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Minnesota wins in mere nine innings

5/6/2004

SEATTLE (AP) -- Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire watches Carlos Silva and thanks his general manager, Terry Ryan, for acquiring the 25-year-old pitcher during the offseason.

Silva took a shutout bid into the eighth inning, leading the
Twins over the Seattle Mariners 5-1 Wednesday night and improving
to 5-0 this season.

Minnesota obtained Silva from Philadelphia for Eric Milton.

"Our general manager is pretty good at what he does,"
Gardenhire said. "The people that work for him do a great job of
evaluating talent. I don't think they make too many mistakes. We
knew this guy had a great arm. We've run him out there, and he's
done a great job."

Silva's performance helped Gardenhire get his 200th victory
since taking over for Tom Kelly as the Twins' manager three seasons
ago.

"About 80 more of them this year and we'll be fine," said
Gardenhire, whose team won 90 games last season in winning its
second straight AL Central title.

Jacque Jones hit a two-run homer for the Twins, coming off a
16-inning, 4-3 loss Tuesday in which they used eight pitchers.
Minnesota stopped a three-game losing streak.

Silva, a right-hander who features a fastball in the low 90s and
a hard slider, lost his shutout bid on Scott Spiezio's RBI single.

"I'm feeling very good, very comfortable," Silva said.

Silva allowed five hits in eight innings, struck out five and
walked one in the longest of his seven major league starts. He has
a 3.43 ERA, including 1.61 in his last three outings.

Aaron Fultz finished with a hitless ninth.

Silva said he's happy to be starting after being used as a
reliever for two seasons in Philadelphia.

"It don't matter, I just want to be in the big leagues," he
said. "I'd like to make the ballclub as the water boy, too. It's
fun to be in the big leagues."

Joel Pineiro, a 16-game winner last year, dropped to 1-4,
allowing five runs -- three earned -- and nine hits in six-plus
innings. His ERA is 7.60 -- more than double what it was last year
(3.78).

"It's been the same thing all year," he said.

Jones thinks Pineiro's problem is a lack of control.

"Once he starts getting his breaking ball and his changeup
over, he's got good stuff," Jones said. "He's got dynamite stuff.
When he gets those two pitches over, he's going to be tough. If you
eliminate those two pitches like we did tonight, he has to throw
his fastball over."

Mariners manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Bryan Price are
keeping Pineiro in the rotation.

"He is too good to keep going like this," Melvin said.

"We've seen Joel when he's been dazzling," Price said. "He
can carry your rotation."

Lew Ford's RBI double off the left-field scoreboard put the
Twins ahead in the second, and Minnesota added four runs in the
fourth. Jones hit his fifth homer, Pineiro made a two-base throwing
error on Ford's dribbler, Luis Rivas hit an RBI double and Cristian Guzman had a sacrifice fly.

Game notes
Guzman attempted to score from third when Doug Mientkiewicz
hit a dribbler back to Pineiro in the first inning. The pitcher
threw to first baseman John Olerud, who threw home for a double
play. ... Twins CF Torii Hunter was out of the lineup, replaced by
Ford. Hunter came out of Tuesday night's game in the ninth when he
reinjured his right hamstring. He was on the disabled list April
7-24. "When I woke up this morning, it was OK," Hunter said.
"But we can't be too careful."