Gary Ward drove in five runs with a home run, double and sacrifice fly yesterday to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 16-5 victory over the Oakland A's in Minneapolis.
The A's used four pitchers and the only one who didn't give up a run was third baseman Wayne Gross. Gross, who'd never pitched professionally, mopped up in the last 2 1/3 innings and yielded only two of the Twins' 20 hits.
Ward said he was dizzy after the game, the result of influenza. He's hitting only .243 but took over the league RBI lead yesterday with 32.
"Ward was sick today," Manager Billy Gardner of the Twins said. "I hope he stays sick."
Ward's two-run double off loser Bill Krueger (4-4) in the second inning gave the Twins a 4-1 lead. His sacrifice fly in the Twins' three-run fifth made it 11-3.
Manager Steve Boros of the A's said he recognized that the game had "slipped away" and did not want to deplete his pitching staff.
"Gross came to mind," Boros said. "He throws batting practice and is a good athlete. I felt he could cope with the situation. I was surprised he got them out, though."
Gross allowed two hits, walked one, hit one and did not strike out a batter.