Series: Game 2 of 4

Series tied 1-1 (as of 9/13)

Game 1: Friday, September 12
Game 2: Saturday, September 13
Game 3: Sunday, September 14
Game 4: Monday, September 15

Twins 2

(79-69, 39-36 away)

Indians 0

(65-84, 36-37 home)

    7:05 PM ET, September 13, 2003

    Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    MIN 000001100 2 6 1
    CLE 000000000 0 7 1

    W: K. Lohse (13-11)

    L: J. Stanford (0-2)

    S: E. Guardado (35)

    Lohse allows six hits in shutting down Cleveland

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- Kyle Lohse wanted a shutout so badly that he was willing to buy one.

    Lohse blanked Cleveland for 7 1-3 innings and Cristian Guzman homered for the first time in more than a year Saturday night as the Minnesota Twins stayed in step atop the AL Central with a 2-0 win over the Indians.

    Lohse (13-11) allowed six hits and matched a career high with nine strikeouts before being lifted in the eighth. But he didn't leave without a fight.

    When manager Ron Gardenhire came to the mound, Lohse begged for more time.

    "He said, 'How much will it take to stay in?" Gardenhire said. "I said, 'You don't have enough, but keep pitching like that and you will.' We all want shutouts, but this is the time of year when we all want wins."

    Lohse's commanding performance allowed the Twins to remain tied for first in the division with the Chicago White Sox, who beat Boston 3-1 Saturday night.

    Still, Lohse wanted a chance to finish what he started.

    "I tried anything I could," he said of his offer to Gardenhire.

    So how much was he willing to spend?

    "I didn't get that far," he said. "He (Gardenhire) was already laughing. He wasn't taking any of it."

    LaTroy Hawkins got two outs in the eighth and Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect ninth for his 35th save.

    Guzman hit his first homer since Sept. 11 last season -- 600 plate appearances -- off rookie Jason Stanford (0-2) in the sixth and Torii Hunter homered in the seventh as Minnesota improved to 6-9 vs. Cleveland in 2003.

    Guzman ended his long-ball drought by connecting on Stanford's first pitch in the sixth. The drive to straightaway center barely cleared the wall and outfielder Coco Crisp's glove.

    Crisp raced back and made a leaping attempt at the wall but came up empty. After falling to the warning track, Crisp pounded his glove on the ground in frustration.

    Guzman got a warm welcome when he got back to the dugout. There were some jokes, too. Corey Koskie wanted the umpires to get the ball back.

    "Everybody was happy," Guzman said. "They were more excited than me."

    Hunter made it 2-0 an inning later with his 25th homer, a line shot to the bleachers in right. Hunter is batting just .179 vs. the Indians this season, but he has homered twice against them so far in this series.

    Lohse ended the fourth by taking Travis Hafner's hard shot up the middle off his left knee. The ball ricocheted to first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, who stepped on first for the out.

    Lohse dropped to his knees on the mound and stayed motionless for a moment before walking gingerly to the dugout.

    "I was glad to see it rolled over to first, because I wasn't going to get up too quickly," he said.

    Lohse looked fine over the next three innings, however, allowing just two hits and striking out four.

    "We weren't able to do anything against him," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "In terms of well-pitched games against us this year, that was near the top of the list."

    Stanford, making just his sixth major league start, had the Twins swinging through, over and under his off-speed pitches for the first five innings.

    In the second, he struck out Jones on a pitch that registered only 76 mph, then fanned Corey Koskie for the final out in the fourth on a 73 mph changeup.

    After getting Hunter to wave at a 77 mph pitch for the first out in the fifth, Stanford gave up a single to Jones but got out of the inning by getting A.J. Pierzynski to ground into a double play.

    Jones injured his groin while running to second on the play. He went to the outfield for the bottom of the inning, but left and was replaced by Jon Ford.

    Jones was on the disabled list in July with a groin injury, but Gardenhire said this was in a different spot.

    "At best, we're day to day," Gardenhire said.

    Stanford allowed two runs -- both solo homers -- and four hits in seven innings.

    Game notes

    Guzman's 543 plate appearances without a homer this season was the third highest total in club history, bettered only by Kirby Puckett (583 in 1984) and Rod Carew (591 in 1972). ... Twins LHP Eric Milton will make his first start this season on Sunday. Milton has been sidelined since undergoing surgery on his left knee during spring training. ... Stanford has made it through the latest cuts to make the U.S. Olympic team for 2004 in Athens.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press