MINNESOTA 6, KANSAS CITY 2 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Thursday, July 24.
Batting stars: Jacque Jones was 3-for-4 with a home run (his eleventh), a double, and three RBIs. Torii Hunter was 1-for-4 with a home run, his eighteenth.
Pitching stars: Brad Radke pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and no walks and striking out four. LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk. Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Raul Ibanez was 2-for-4 with a home run (his fourteenth), a triple, and two RBIs. Ken Harvey was 2-for-4. Darrell May pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on three hits and three walks and striking out two.
The game: Aaron Guiel led off the game with a single and scored on Ibanez' triple to give the Royals a 1-0 lead. The Twins tied it in the second on Jones' two-out home run. They took the lead in the fourth when Hunter hit a one-out homer. It stayed 2-1 until the seventh, when Ibanez homered to tie it 2-2.
The Twins took control in the eighth. Denny Hocking led off with a single. An error on Shannon Stewart's bunt put men on second and third with none out. A. J. Pierzynski drove in a run with a single and a wild pitch scored another. Doug Mientkiewicz walked. The next two batters struck out, but Jones delivered a two-run double to put the Twins up 6-2.
Kansas City did not go away quietly. Carlos Beltran Walked and Harvey singled, putting men on first and third with one out. But Michael Tucker was caught looking and Angel Berroa grounded out to end the game.
WP: Hawkins (7-2). LP: Jason Grimsley (2-4). S: None.
Notes: Matthew LeCroy was behind the plate in place of Pierzynski. Pierzynski pinch-hit for Luis Rivas in the eighth and stayed in the game behind the plate. Hocking was at short in place of Cristian Guzman. Guzman pinch-hit for LeCroy in the eighth and stayed in the game at short, with Hocking moving to second. Stewart was in right, with Justin Morneau at DH.
Jones raised his average to .311. Stewart was 0-for-2 and was batting .306.
Radke lowered his ERA to 5.33. Hawkins lowered his ERA to 2.59.
The Twins climbed back to within one game of .500
Record: The Twins were 50-51, in third place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Kansas City. They trailed third-place Chicago by 1.5 games.