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Minnesota continues recent mastery of Tigers

8/10/2003

DETROIT (AP) -- For a while Saturday, it looked like the
Minnesota Twins had finally lost their dominant grip on the Detroit
Tigers.

By the end of the night, though, order was restored.

Minnesota overcame an early 4-0 deficit, then got four runs in
the 10th inning for an 8-4 win, their 19th victory over the Tigers
in the last 20 meetings.

"The Tigers were playing hard and playing tough, but we felt we
could score some runs," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We
didn't get tight -- you could see it in the dugout. We had some ugly
things happen, but guys were still laughing."

Jacque Jones broke the 10th-inning tie with a two-run double and
Torii Hunter followed with a two-run homer.

"I'm just going out there and playing and trying to contribute
to the team," said Jones, who is limited to serving as the
designated hitter because of a sore groin. "We're trying to get
this thing turned around, so I'm going to do anything I can."

Hunter had four RBI, while Jones had three for the Twins.

"Those are the type of guys we need to get hot right now,"
Gardenhire said. "If they do, we can still do some good things."

Bobby Higginson hit his ninth homer and drove in three runs for
Detroit.

"I'm very disappointed -- this is not a good night for me,"
Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "We had a chance to win this
game, and we shot ourselves in the foot. In key situations down the
stretch, we just didn't do the job."

With the game tied at 4, Chris Mears retired the first batter in
the 10th, then walked Doug Mientkiewicz and Corey Koskie. Rookie
Shane Loux entered and Jones greeted him with a liner to the
right-center field scoreboard to drive in two runs. Hunter followed
with a long homer to left, his 21st, to give Minnesota an 8-4 lead.

Trammell also had veteran Steve Sparks ready to go, but chose
Loux instead.

"Shane's been pitching well, and I'm trying to give guys
opportunities to perform," he said. "I know he is normally a
middle guy, but we don't have that kind of structure in our
bullpen. He just didn't pitch well tonight."

Juan Rincon (3-4) picked up the win with two scoreless innings
of relief.

Mears (0-1), the sixth of eight Tigers pitchers, allowed two
runs and walked three in 1 1-3 innings for his first major league
loss.

Detroit starter Matt Roney allowed two runs on three hits in
five innings, while Minnesota's Brad Radke gave up four runs on
eight hits and a walk in 7 1-3 innings.

"I would have liked to stay in longer, but that's my
decision," said Roney, who had allowed 12 runs in four innings
over his previous two starts. "I thought I was a lot better
tonight than I've been the last two times -- I just went out there
and did what I do."

The Tigers went up 1-0 in the first on Higginson's RBI
groundout, then added three more runs in the third.

Brandon Inge led off with a single, took second on Ramon
Santiago's sacrifice bunt and scored on Alex Sanchez's single to
right. Warren Morris followed with a single, but Sanchez rounded
third too far and was thrown out. That cost Detroit a run as
Higginson followed with a two-run homer to right.

The Twins made it 4-2 in the fourth on RBI singles by Jones and
A.J. Pierzynski.

Minnesota tied it with two more runs in the sixth. Jamie Walker
replaced Roney to start the inning, and after retiring the leadoff
hitter, allowed a single to Koskie and a double to Jones. Hunter
then lined a two-run single into the right-field corner to tie it
4-4.

Detroit got a baserunner -- Sanchez -- to third in the eighth, but
LaTroy Hawkins retired pinch-hitter Craig Monroe to end the
inning.

Game notes
Detroit turned two double plays, giving the Tigers an
AL-leading 132 this season. ... Minnesota is 10-1 against Detroit
this year, but just 11-20 against the rest of the AL Central. ...
Pinch-runner Ben Petrick was retired in an unusual way in the
seventh. He broke for second on a full count to Carlos Pena, and
was thrown out even though the pitch was ball four. Because Petrick
overslid the base, he was ruled to have reached second on the walk,
then left the base, making him eligible to be tagged out. ...
Detroit fell to 1-9 in extra-inning games.