Corey Koskie drove in three runs as the Twins ended a six-game
losing streak with a 6-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on
Friday night. Toronto started Minnesota's losing streak with a three-game
sweep in the Metrodome last weekend. The defending American League Central
Division champion Twins also were swept by the New York Yankees. ''It's been a long time since we won a baseball game,''
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''You always tell yourself
it's not that big of a deal, but believe me, when it starts to add
up, you need a win. That was a big win for us. It's a morale
booster.'' Minnesota's Luis Rivas, who went 3-for-4, hit a tying triple in
the seventh inning off Cory Lidle (1-2) and Jacque Jones followed
with a sacrifice fly to make it 5-4. The Twins hadn't scored more than three runs in their previous
seven games. ''We were struggling in those six or seven games,'' Koskie said.
''It started to get frustrating, but tonight we were able to score
some runs.'' Kenny Rogers (1-0) allowed four runs on seven hits in six
innings in his second start with the Twins. The 39-year-old
left-hander, signed as a free agent March 13 after Eric Milton
injured his left knee, struck out five and walked two. ''We needed a win to turn the tide,'' Rogers said. ''Everyone is
pressing and trying to do a little more. I'm trying to do more than
I'm capable of by throwing the ball a little harder. That can put
you in a funk.'' LaTroy Hawkins pitched the seventh, J.C Romero pitched a hitless
eighth and Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect ninth for his second
save. The Twins' bullpen pitched four scoreless innings and has
allowed just one earned run in the past 27 innings. ''The bullpen has been great all year. If we don't have the best
bullpen in the game, we have one of the top two,'' Rogers said. Lidle struck out a career-high nine, but he gave up five runs on
seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. ''I threw the ball real good,'' Lidle said. ''The fourth inning
was the inning that killed me. We got a two-run lead and I relaxed
too much.'' Shannon Stewart's run-scoring double and Frank Catalanotto's sacrifice
fly gave Toronto a 2-0 lead in the third. Koskie's two-run double and Matthew Lecroy's two-out run-scoring double
gave Minnesota a 3-2 lead in the fourth. After Toronto's Mike Bordick led off the fifth with a single,
Stewart tripled into the gap in left center. Catalanotto followed
with a run-scoring single, giving Toronto 4-3 lead. After Michael Cuddyer walked in the seventh, Rivas narrowly
missed a home run with his triple off the wall in left center.
Jones followed with his sacrifice fly, giving Minnesota a 5-4 lead. Koskie added a run-scoring grounder off Jeff Tam in the ninth.
Stewart went 3-for-5. ... The Twins went 6-1 against the
Blue Jays last season. ... The Blue Jays and Twins don't play each
other again after this series.