Minnesota's Mike Smithson (12-11) pitched a six-hitter and Boston's Bruce Hurst (8-10) a five-hitter. Each allowed only two runners to reach third base. But Hurst's wild pitch in the fifth inning cost him the first 1-0 game in more than a year in Boston's Fenway Park. The Red Sox have lost eight of nine and 13 of 15.
"Bruce is a close personal friend," said Smithson, who played in the Red Sox farm system until traded to the Texas Rangers in the spring of 1982. "We go back a long way. We spent a lot of years together as teammates in the minor leagues.
"This was a tough game for him to lose and I feel bad for him. However, in professional sports you take them any way you can get them. And I'll take this one."
Dave Engle started the Twins fifth with his team's first hit, lining a 1-2 pitch for a single to center. After Tim Laudner's sacrifice, Engle started for third on a grounder to third baseman Wade Boggs. Boggs missed tagging Engle but got the out at first.
"I guess we all agree that wasn't very good base-running," Smithson said. "However, we had a good view from our dugout and Boggs missed him by about a foot. I think Boggs was as surprised as we were."
With a 1-2 count on Tim Teufel, Hurst threw a pitch into the dirt, permitting Engle to score. Teufel finally struck out.
The only other Twins player to reach third was Alvaro Espinoza, who singled in the eighth, moved up on Kirby Puckett's sacrifice but stopped at third on Mickey Hatcher's double to center.
Boston batters were zero for nine with runners in scoring position.