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Silva tosses seven solid innings for victory

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Twenty times this season, the New York
Yankees have failed to score more than three runs. They've lost
each game.

That's just another sign of the struggles this proud,
experienced and expensive team is enduring.

Carlos Silva pitched seven strong innings, a diluted Minnesota
lineup knocked out Kevin Brown during a five-run sixth and the
Twins beat the New York Yankees 9-3 on Sunday.

"I don't think anybody ever walks out on the field and thinks,
'Maybe I'll walk out and lose," Brown said. "That's not your
plan."

The Yankees, playing without an ill Derek Jeter, finished a
forgettable week by losing for the seventh time in eight games.
Their 20-game drought when scoring three runs or less is the
longest such streak in the majors.

The hallmark of all those World Series titles was strong
starting pitching, but that strength is beginning to become a
weakness. New York's rotation has an ERA of 4.81, 11th in the AL.

"We know what our job is," manager Joe Torre said. "We just
have to go out and be more consistent with our positive stuff."

Brown (4-6), who won four starts in a row until a loss at Kansas
City earlier this week, was given a 2-0 lead on a home run by
rookie Robinson Cano and an RBI single by Jason Giambi.

But Brown struggled with his control in the sixth, hitting two
batters to fuel the Twins' rally. He plunked Torii Hunter near the
elbow with a one-out pitch. Hunter, hit for the second straight
game, yelled at Brown, who barked back.

The exchange seemed to give his team a spark. Jacque Jones
singled Hunter to third, and Matthew LeCroy drove him in with a
double off the right-field wall that Gary Sheffield could've
caught.

After an intentional walk to Michael Cuddyer, Brown hit Mike
Redmond to force in Jones and tie it at 2. Rookie Luis Rodriguez
laced a single to right to put Minnesota in front, and Tanyon
Sturtze relieved Brown.

On the first pitch, Michael Ryan bunted on his own with the
bases loaded. Cuddyer raced home -- no call for the suicide squeeze
was made -- and slid in safely, and Brent Abernathy followed with a
sacrifice fly to make it 5-2.

The Twins batted around in the inning, which might have been set
up by Abernathy's 11-pitch at-bat to end the fifth. He popped out,
but Brown really had to work.

Catcher Jorge Posada said Brown's stuff was the best he had seen
this year, but the 40-year-old right-hander -- whose ERA rose to
5.43 -- was not pleased.

"It was a day, from square one, where not everything was
clicking," Brown said. "I had to work hard to try and stay in
there. I just didn't get it done."

Silva (4-3) gave up seven hits and two runs while striking out
one without a walk. He has issued only three of them in 74 innings
this year. Silva would've pitched the eighth, were it not for an
upset stomach.

After watching the bizarre sixth, his starting pitcher get sick
between innings and his team take two of three from the Yankees,
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire was in a bit of a daze.

"I really don't know how I'm feeling right now," an
exasperated Gardenhire said. "I'm really glad we won."

Hideki Matsui hit an RBI single off J.C. Romero in the eighth to
cut the lead to two, but Jesse Crain came in and retired the next
three.

Ryan, who tied a career high with three hits, added an RBI
single off Paul Quantrill in the eighth. Hunter drove in a run with
an infield single, and Jones hit a two-run single to make it 9-3.

Mounting injuries left Minnesota with a considerably thinned-out
lineup. Four starters -- first baseman Justin Morneau, catcher Joe
Mauer, shortstop Juan Castro and left fielder Shannon Stewart --
were banged up, and a fifth, second baseman Nick Punto, is on the
disabled list. Corner infielder Terry Tiffee was the only healthy
body on Gardenhire's bench.

Cano, who went 3-for-4 Saturday, crushed an 0-1 pitch from Silva
that cleared the wall in right-center field and put the Yankees up
1-0. With Jeter getting his second straight day of rest to recover
from a bad chest cold, Cano batted second for the fourth time this
year.

Perhaps Jeter's return can give New York a boost.

"We just need to keep playing and find a way," Posada said.
"Keep looking forward and have fun doing it. We have a lot of
talent. We just have to keep believing in ourselves."

Game notes
An MRI test on Morneau's sore left elbow revealed a small
bone spur. He entered in the ninth to play defense. ... This was
Brown's first regular-season start against Minnesota since April
29, 1995, when he pitched for Baltimore. He won Game 3 of last
year's first-round playoff series here. ... Hunter just couldn't
find safety anywhere. In the second inning, Jones hit a line drive
into the dugout that glanced off Hunter's side. After annoyingly
motioning to his teammate to keep the ball on the field, Hunter
grabbed a catcher's mask and chest protector -- pumping his fist a
few pitches later when Jones hit a single.