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Twins stars Hunter, Jones, Koskie injured in win

9/17/2002

DETROIT (AP) -- Minnesota's first game since clinching the AL
Central title was a costly one.

Despite losing outfielders Torii Hunter and Jacque Jones and
third baseman Corey Koskie to injuries, the Twins beat the Detroit
Tigers 7-4 Tuesday night.

''It was like having another Friday the 13th tonight,'' Twins
manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''Tonight was just one of those freaky
nights, but that happens to teams that play hard like we do.''

Jones had four hits, including a home run to lead off the game,
before spraining his left ankle on an awkward slide into second
base. It appeared that he stumbled as he prepared to slide, and
jammed his left foot into the base.

''I think Jacque hurt his pride more than anything,'' Gardenhire
said. ''That was a very creative slide -- I'm not sure what he was
trying to do.''

Hunter had a bruised left triceps after being hit by a pitch and
Koskie bruised his right shin after fouling a ball off his leg.

X-rays showed no major injuries to any of the players, but
Gardenhire said that Hunter and Jones will both miss at least a
couple days.

''Hopefully, I'll wake up in the morning and this will all be
fine. But right now, I can't even take a shower because I can't
bend my arm,'' Hunter said. ''They call this the funny bone, but
there is nothing funny about this. This is the mean bone right
now.''

Hunter was more worried about Jones.

''I saw that slide on the replay and I thought Jacque broke his
ankle,'' he said. ''Luckily, I guess he's going to be fine.''

The mishaps got so bad that even the Tigers players were
concerned.

''I told some of their guys to relax -- they've already won the
division,'' said Hiram Bocachica. ''Torii and Jacque are great
players and I hope they are able to finish out the season.''

Luis Rivas tied a career high with four hits as the Twins
defeated Detroit for the seventh straight time. The Tigers have
lost 21 of 26.

Brad Radke (9-4) beat Detroit for the second time in six days,
giving up three runs on eight hits in six innings. He is 4-0
against the Tigers this season and 13-4 in his career.

''I've just always had a lot of luck against the Tigers, and
pitching at Comerica Park is always nice,'' he said. ''They have
aggressive hitters, and when I'm able to make pitches to guys like
that, I'll be in good shape.''

Eddie Guardado pitched the ninth for his 42nd save in 48
chances. He tied the team record for saves shared by Jeff Reardon
(1988) and Rick Aguilera (1991).

Shane Loux (0-2) lost in his second career start, allowing four
runs on eight hits in six innings. He has dropped both of his
starts to the Twins, allowing 10 runs -- nine earned -- in 10
innings.

''He's a young guy and he showed some good things in a couple
innings today,'' said Tigers manager Luis Pujols. ''But when he got
the ball up, they were able to hit him.''

The Twins took a 2-0 lead in the first. Jones led off the game
with his 27th homer and Cristian Guzman followed with a double.
Guzman took third on a passed ball and scored on Koskie's
groundout.

Minnesota doubled the lead with two more in the fifth on RBI
singles by Jones and Koskie.

Detroit only managed four hits off Radke in the first five
innings. In the sixth, Bocachica singled, stole second and scored
on Omar Infante's double. Bobby Higginson made it 4-2 with a
single, Carlos Pena doubled and Robert Fick had an RBI groundout.

Minnesota added two runs in the seventh off Eric Eckenstahler on
a RBI triple by Rivas and Jones' fourth hit off the game.

Bocachica made it 6-4 with a homer off Tony Fiore in the bottom
of the inning.

Rivas provided the final margin with an RBI single in the
eighth, giving him four hits for the fourth time in his career.

Game notes
Koskie made a spectacular defensive play at third to rob
Eric Munson of a hit in the fifth inning. Koskie leaped to get his
glove on a high line drive, but couldn't hang on to the ball. As he
fell to the ground, he was able to catch the ball barehanded. ...
Twins 1B Todd Sears made his major league debut and got his first
hit with a fifth-inning double. ... Fick threw out Jones and Guzman
for his major league-leading 20th and 21st outfield assists. He
also leads the majors with 12 outfield errors. Fick needs two
assists to match Al Kaline's team record set in 1958.