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Silva wins third consecutive decision

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Carlos Silva was curious about Minnesota's
mood when he arrived at the Metrodome, worried about the mental
state of his slumping team.

Hearing the tunes cranked up and chattering in the clubhouse, he
figured the Twins would be all right.

Silva pitched a complete game, working around nine hits and
spurring Minnesota out of its skid with a 6-2 win over the Detroit
Tigers on Thursday afternoon.

"As soon as I came down the stairs, I heard the music playing
and I thought, 'Oh good," he said.

The Twins ended their four-game losing streak. Silva won his
third consecutive decision with help from Matthew LeCroy, who
homered and drove in three runs.

They also took advantage of Jason Johnson's bases-loaded wild
pitch -- and mental mistake -- in a four-run first inning and went on
to win for only the fourth time in their last 13 games.

"Carlos did what we needed," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We
needed somebody to step up."

Chris Shelton had three hits, including a home run, for the
fourth-place Tigers. They had won four straight and seven of their
last eight, creeping closer to the second-place Twins in the AL
Central -- which began the day as the only division in baseball with
four teams above .500.

"I'm happy about the fact we won the series," manager Alan
Trammell said. "I'm not happy that we played a sloppy game
today."

Minnesota donned its dark blue batting practice jerseys, a
suggestion made to Silva by equipment manager Jim Dunn -- since the
starting pitcher gets to pick what the team wears.

"We've been talking about how we've been swinging good in BP,"
Gardenhire said, "so we wore the BP jerseys."

Silva (6-3), who threw a complete-game shutout against Milwaukee
in May with only 74 pitches, struck out two without a walk. He gave
up three hits in the ninth, including an RBI single by Alexis
Gomez.

"I was trying to throw my game," said Silva, who threw 71 of
his 91 pitches for strikes. "I don't think about how many pitches
I'm going to throw or that I'm going to go nine innings. I just try
to do my job."

After posting a 2.03 ERA over his last seven outings, Johnson
(5-6) did himself in with a forgettable first inning.

And the Twins, now 9½ games behind the Chicago White Sox in the
division race, took out all their frustrations from the past two
weeks.

Joe Mauer's single was followed by walks to Justin Morneau and
Lew Ford, all with two outs. Then Jacque Jones swung and missed at
strike three, but it was a wild pitch and skidded past catcher
Vance Wilson. Mauer scored and Morneau came all the way around from
second standing up, while Johnson just stood and watched without
covering home. He was charged with an error.

"That's what we try to do: Run hard and make the other team
make mistakes," Jones said.

Johnson said he was just frustrated.

"I should have been standing on the plate in the first place,"
he said.

LeCroy then hit a bloop single to right, scoring two more and
giving Minnesota a 4-0 lead on two hits.

"I should have gotten out of that inning with no runs scored,"
Johnson said. "It should have been 0-0 going into the seventh, at
least."

Shelton homered to left-center field, a soaring shot that cut
Minnesota's lead to three.

LeCroy answered it with two outs in the bottom of the inning,
connecting off Johnson for a shot off the facade along the football
press box above right field that gave the Twins a 5-1 edge.

After consecutive singles, Michael Ryan hit a grounder to
shortstop and reached on an error -- Omar Infante's throw was wide --
as the sixth run scored and Jamie Walker relieved Johnson.

Johnson, who had thrown eight innings in six of his last eight
starts, one of which was shortened by a rain delay, failed to
finish the sixth for just the third time in 15 outings this year.
He gave up nine hits and two walks while striking out three, with
six runs -- five earned -- charged to him.

Game notes
Nook Logan stole second in the fifth inning, his 15th of
the season. The Tigers have stolen 12 straight bases without being
caught and have 21 thefts in their last 23 attempts. ... Juan
Castro led off the second with a single, ending an 0-for-23
drought.