ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire knew it
was a lost cause. There was no way he was going to get Brad Radke
to come out of the game two outs short of a shutout.
Gardenhire went back to the dugout alone and Radke finished his
five-hitter -- getting a huge assist from catcher A.J. Pierzynski,
who completed a game-ending double play by throwing out Chone
Figgins on a strikeout by Tim Salmon as the Twins beat the Anaheim
Angels 3-0 Tuesday night.
"I only had one decision, and that was in the ninth -- whether
you leave him in or take him out," Gardenhire said. "He wanted
the ball. I got halfway to the mound, and he's looking at me and
going, `No way. I'm not coming out."
Radke (10-10) struck out four and walked one while improving to
7-2 with a 1.47 ERA in nine career starts at Anaheim. The victory
ended Minnesota's seven-game losing streak against the World Series
champions, a skid that began with Game 2 of the ALCS.
The right-hander won for the fifth time in six decisions with
help from home runs by Jacque Jones and Luis Rivas. Radke retired
13 in a row before Figgins singled with one out in the ninth. Jeff
DaVanon popped up an attempted sacrifice and Garret Anderson
singled, bringing Gardenhire to the mound.
"I saw Ron walking out and I started shaking my head because I
didn't want to come out of the game," Radke said. "He told me,
`Don't make a mistake.' I think he was trying to fire me up. But I
wasn't buying it because I wasn't going to get too excited."
Salmon tried to check his swing on a 3-2 changeup with both
runners going, but plate umpire Jeff Kellogg ruled he went around --
and Pierzynski made a snap throw to third baseman Denny Hocking for
the tag on Figgins.
"That's the downside of putting guys in motion, but we're going
to stay aggressive," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "They
executed that play perfectly, and that was the ballgame."
It was the first time Radke and Anaheim's John Lackey (8-13)
started against each other since Game 4 of the ALCS, when they
dueled through six scoreless innings before the Angels won 7-1. The
following day, Adam Kennedy hit three home runs to put Anaheim in
the World Series.
"I thought about that a little bit. I mean, the atmosphere
wasn't like it was back in October, but it's still a big win for
us," Radke said. "It feels good to win a game, especially when
the Royals and White Sox won tonight."
The shutout was the eighth in 278 career starts for Radke, who
pitched his 32nd complete game and stranded a runner in scoring
position in three of the first four innings.
"I felt the same from the first through the ninth, but I got
away with a lot of pitches," Radke said. "I threw some balls that
they hit hard, but were right at guys. Lucky for me, they were all
swinging at the first couple of pitches and hit them somewhere, so
that made my job easier."
The Twins got four consecutive singles with one out in the
second, but got only one run.
Torii Hunter tried to score behind Jones on Hocking's hit to
center, and center fielder Figgins made a one-hop throw to the
wrong side of the plate. Hunter missed the plate with his left hand
and catcher Bengie Molina missed the sweep tag, but Hunter was
tagged out after scrambling back.
Minnesota increased the margin to 2-0 in the sixth on Jones'
leadoff homer, and Rivas' eighth of the season capped the scoring
with two outs in the seventh.
Lackey allowed three runs and 10 hits in eight innings, striking
out five and walking one.
The Angels make their first visit to the Metrodome next
Monday for a three-game series. ... Minnesota All-Star closer Eddie
Guardado, who set a franchise record last season with 45 saves,
needs one save to join Ron Perranoski, Jeff Reardon and Rick
Aguilera as the only Twins pitchers with consecutive seasons of 30
or more saves. ... The Angels posed for their 2003 team photo. DH
Brad Fullmer, who is on the disabled list, missed the photo. ...
Garret Anderson doubled in the first inning for his major
league-leading 75th extra-base hit. He needs 14 more to break the
club record he set last season. ... The game was played in 2 hours,
12 minutes. Radke threw 97 pitches.