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Choi's second homer of game seals victory

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The chant, which has a certain contagious
cadence, echoed through Dodger Stadium even after the game was over
and the fans headed for the exits: "Hee-Seop Choi! Hee-Seop
Choi!"

With good reason.

Choi hit his second homer of the game in the ninth inning Friday
night to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 6-5 victory over the
Minnesota Twins.

The meeting was the teams' first since their memorable World
Series nearly 40 years earlier.

Asked about the fans' chanting his name every time he comes up --
and obviously with great gusto after his walkoff homer -- Choi
grinned and said, "I like it. More energy. I hit that home run for
the fans."

Choi, who had a two-run homer in the first inning, drove
reliever Terry Mulholland's first pitch of the game high down the
right-field line, with the ball hitting the foul pole screen.

Los Angeles starter Brad Penny, who gave up five runs in the
first three innings then retired the next 12 batters in a row,
kidded Choi after the game. The 26-year-old first baseman from
South Korea had told Penny that maybe he would hit three homers in
the game.

"I asked him, what happened to three? He said, 'I had to bunt
once,' " Penny related with a chuckle.

Choi went 2-for-4, with a sacrifice bunt in the seventh inning.

The lefty-swinging Choi, who platoons at first with Olmedo
Saenz, might not have batted against the left-handed Mulholland if
Saenz hadn't already been used as a pinch-hitter.

"I know I can hit left-handers," Choi said.

The winning shot was his eighth homer of the year and third
multihomer game of his career.

The Dodgers beat the Twins in the 1965 World Series when Sandy
Koufax pitched Game 7 on two days' rest and held Minnesota to three
hits in a 2-0 victory.

The interleague series at Dodger Stadium is the first
regular-season meeting between the teams.

Dodger relievers Duaner Sanchez, Yhency Brazoban and Eric Gagne
combined to set down all nine batters they faced, making it 21
consecutive Minnesota batters to end the game.

"Their bullpen came in with some nasty people. We haven't faced
those guys, and they were making some good pitches and locating the
ball very well," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Gagne (1-0) pitched a perfect ninth. Mulholland (0-2) threw just
the one pitch.

The Dodgers' Jeff Kent evened it 5-all in the sixth he reached
on a fielder's choice, stole second, continued to third on catcher
Joe Mauer's throwing error, and scored on a wild pitch by Minnesota
starter Joe Mays.

Mays, who had a 1.80 ERA in his previous four starts, gave up
five runs -- three earned -- in 5 1/3 innings.

Penny allowed five runs on nine hits in six innings.

Minnesota's Shannon Stewart left the game in the fourth after
making a running catch of Jason Grabowski's fly in the left-field
corner and crashing into the wall.

He bruised his left -- non-throwing -- wrist, and was replaced by
Lew Ford. Stewart's playing status is day-to-day.

"I was going full speed and I had no idea where the fence
was," he said. "I'm kind of sore all over and banged-up a little
bit."

Stewart, who had two doubles in the game, is hitting .294, with
nine homers and 30 RBI in 58 games.

After falling behind 4-1 in the opening inning, the Twins scored
twice in each of the next two innings to take a 5-4 lead.

Jacque Jones led off the third against Penny with his ninth
homer and third in as many games. The Twins went ahead when Justin
Morneau tripled and scored from third on Michael Cuddyer's
groundout.

The Dodgers had gone up 4-1 in the first inning on Choi's
two-run shot, and two unearned runs that scored when Antonio
Perez's single to right field skipped past Jones in right field.

Game notes
Twins 3B coach Al Newman missed his second game in a row to
be back at his daughter's high school graduation. He's expected to
rejoin the team over the weekend. ... The Twins had wanted the
series against the Dodgers to be played in Minnesota, the 50th
anniversary of what was the Twin's first World Series.