M's Martinez cracks 300th HR

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Brad Radke gave the Minnesota Twins just what
they needed.

Radke took a shutout into the ninth inning, and the Twins held
on after Edgar Martinez's 300th home run to beat the Seattle
Mariners 4-3 Wednesday night.

Doug Mientkiewicz hit a two-run homer in the third to back Radke
(3-2), who allowed consecutive singles starting the ninth before
Martinez's three-run shot that barely cleared the big wall in

"A lot of times a home run is actually a rally killer in that
situation," Mariners manager Bob Melvin said. "But we'll take
runs any way we can get them."

Melvin's fear turned out to be true: Joe Nathan got three quick
outs for his ninth save in 10 tries.

"I was ready for it ... but it's definitely a game I didn't
want in," Nathan said. "I'd rather see Brad finish it."

Radke gave up 10 hits, struck out four and walked one. Though he
has given up four runs in his last 22 innings, Twins manager Ron
Gardenhire was sorry he didn't get Nathan in there sooner.

"That was my fault," Gardenhire said. "I feel terrible about
that, because he didn't deserve to give up any runs tonight, I
didn't think."

Radke gave the bullpen a nice rest. The Twins went to extra
innings in four of their previous seven.

Freddy Garcia (1-2), one of few Mariners who are off to a strong
start, gave up four runs, three earned, and seven hits in 7 1-3
innings. After walking two and striking out four, Garcia's ERA is

"Freddy pitched great again," Melvin said. "The changeup to
Mientkiewicz was really the only bad pitch he made."

Seattle (12-21), which has won at least 91 games in each of its
last four seasons, lost its fourth in a row and dropped 10{ games
behind AL West-leading Anaheim.

"We have to find a way to push across some runs," Melvin said.

Martinez's home run was the lone bright spot.

"It's more enjoyable when you get a win," the 41-year-old
designated hitter said. "It's something I'll look at later, and
I'm sure I'm going to enjoy it more. Right now, having a slow start
and not winning kind of upsets the whole deal."

Said Radke: "He could be in his wheelchair and still be a great
hitter. He had a good approach to that at-bat and you've got to tip
your hat to him."

Garcia hit Torii Hunter leading off the second, and Jacque Jones
reached when substitute second baseman Jolbert Cabrera fumbled his
grounder. Run-scoring singles by Michael Cuddyer and Matthew LeCroy
-- Minnesota's first two picks in the 1997 draft -- put the Twins up

Cristian Guzman, batting .390 with seven runs in nine games as
the No. 2 hitter, singled to begin the third. Mientkiewicz's homer,
caught by a fan in the first row of the upper deck, stretched the
lead to 4-0.

After Ichiro Suzuki and Cabrera began the game with singles,
Radke picked Cabrera off first base -- by faking a throw to third
with that move rarely seems to work for anyone.

"First time," Radke said.

Radke retired 13 out of 14 at one point, with Dan Wilson's
one-out single in the seventh the only blemish. Rich Aurilia
grounded into the second of Seattle's two double plays immediately
after that.

"Would've been nice if he would've finished the thing,"
Mientkiewicz said. "That's still a good hitting team. Holding them
down as long as he did was impressive, because they can do some
damage in a hurry."

Seattle's offense is sputtering, despite a season-high 18 hits
in Tuesday's 7-6, 11-inning loss. The Mariners have the third-worst
batting average in the AL, and they left five runners on in the
first four innings against Radke.

"His location was great," said Martinez, a career .400 hitter
against the right-hander. "He pitched very smart."

Game notes
This was Garcia's first loss to Minnesota in eight career
starts. ... Cabrera filled in for Bret Boone, who is day to day
with a strained left hip flexor. ... Twins 3B Corey Koskie was put
on the 15-day disabled list with a strained sternum. RHP Grant
Balfour was activated from the DL to take his place. ... LeCroy,
out with a pulled muscle in his rib cage, was in the starting
lineup for the first time since April 7. ... Hunter, bothered by a
strained hamstring, started in CF for the first time in eight days.
He has been DHing.