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Nomar, Red Sox let one get away

BOSTON (AP) -- Nomar Garciaparra's exceptional grab of a
10th-inning grounder up the middle ended up costing the Boston Red
Sox the game.

He stretched to catch the ball, whirled around and threw it into
the Boston dugout, putting speedy Cristian Guzman at second base,
and the Minnesota Twins went on to win 4-3 Thursday.

"You do a great job getting to it, you spin and you hope,"
Garciaparra said. "Nine out of 10 times it is. I just got one that
wasn't."

Jose Offerman followed with a sacrifice and Lew Ford hit a
sacrifice fly to left fielder Manny Ramirez off Keith Foulke (2-1).

"That's the way we play baseball. We take pride in that," Ford
said.

The Red Sox rely on power and got three RBI from David Ortiz,
who hit a solo homer in the first and a two-run single in the
seventh. At times, the Red Sox defense has been shaky, although
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was incredulous that Garciaparra was
given a two-base error by official scorer Charlie Scoggins of The
(Lowell) Sun.

"If Nomar makes that play, people go crazy here and erupt in
all kinds of cheers," he said. "That's a base hit and an error,
so that's a joke that they give that an error all the way. That's
stupid."

Garciaparra, who missed 57 games before returning from the
disabled list June 9, agreed.

"That's hilarious," he said.

Grant Balfour (2-0) got the win and Joe Nathan finished for his
21st save in 22 chances as the Twins won for the sixth time in
eight games.

Boston has lost four of five and six of nine.

"There should be days where we knock the ball around a little
bit," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said, "but you also have to
win close ones."

Brad Radke failed to get a decision for the fourth straight game
despite pitching well in all of them. He left with a 3-1 lead after
throwing 121 pitches in 6 2-3 innings.

"I felt better with 120 pitches than I did in the first
inning," said Radke, who wanted to persuade Gardenhire to keep him
in. "I tried, but he already had his mind made up."

In his previous three games, Radke allowed just four earned runs
with 19 strikeouts and three walks in 20 2-3 innings.

Boston put runners at second and third against Radke in the
seventh on one-out singles by Kevin Youkilis and Johnny Damon and a
groundout to first by Mark Bellhorn. That's when Aaron Fultz came
in and gave up Ortiz's tying single on a 3-2 pitch.

Ortiz, who leads the AL with 68 RBI, gave Boston a 1-0 lead in
the first with his 17th homer, the first off Radke in 48 1-3
innings.

Minnesota scored twice with two outs in the second. After
Michael Cuddyer struck out against Tim Wakefield and reached on
Doug Mirabelli's passed ball, Michael Restovich doubled home
Cuddyer and Henry Blanco singled in Restovich. Cuddyer hit an RBI
double in the fourth for a 3-1 lead.

"I felt real good," Wakefield said. "Sometimes it's better to
be lucky than good."

Like the Twins were when Garciaparra threw the ball past first
baseman Kevin Millar and into his own dugout.

"He's a guy who's going to get to that ball," said Offerman,
Garciaparra's teammate with Boston from 1999 to 2002. "Lucky for
us he was off balance and threw the ball away because usually he
makes that play."

Game notes
Radke made his 300th career start. ... Boston RHP Curt
Schilling is to have his fourth MRI exam on his right ankle Monday
after his next start, Sunday against Philadelphia. The bone bruise
hasn't caused him to miss a start. ... The Red Sox had their 100th
consecutive sellout crowd, the third-longest streak in major league
history. ... RHP Byung-Hyun Kim will need more than two scheduled
rehabilitation appearances this week for Triple-A Pawtucket before
returning to Boston, Francona said.