Cuddyer's slam provides offense for Twins


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wasn't about to take Eric Milton out after the eighth inning, even though the Minnesota starter had thrown about 120 pitches.

"I'm not man enough to try to take the ball away from him,'' Gardenhire said. "He would have knocked me out.''

Milton stayed in to pitch his fourth career shutout and Michael Cuddyer hit his first career grand slam as the Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 6-0 Thursday night.

Milton (13-7), who gave up six runs off 11 hits in his last outing against the White Sox, held Chicago to three hits, striking out 11 and walking none with two wild pitches in Minnesota's first complete-game shutout of the season.

"I just wanted the opportunity,'' Milton said. "He never came down to my end of the bench, so I figured I had the chance to do something.''

White Sox starter Dan Wright (7-9) found himself in trouble in
the third, giving up an RBI single to Corey Koskie before Cuddyer's
slam put the Twins up 5-0.

It was Cuddyer's second major league home run.

Cuddyer, called up from Triple-A Edmonton last month after the
Twins traded Brian Buchanan to San Diego, hit a 2-0 fastball from
Wright over the left field fence, bringing the crowd of 26,270 to
its feet.

"He was throwing well,'' Cuddyer said. "His curveball had a
lot of bite to it, his fastball had a lot of zip to it. Fortunately
I got into a hitter's count.''

It was all the offensive support Milton needed.

Milton, who came into the game with an 11.57 ERA against the
White Sox this season, had nine strikeouts through the first five
innings and caught Frank Thomas swinging twice. Chicago had a
chance to score in the fifth on Royce Clayton's ground-rule double
and again in the seventh after Thomas advanced to second on a wild
pitch with two outs. But Milton struck out Joe Crede to end the

"His ball had life,'' Paul Konerko said. "I like facing him
because what you see is what you get. There are no tricks. ... He
threw a lot of first-pitch strikes and that may have made some of
our new hitters a bit defensive.''

It was Milton's second complete game of the season, and the Twins' fourth.

"I'm glad I didn't have to face him,'' Cuddyer said.

Jacque Jones doubled in Luis Rivas in the eighth to make it 6-0.

Wright struck out a career-high eight batters in six innings,
allowing seven hits and three walks. Konerko, who went 2-for-3, and
Royce Clayton had the only hits for the White Sox.

"We didn't lay off Milton's high fastball, it made our attack
look feeble,'' Chicago manager Jerry Manuel said.

Cuddyer's four RBIs also tied his career high.

Game notes
Milton made a bizarre out in the ninth. Carlos Lee's high
popup looked to be heading into foul territory, but hit off a
Metrodome speaker over the first base dugout. Milton ran over and
caught the ball for the second out. ... The Twins lead the season
series 6-4. They shut out the White Sox for the first time since
July 22, 1999. ... Minnesota hasn't lost a series since dropping
two of three to the New York Mets in June. ... The White Sox
recalled LHP Mike Porzio from Triple-A Charlotte to fill Bob
Howry's spot on the roster. ... David Ortiz's first inning single
extended his career-high hitting streak to 14 games. ... Konerko's
single in the second broke an 0-14 streak over his last four games.