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Twins allow first run in four wins

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins didn't need a shutout to
win. They sure came close to their fourth in a row, though.

Cristian Guzman's three-run homer capped a five-run seventh
inning and Minnesota won its fourth straight game, 7-1 over the
Detroit Tigers on Thursday night.

On the heels of consecutive shutouts by Twins teammates Brad
Radke, Johan Santana and Kyle Lohse, No. 5 starter Terry Mulholland
allowed only one run in 5 2/3 innings. Grant Balfour (3-0) pitched
1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief for the win.

"I had an opportunity to sit and watch three pretty fine
pitching performances," Mulholland said. "That was an
inspiration."

Guzman drove in four runs, including a tying double in the
sixth. He lined a 3-2 pitch from Mike Maroth (5-7) over the
left-field fence to finish the rally, as the Twins offense awakened
after Maroth retired the first 14 Minnesota hitters to start the
game.

Ivan Rodriguez's homer leading off the sixth put Detroit ahead
and ended the Twins' streak of 32 consecutive scoreless innings.
But everything went Minnesota's way after that.

Maroth compared the turnaround with one in 2003 against
Baltimore when he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, then
lost the game as part of his 21-loss season.

"I had great stuff and great command," Maroth said. "I threw
really well, I'm just disappointed about the outcome."

Rodriguez, a 10-time Gold Glove winner, made two defensive
mistakes that helped the Twins rally.

In the bottom of the sixth, Luis Rivas beat out a bunt with one
out, moved to second on Rodriguez's passed ball and scored easily
on Guzman's double down the left-field line.

Corey Koskie opened the seventh with a walk, stole second and
moved to third when Rodriguez's throw bounced into center field for
an error.

Jacque Jones singled home Koskie to put Minnesota ahead. Matthew
LeCroy followed with a single up the middle, and Jose Offerman beat
out an infield chopper to score Jones.

The Tigers then gave the Twins another out when second baseman
Jason Smith's throw to complete a potential inning-ending double
play pulled first baseman Carlos Pena off the bag. Guzman made the
Tigers pay with his homer.

"We didn't make a couple of plays and it hurt," Tigers manager
Alan Trammell said.

Mulholland allowed seven hits and struck out seven. Detroit
remains the only one of the 30 major league teams the left-hander
has not beaten.

After three straight Minnesota shutouts, Mulholland was an
unlikely candidate to deliver a fourth.

He started this season in the bullpen but became the Twins'
fifth starter by default when several others struggled in the role.
Mulholland's last shutout came on June 9, 1993. His last complete
game was in April 2000.

But Mulholland breezed through five shutout innings, giving up
four hits without a walk. Most impressive was that he held down a
Tigers offense that hit .341 in its previous 10 games.

The Tigers put two on in the third, but Torii Hunter made a nice
running catch of Dmitri Young's line drive to end the inning and
keep the shutout streak alive.

But Maroth was even better. He barely needed more than routine
plays from his defense to get through the first 4 2-3 innings
without a blemish, before Jones singled with two outs in the fifth.

Maroth gave up seven hits and six runs in 6 2-3 innings.

Tigers outfielder Craig Monroe -- starting for the injured Alex
Sanchez in center field -- left in the sixth inning after straining
his left hamstring rounding second base.

Hunter added an RBI double in the eighth.

Game notes
Injured Twins outfielders Shannon Stewart (foot) and
Michael Ryan (shoulder) will begin rehab assignments Friday at
Triple-A Rochester. ... Among active pitchers, only Kevin Brown and
Al Leiter have beaten all 30 teams. Five -- Mulholland, Randy
Johnson, Woody Williams, Hideo Nomo and Sterling Hitchcock -- have
beaten 29 of 30 teams. But Mulholland, despite playing for 10
teams, is the only one of the five whose lone omission is a team he
hasn't played for. ... Sanchez was out of the lineup with a sore
right hamstring, sustained Wednesday when he fell over first base
legging out a bunt. He is day-to-day.