Jacque Jones' two-run HR aids the cause


ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Kyle Lohse made a big pitch to Scott
Spiezio and Matthew LeCroy got a clutch hit with the bases loaded,
keeping the Minnesota Twins close in the AL Central race.

Jacque Jones added a two-run homer and Luis Rivas doubled home
two runs as the Twins beat the Anaheim Angels 6-1 Thursday to move
within 1{ games of the division lead.

Lohse (11-10) won for the fifth time in six starts, allowing a
run, five hits and five walks in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out three
and stranded four runners in scoring position. Anaheim got its only
run in the third on Garret Anderson's RBI single.

"I didn't feel like I had my best stuff out there, but I
battled and made pitches when I had to and got key outs in key
situations," Lohse said.

The Angels had a chance to pad their lead in the fifth with the
bases loaded after a two-out walk to Anderson, who came to the
plate 7-for-11 lifetime against the right-hander. But Spiezio --
whose tiebreaking homer helped beat the Twins 5-4 Wednesday night --
fouled out to third.

"I felt a little more comfortable going after Spiezio," Lohse
said. "I really didn't want to make a mistake with Garret, so you
pick your poison with those two. I just tried to keep the fastball
away from Spiezio, and luckily he chased one out of the zone and
popped it up."

Lohse finished 5-1 with a 3.83 ERA in August after going 0-3
with an 11.51 ERA in five starts during July.

"Last month he was just throwing the ball and he got into a rut
where, every time he got himself into a little trouble, he'd just
rear back and let it fly -- rather than pitching," Twins manager
Ron Gardenhire said.

"He made some adjustments on the pitching rubber and worked on
his mechanics. But more than anything, he got his confidence back
and saw that he could throw the ball in and out and not have to
blow people away all the time."

J.C. Romero got out of the seventh, LaTroy Hawkins worked a
scoreless eighth and Eddie Guardado pitched a hitless ninth.

A two-out double by Rivas and a walk to Doug Mientkiewicz loaded
the bases in the Minnesota sixth, and LeCroy followed with a single
past Spiezio at third base that gave the Twins a 2-1 lead.

Ramon Ortiz (15-11) allowed five runs -- three earned -- and six
hits in seven-plus innings. He must win five of a projected six
remaining starts to become the Angels' first 20-game winner since
1974, when Nolan Ryan won 22 and matched Clyde Wright's 1970 club

"I'm not thinking about winning 20 games," Ortiz said. "The
only thing I think about is going hard every time I pitch and see
what happens. That's all I can do."

Ortiz has received five or more runs of support in 30 of his
last 32 wins dating to Sept. 7, 2001. The Angels have averaged 9.07
runs in those 30 wins. But in the 14 starts this season in which
the Angels scored fewer than five runs, Ortiz is 2-11.

"I got a lot of wins this year because the team scored a lot of
runs for me," Ortiz said with a grin. "Today we got one run, but
the next time, maybe 10 or 11. You never know."

The Twins increased the margin to 4-1 in the eighth. Cristian
Guzman reached when Ortiz dropped a toss to first from Adam Riggs
for an error, Ortiz hit Shannon Stewart with a pitch, and Rivas
chased the right-hander with a two-run double to left-center.

Francisco Rodriguez relieved and walked Mientkiewicz, who was
thrown out at second by catcher Jose Molina on a pitch in the dirt
that squirted a few feet to the right of the plate. But Jones drove
a 3-2 pitch to left-center for his 13th homer and second of the

The last time the Twins were in Anaheim, just before the
All-Star break, they were swept in a three-game series with Jones
on the disabled list.

Game notes
The Angels and Cleveland Indians have gone longer than any
AL team without a 20-game winner. Gaylord Perry won 21 for the
Tribe in 1974. ... Anderson is second in the AL with 110 RBI, nine
fewer than Toronto's Carlos Delgado. The only player in Angels
history to win the league's RBI title was Don Baylor, with 139 in
1979. ... LHP Jarrod Washburn has allowed 31 home runs this season,
making him only the second lefty in Angels history to give up at
least 30. The other was Allen Watson, who surrendered 37 homers in
1997. Ortiz (2002) and Shawn Boskie (1996) share the club record
with 40 allowed.