Series: Game 4 of 4

Series tied 2-2 (as of 9/11)

Game 1: Monday, September 8
Chi White Sox5
Game 2: Tuesday, September 9
Chi White Sox8
Game 3: Wednesday, September 10
Chi White Sox1
Game 4: Thursday, September 11
Chi White Sox2

Twins 5

(78-68, 38-35 away)

White Sox 2

(78-68, 48-27 home)

    2:05 PM ET, September 11, 2003

    U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    MIN 004000100 5 9 0
    CWS 100000001 2 9 2

    W: B. Radke (12-10)

    L: E. Loaiza (19-7)

    Twins top Loaiza to regain tie in Central

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Any other time, the Minnesota Twins would be celebrating Brad Radke's stellar pitching outing and the gutty way they climbed back into a tie for the AL Central lead.

    But one look at third-base coach Al Newman's jersey hanging in the dugout was enough to remind the Twins there are other things more important than baseball. Even when they're in the hunt for the playoffs.

    "Our thoughts are still with Al Newman, so it's a little tough for us in here," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said after the Twins beat Esteban Loaiza and the Chicago White Sox 5-2 on Thursday.

    "That was a big performance by us. We take a little bit off of it because of what's going on with our coach," Gardenhire added. "That makes it a little harder. But it doesn't take away from the performance our baseball team put out on the field today."

    Newman remained hospitalized in serious condition after suffering a hemorrhage in his brain before Wednesday night's game. He was still undergoing tests Thursday afternoon to determine the cause of the hemorrhage, but Gardenhire said his prognosis is good.

    "Not having him here is difficult, but one thing you have to do is you have to focus on the task at hand, and that's playing," Denny Hocking said. "When you have a situation like we have, you try to elevate your game, and I think everybody in this locker room did that these last two days."

    The Twins certainly did Thursday. Radke pitched a complete game to win his most important start of the year, and Shannon Stewart and Hocking each drove in a pair of runs.

    Minnesota salvaged a split of the four-game series, pulling even with the White Sox with two straight wins.

    The Twins spoiled Loaiza's bid for his 20th victory. The All-Star starter (19-7) lost for only the second time since the break, giving up five runs and seven hits over seven innings.

    Earlier in the afternoon, Toronto's Roy Halladay became the first 20-game winner in the majors when he beat Tampa Bay.

    "It didn't go my way," Loaiza said. "I made a couple of mistakes throwing middle-away, and they got some base hits and took advantage."

    Radke (12-10) didn't give the White Sox much of anything. Besides Frank Thomas' first-inning homer and a solo shot by Jose Valentin in the ninth, Radke gave up only singles.

    He allowed a total of nine hits, walked none and struck out five in his third complete game of the season. It was his fourth straight victory.

    "We had to come out and get a win today," Radke said. "That was a big win for us."

    The schedule favors Minnesota from here on out. The teams play a three-game series next week in Minnesota, but the Twins' other games are against Detroit and Cleveland.

    Chicago gets Boston, New York and Kansas City -- all playoff contenders.

    "They played much better baseball than we did the last two days," White Sox second baseman Roberto Alomar said. "I was a little disappointed that we couldn't get at least one more game. We were home and we always play good at home.

    "Now it's going to be a tough road trip."

    Loaiza has been the best pitcher in the majors since the All-Star break, going 8-2 with a 3.63 ERA in 11 starts. Bidding to become the White Sox's first 20-game winner since Jack McDowell in 1993, he was greeted with a loud, standing ovation when he walked in from the bullpen before the game.

    Loaiza got off to a strong start, pitching two perfect innings and getting an early lead with Thomas' 40th homer.

    But things unraveled quickly in the third. Jacque Jones led off with a single to shallow right, taking third on A.J. Pierzynski's single. Loaiza then hit Cristian Guzman to load the bases with no outs.

    Stewart followed with a two-run double off the wall in center. Alomar lost Carl Everett's throw in the sun and the ball got away from him, allowing Guzman to score and Stewart to take third.

    Hocking followed with a sacrifice fly, and Minnesota had a 4-1 lead.

    "This is probably the worst game we played in a while, both offensively and defensively," White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said. "When you do that at this point of the year, it's costly. And it definitely cost us today."

    Game notes

    Thomas now has five 40-homer seasons in his career. ... Brian Daubach's single in the sixth inning was his 500th career hit. ... White Sox LHP Mark Buehrle took Chicago's lineup card to the umpires before the game. ... Thursday's game was broadcast in Mexico, Loaiza's native country.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press