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Lohse gets shutout; Twins win series 25-0

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota hasn't used the bullpen in three
games, so perhaps Twins relievers are looking for a new line of
work.

Grab a bat, guys. The Kansas City Royals need the help.

Kyle Lohse threw Minnesota's team-record third straight
complete-game shutout in a 12-0 victory over crumbling Kansas City
on Wednesday night.

"You don't want those kind of thoughts to cross your mind, but
you obviously don't want to be the guy to give it up," said Lohse,
whose six-hitter came after Brad Radke tossed a four-hitter and
Johan Santana turned in a three-hitter to start the series.

This was the first time in the Twins' 44-year history they've
shut out an opponent in three straight games, and the streak of 27
scoreless innings is a franchise high.

The Baltimore Orioles were the last major league club with three
consecutive complete-game shutouts, when Mike Mussina, Scott
Erickson and Kevin Brown did it in September 1995.

"Everybody's going to look like Cy Young right now, the way
we're swinging," said Dee Brown, who had three hits for the
Royals. They've lost eight in a row and 13 out of 14, scoring one
run in their last 37 innings. After a day off Thursday, Kansas City
plays a weekend series at Baltimore.

"Mentally, this ballclub is beat," manager Tony Pena said.
"It's a tough time, but these kids are trying."

Rookie Joe Mauer had his first career four-hit game, and
Minnesota's first five batters -- Cristian Guzman, Lew Ford, Mauer,
Corey Koskie and Torii Hunter -- went 14-for-21 and scored all 12
runs. Hunter and Matthew LeCroy each had three RBI.

"It was a very enjoyable ballgame from my office," said a
smiling manager Ron Gardenhire, who was ejected in the second
inning.

Lohse (3-6) won for just the second time in his last 15 starts,
getting more run support than he had in all of June. In five starts
last month, the Twins scored a total of five runs while he was in
the game.

This was his fourth career complete game and third shutout. He
struck out seven and walked none, fighting through some soreness in
the right knee he had surgery on before the 2003 season.

"I've been working hard all year and things haven't been
working out," Lohse said. "Hopefully it gets me going."

Hard work? Minnesota's bullpen can't relate to that. Nobody has
pitched since Sunday afternoon.

"We're not showing up tomorrow," joked J.C. Romero. "We're
just going to tell Gardy to call us on our cell phones."

Royals starter Dennys Reyes (2-4) got only three outs and was
replaced by Justin Huisman after hitting Koskie with a pitch in the
second. Reyes gave up six hits, six runs -- four earned -- and one
walk.

Five batters were hit in this game, two by Lohse in the first.
After LeCroy's two-run double put the Twins up 4-0 in the bottom
half, Reyes hit Michael Cuddyer in the ribs -- prompting a warning
for both benches by home plate umpire Chris Guccione.

After a run-scoring single by Mauer in the second, Reyes hit
Koskie in the back and yelled at himself in frustration. Gardenhire
thought Reyes should have been ejected, but he was the one who got
tossed for arguing with Guccione.

"I was trying to throw in, and the ball got away from me,"
Reyes said. "I already have enough problems to hit people."

The Royals had plenty of chances to end their scoreless streak --
putting two runners on in four of the first seven innings.

Brown and Tony Graffanino hit consecutive one-out singles in the
seventh. But Lohse struck out rookie John Buck and Damian Jackson
to end it.

"This is crazy," Brown said. "It has to get better."

Game notes
Huisman was charged with three runs in 2 2-3 innings,
raising his ERA to 6.75. In his last 13 2-3 innings, he's given up
26 hits and 15 earned runs. ... Royals 1B Mike Sweeney sat out his
sixth straight game with a stiff back. ... Twins 1B Doug
Mientkiewicz was scratched from the lineup with a bad bruise
sustained when a batting-practice ball hit by teammate Luis Rivas
struck him squarely on the left wrist. ... Gardenhire, halfway
through his third season, has 13 career ejections. ... Mauer is
batting .500 (16-for-32) in his last eight games. ... All of
Lohse's wins have come against Kansas City.