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Twins get to Wakefield before burying bullpen

5/4/2003

BOSTON (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins showed the Boston Red Sox that
they can put together big innings, too.

Matthew LeCroy had three RBI as the Twins overcame a four-run
deficit Sunday to beat the Boston Red Sox 9-4. Trailing by four
runs against Tim Wakefield, the Twins tied the game in the sixth
then went ahead with five runs in the seventh.

"When you're throwing a knuckleball, and that thing's jumping
all over the place, you're trying to jump out and eat it, jump out
in front and get it," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You
have a hard time. You've got to sit back there and be a little more
patient. A few of our guys did that as it went along and we got
him. We don't do that very often."

In the first two games of the series, Boston scored six runs in
one inning Friday then followed that with a seven-run inning
Saturday. On Sunday, the Twins got to Wakefield after managing just
three hits through five innings.

"They never gave up," Gardenhire said. "They finally got some
big hits and ran around the bases a little bit."

Kenny Rogers (4-1) allowed four runs and seven hits in six
innings, and J.C. Romero and Eddie Guardado finished with shutout
relief.

"The last thing I wanted to do was give up four runs early,"
Rogers said. "My goal was to pitch as long as I could and I
pitched a lot better in my last three innings than my first
three."

Corey Koskie began Minnesota's comeback with an RBI double off
Wakefield in the sixth. LeCroy followed with an RBI single, Todd Sears with a sacrifice fly and Michael Cuddyer with a game-tying
triple.

"I think Wakefield threw a lot of breaking balls to other guys
but all I saw was the knuckler," LeCroy said. "I just tried to
stay patient and look for a pitch I could hit."

After a walk to Tom Prince, Mike Timlin (3-1) replaced Wakefield
and retired Luis Rivas on an inning-ending groundout.

"I was just trying to get myself out of that inning so the
bullpen doesn't have to come into a situation where the bases are
loaded and there's only one out," Wakefield said. "It's not an
easy situation to pitch in."

Minnesota's first three batters reached to load the bases in the
seventh, with Timlin making a throwing error on Cristian Guzman's
one-out sacrifice, and LeCroy's two-run single put the Twins ahead
6-4.

Jason Shiell relieved and Torii Hunter hit an RBI grounder to
Shea Hillenbrand, whose throw home was wild. Prince followed with a
two-run double.

Timlin allowed four runs, only one earned, and got just one
batter out.

Manny Ramirez, who entered on a 21-for-43 year, hit an RBI
single in the first and scored on David Ortiz's third double in two
days. Boston made it 4-0 in the third on doubles by Bill Mueller
and Ramirez, and an RBI single by Kevin Millar.

"We had some chances there to take Kenny right out of the game
but it didn't happen," Boston manager Grady Little said. "We
didn't finish him off when we had a chance."

Game notes
Ramirez extended his streak to seven games with at least
one run. ... Ortiz has reached base safely in all 16 of his starts
this season. ... LeCroy left in the seventh with a slight left
hamstring strain. ... Twins RHP Rick Reed reported no progress
Sunday, a day after he left a game with a sore back in the fourth
inning. ... A.J. Pierzynski (sore ankle) and Mientkiewicz (bruised
thumb) didn't start for the fourth consecutive game for the Twins.
They are day to day. ... Denny Hocking (right elbow injury) hit off
a tee prior to Sunday's game. He is eligible to come off the
disabled list Tuesday. ... Boston's Trot Nixon sat out with an
irritation on his eye after getting two hits in each of his last
five games.