Griffey's opposite-field double in the ninth inning drove in the winning run yesterday in Minneapolis as the New York Yankees won, 6-4, and proved that not even a triple play could keep Minnesota from losing its 10th straight game.
Tommy John, the Yankee starter, left in the seventh after Sal Butera hit him with a line drive. (John suffered a only bruised left shin and won't miss a start.) Winner Shane Rawley (3-1) was the third Yankee pitcher.
The triple play came in the second inning. Bobby Murcer and Graig Nettles of the Yankees singled to put runners at first and second. Both broke as Roy Smalley struck out, and Murcer was trapped between second and third. Murcer retreated to second, but the Twins trapped Nettles trying to get back to first. Then Murcer again broke for third and was tagged out.
But the Twins didn't get the one out they needed. "We've lost three straight in the ninth (inning) now," Manager Billy Gardner said. "We just can't seem to get the big out."
The out they missed was Griffey, whose double off Brad Havens (1-4) with two out in the ninth scored Willie Randolph from first and enabled the Twins to lose their 16th in the last 17. Randolph had singled.
Oscar Gamble's single scored Griffey with an insurance run.