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Buehrle drops sixth straight, tagged for career-worst 10 runs

5/17/2003

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins took out the frustration
of a 14-inning loss on their biggest rival, the Chicago White Sox.

And struggling lefty Mark Buehrle got the brunt of it.

Torii Hunter and Bobby Kielty each hit a three-run homer Friday
night for the Twins in an 18-3 rout. Kielty drove in a career-high
five runs, Hunter had four RBI and A.J. Pierzynski went 4-for-4
for Minnesota, which roughed up Buehrle for a career-worst 10 runs
in his sixth straight loss.

"Hey, he's beat us enough over the last two or three years,"
Doug Mientkiewicz said.

Mientkiewicz hit one of the Twins' four homers and had three of
their 20 hits.

"We just stuck it to 'em," said winning pitcher Brad Radke,
the beneficiary of the extended batting practice.

Minnesota, which went 25-13 against the White Sox the last two
years but lost two of three to them last month, figured to be
fighting Chicago for the AL Central lead. Instead, it's the Royals
who lead Minnesota by 1½ games and the White Sox by 4½.

There wasn't any trouble between the teams, who have had some
intense, beanball-filled meetings and exchanged plenty of trash
talk the past two years.

There's always extra motivation for the Twins against Chicago,
but they were just as eager to wash away the taste of Thursday's
9-5 loss to Kansas City in 14 innings.

"After a game like that, it's like whoever's coming to town,"
manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The White Sox, sure. We've got a
good history with these guys. We've had a lot of good battles ...
They're in our division. It means a lot when you beat them."

Buehrle (2-7) gave up 10 hits, nine earned runs and two walks in
3 1/3 innings for Chicago, coming off a three-game sweep at
Baltimore.

"I don't know what's going on," Buehrle said. "It seems like
everything I throw up there, they're hitting it."

The Twins batted around in the fourth and sixth. Tom Prince hit
a solo homer and Mientkiewicz added a two-run shot in the eighth
off David Sanders.

"We got our tails kicked to the curb," manager Jerry Manuel
said.

With the Twins trailing 2-1 and one out in the third, Kielty
drove Buehrle's first pitch over the wall in left-center.

The next inning was awful for Buehrle, who won 35 games the past
two years.

Denny Hocking's perfect bunt rolled down the line all the way to
third base as Buehrle and Joe Crede waited futilely for it to turn
foul, and Luis Rivas loaded the bases with nobody out on a
sacrifice bunt that Crede bobbled for one of Chicago's two errors.

Cristian Guzman drove in two with a broken-bat single that
nicked off first baseman Brian Daubach's glove, Kielty added a
two-run single and _ after Rick White relieved -- Hunter followed
with a three-run drive that clanked off the folded football seats
in right field to make it 11-2.

That was more than enough for Radke (5-3), who won his fourth
straight start by giving up nine hits and three runs in seven
innings. He struck out three and didn't walk anyone.

"I just tried not to screw this one up too badly," Radke said.

Minnesota roughed up White and fellow reliever Gary Glover in
the sixth when Hunter hit an RBI single, Pierzynski drove in a run
with a double, Hocking with a groundout and Rivas with a single.

Jose Valentin hit his eighth homer in the seventh for the White
Sox, whose night turned worse when center fielder Willie Harris
made a diving catch of Hunter's liner in the bottom of the inning.

Harris hurt his right shoulder when he landed hard on the
artificial turf and was wincing as he left on a cart. He said he
believed the diagnosis was a mild separation and that he was going
to get an X-ray.

Game notes
Buehrle, whose ERA jumped from 3.86 to 4.96, was 5-1
against Minnesota last year. ... Hocking also drove in a run with a
second-inning groundout to end a string of 36 regular-season
at-bats without an RBI, dating to Sept. 15, 2002 _ the day
Minnesota clinched the AL Central in Cleveland. Hocking also drove
in a run in Game 5 of the Twins' victory over Oakland in the AL
division series last October. ... Radke will probably begin serving
his five-game suspension Saturday for hitting Tampa Bay's Toby Hall
with a pitch April 30. Because of an off day Monday, Radke might
not have to miss a start if the Twins decide to flip-flop him and
Joe Mays in the rotation.

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