Morneau homered and drove in Minnesota's first four runs, Torii
Hunter added a solo shot and the Twins beat the Los Angeles Dodgers
5-3 Saturday night in the second game of their interleague series.
"I don't think he's worried about where he's hitting. It's just
a matter of who's in our lineup," manager Ron Gardenhire said.
"And with this National League stuff, you want to do a little
left-right-left-right, so they can't bring in somebody and dominate
"So with Joe Mauer out of the lineup, I just stuck Morneau in
there to keep the left-right thing going as best we could. And he
came up in the right situations."
Carlos Silva (5-3) allowed three runs and seven hits, including
homers by Jason Grabowski, Hee-Seop Choi and Jeff Kent, in six
innings. Silva, the only pitcher in the Twins' rotation averaging
fewer than five runs of support per outing, won consecutive starts
for the first time this season after being staked to a 4-0 lead. He
struck out two and walked one.
It was the first time in 11 starts this season that Silva failed
to pitch at least seven innings. He tweaked his right knee while
batting in the fifth, but he doesn't expect to miss his next start.
"I felt like a little twist in my knee, but I don't think it's
anything bad," Silva said. "I feel a little sore in there. I told
the manager and the pitching coach that I wasn't throwing my
pitches the same way the last two innings. I didn't want to hurt my
arm, and that's why I stopped."
Derek Lowe (5-6) allowed five runs and eight hits in six
innings, striking out five and walking none.
Grabowski led off the fifth with his third home run and second
in three games, trimming Minnesota's lead to 4-1. Hunter got the
run back in the sixth with a drive into the left field pavilion for
his 10th homer and first at Dodger Stadium, where the Twins'
franchise hadn't played since the 1965 World Series.
Choi, who hit two home runs Friday night -- including the
game-winning shot in the ninth inning -- led off the sixth with a
458-foot drive near the back of the right field pavilion for his
ninth of the season. One out later, Kent's 13th home run narrowed
the gap to 5-3.
"The first home run I left the ball up over the middle of the
plate," Silva said. "The last two I was behind in the count, so I
came back with fastballs and they put good wood on it. But it was
only three solo homers."
One night after Brad Penny and three relievers retired the last
21 Minnesota batters, Lowe surrendered hits to the first three he
faced. Lew Ford singled, Luis Rodriguez doubled for the first of
his three consecutive hits, and Morneau grounded a two-run single
up the middle.
Morneau, who had made all but three of his previous 38 starts in
the cleanup spot, came through again in the third inning. He gave
the Twins a 4-0 lead with his ninth home run after a two-out
infield single by Rodriguez.
"They have a very good offense. I made a few mistakes and they
took advantage of it," Lowe said. "I threw a 2-0 curveball to
Justin and he went out and got it. I just have to execute better."
The four RBI tied a career high for the Canadian-born Morneau,
who also did it May 24 at Cleveland and last Aug. 12 at Seattle.
Ford started in left field in place of Shannon Stewart, who
bruised his non-throwing wrist Friday after catching a drive in the
corner by Grabowski on the run and slamming into a fence in foul
Gardenhire had flashbacks of Stewart's mishap in the seventh
inning when Hunter slammed into the wall in right-center hauling in
a drive by Jason Phillips.
"When he hit the wall, we were like, `Oh, here we go again.'
But it was just another great play," Gardenhire said. "Our
outfielders go after everything and they don't seem to have too
many concerns about it.
"It's a pretty good feeling, knowing that when the ball's hit,
they're going to try to catch it no matter what. That's part of the
concept that we use here -- put it in play and we'll catch it."
Dodgers Gold Glove SS Cesar Izturis left the game in the
seventh because of a mild strain in his right hamstring. ... The
game was played in 2 hours, 23 minutes. When the teams faced each
other in the 1965 World Series, the seven games lasted 2:29, 2:13,
2:06, 2:15, 2:34, 2:16 and 2:27. ... LHP Terry Mulholland, who gave
up Choi's walkoff homer, is the only player on either team's active
roster who was alive when the Twins lost to the Dodgers in that
Fall Classic. Mulholland was 2½ years old. ... Stewart has made
only one error in his first 53 starts in LF -- the only position the
Twins haven't had a Gold Glove winner at in franchise history.