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Twins topple Tigers
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 8      2   Final
09/11/2002 3:31 pm ET 
 Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
 Tigers 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 4 0
 Twins 2 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 8 8 0
Twins topple Tigers
Guzman, Hunter turn it up on offense
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- The gap in the standings between the Twins and Tigers is now at 33 games. In an 8-2 victory over Detroit Wednesday afternoon, Minnesota demonstrated that the distance between the two teams appears to be far greater.

The win gave the Twins a three-game series sweep of the Tigers and lowered the magic number to clinch the AL Central to four. The second-place White Sox meet the Kansas City Royals Wednesday night.

The Twins scored all of their runs over the first two innings, including a six-run rally in the second where all the scoring happened with two outs. Cristian Guzman's two-run home run and Torii Hunter's three-run double provided most of the early damage.

"That's a good sign," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We stayed on the ball with a couple of two-strike, two-out base hits. Some two-out base hits are big."

The run support was sufficient for starter Brad Radke (8-4) to earn the win. Radke used just 79 pitches against aggressive hitters over seven innings and gave up one run on three hits while striking out three without issuing a walk.

"It's nice for a pitcher when they come out swinging and they hit the first pitch or the second pitch right at somebody," Radke said. "It makes a starting pitcher smile a lot. I'm not going out there trying to strike people out. I'm just trying to make my pitch and hopefully, they'll just roll it over or pop out."

Former Twin Mark Redman (8-15), who was traded to Detroit last season, did not fare well in his fourth start this year against his old team. He lasted just 1 2/3 innings and was on the hook for eight runs on six hits.

Redman began his day by issuing a leadoff walk to Jacque Jones in the first inning. Jones scored on Guzman's two-run homer to left field that staked the Twins to a 2-0 lead.

A pair of one-out infield singles in the second inning by Tom Prince and Denny Hocking put Minnesota on the brink of breaking the game open. Jones struck out before Guzman drove in his third RBI with a single to left field that scored Prince. Corey Koskie walked to load the bases and Matthew LeCroy drew a bases-loaded walk that scored Hocking.

"LeCroy had a great at-bat with the bases loaded," Gardenhire said. "(Redman) threw some nasty changeups there and tried to throw a sinker down. He had a great walk, if there is such a thing as a great walk. We showed a little more patience against some of those things."

Hunter cleared the bases with a double to right-center field that provided the Twins with 7-0 lead. That marked the end of the day for Redman but not quite the end of the line. Doug Mientkiewicz's RBI single off reliever Steve Sparks scored Hunter for an eight-run cushion and officially completed the record for the Tigers' starter.

Armed with the big lead, Radke cruised along and retired the first nine batters he faced and 12 of the first 13. He had some uneven outings after spending 2 1/2 months on the disabled list with a pulled groin. It appears the right-hander is about ready to take on the postseason.

"It's just being comfortable out there," said Radke, who broke up Oakland's 20-game winning streak with a 6-0 shutout last Friday. "My arm is feeling good and everything else is feeling good. As long as I just keep the ball down and get my command going, I'll be all right."

Radke's 14-inning scoreless streak came to an end when the Tigers' leadoff batter in the fifth, Carlos Pena, stroked a solo home run to right field that made it an 8-1 game.

Bob Wells worked a scoreless eighth inning in relief of Radke. Mike Jackson took over in the ninth but surrendered a first-pitch home run to right field by George Lombard that closed the deficit to six runs. Jackson retired the final two batters to end the game.

Mark Sheldon covers the Twins for MLB.com and can be reached at marksheldon@twinsbaseball.com. This article was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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BOX SCORE
Minnesota Twins 8, Detroit Tigers 2
Detroit Tigers
BatterPosABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
LombardCF 4121010.272
InfanteSS 4000001.333
HigginsonLF 3000011.283
HalterLF 1000000.240
SimonDH 2000011.298
a-MunsonPH-DH 2000000.222
Pena1B 3111000.239
PaquetteRF 3000000.194
Jackson2B 3010000.259
Truby3B 3000001.223
IngeC 3000001.210
Totals31242035
a-Grounded out for Simon in the 7th.
BATTING
2B: Jackson (19, Radke).
HR: Pena (17, 5th inning off Radke, 0 on, 0 out), Lombard (5, 9th inning off Jackson, 0 on, 0 out).
RBI: Pena (44), Lombard (13).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Simon, Inge.
Team LOB: 2.
FIELDING
DP: 2 (Infante-Jackson-Pena, Jackson-Pena).
 
Minnesota Twins
BatterPosABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
JonesLF 3100123.295
GuzmanSS 4223001.276
Koskie3B 3110110.271
LeCroyDH 2101201.253
HunterCF 2113001.293
KieltyCF 1000010.289
Mientkiewicz1B 4021002.267
MohrRF 3000011.275
CuddyerRF 1000011.200
PrinceC 3110111.222
Hocking2B 4110012.255
Totals308885813
BATTING
2B: Hunter (34, Redman).
3B: Koskie (3, Redman).
HR: Guzman (9, 1st inning off Redman, 1 on, 0 out).
RBI: Guzman 3 (56), LeCroy (20), Hunter 3 (91), Mientkiewicz (63).
2-out RBI: Guzman, LeCroy, Hunter 3, Mientkiewicz.
GIDP: Mientkiewicz, Hunter.
Team LOB: 4.
Detroit Tigers
PitcherIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Redman (L, 8-15) 1.26883214.21
Sparks 4.11002205.77
German 1.00000200.00
Acevedo 1.01000202.80
Minnesota Twins
PitcherIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Radke (W, 8-4) 7.03110314.44
Wells 1.00000005.33
Jackson 1.01110013.06
HBP: Hunter (by Redman).
Pitches-strikes: Redman 63-31, Sparks 56-37, German 13-10, Acevedo 14-10, Radke 80-53, Wells 8-7, Jackson 14-9.
Ground outs-fly outs: Redman 2-1, Sparks 7-4, German 0-1, Acevedo 1-0, Radke 10-8, Wells 2-1, Jackson 1-2.
Batters faced: Redman 14, Sparks 15, German 3, Acevedo 4, Radke 24, Wells 3, Jackson 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Sparks 1-1.
Umpires: HP: Mike Winters. 1B: Gerry Davis. 2B: Dan Iassogna. 3B: Greg Gibson.
Weather: 70 degrees, dome.
Wind: 0 mph, None.
T: 2:19.
Att: 13,106.

Box score official statistics approved by Major League Baseball and the Office of the Commissioner