Radke allows just three hits

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Beanballs, stare downs, ejections.

If Thursday's contentious matchup between the Minnesota Twins
and Cleveland Indians is any indication, it's going to be one hot
summer in the AL Central.

Brad Radke pitched a sparkling three-hitter and Jason Bartlett's
homer sparked a five-run fifth inning in the Twins' testy 9-0

Both benches emptied when Shannon Stewart and Cleveland reliever
Jason Davis got into a confrontation near the plate after Stewart
scored in the seventh. Davis had hit Stewart with a pitch, but no
punches were thrown and there was no further trouble.

Davis said Stewart bumped into him after scoring the run.

"Getting hit is part of the game," Davis said. "But those
little cheap elbows isn't. That surprised me. A guy like him ...
doing something childish like that."

Stewart said it was incidental contact and he took exception
after Davis jawed in his direction.

"I guess I bumped into him," Stewart said. "I was already
upset about getting hit and now he's talking to me? ... If I wanted
to hit him, I could've hit him. We were real close to each other."

The Twins have had trouble with Davis and the Indians before.
Davis was ejected in 2003 along with Twins center fielder Torii
Hunter after Hunter took exception to an inside pitch from Davis.

"I don't know what's going on with that guy," Hunter said.
"He has no class whatsoever. With the history we have with that
guy, it's sick."

After Davis plunked Stewart, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire came
onto the field to check on him. Plate umpire Ted Barrett then
issued a warning to both benches. That got Gardenhire upset, and
Barrett ejected the manager, which whipped Gardenhire into a
hat-tossing, dirt-kicking frenzy.

"Teddy Barrett did his job," Gardenhire said. "I know what
they're trying to do, but I think you should think about the
history of what he has done to us before. He throws at everybody.
He threw at our guy and he doesn't give a flying flip. That's
what's sad about the game -- nothing's going to happen to him and I
might get fined."

Even the dustup couldn't overshadow a brilliant performance by
Radke (3-3), who struck out eight in his 10th career shutout and
36th complete game. He carried a no-hitter into the fourth before
Hunter misjudged a line drive by Victor Martinez that fell for a

That was just about the only hiccup for Radke, who gave up just
two more hits the rest of the way -- Ben Broussard's eighth-inning
double and Coco Crisp's ninth-inning single. Radke walked none and
matched a career low for hits allowed.

"He was lights out," said catcher Mike Redmond, who spent his
previous six seasons with the pitching-rich Florida Marlins. "The
best I've ever caught in my career."

Cleveland manager Eric Wedge agreed.

"Probably the best I've ever seen him," Wedge said. "He threw
his pitches wherever he wanted to."

Sabathia, who rankled Minnesota players and Gardenhire earlier
this season when he said he "hated" the Twins, was nowhere near
as effective.

The big lefty later backed off those comments, saying he was
jealous of Cleveland's division rivals who have won three straight
AL Central titles. And he gave the Twins a little charity in the
fifth after Bartlett led off the inning with his second homer of
the season.

Sabathia came unglued, giving up three straight singles to
Matthew LeCroy, Hunter and Terry Tiffee to load the bases. He then
walked Michael Cuddyer to score LeCroy, gave up an RBI single to
Redmond and walked Luis Rivas to score Hunter for a 4-0 Twins lead.

"No excuses for the way I pitched. I was all over the place,"
Sabathia said.

He was relieved by Rafael Betancourt, who gave up a run-scoring
fielder's choice to Stewart and got Bartlett to fly out to end the
five-run inning.

That was more than enough for Radke, who plowed through the
Cleveland lineup to ensure that the Indians would not complete
their first sweep at the Metrodome since April 1999.

Sabathia (2-1) gave up five runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.
As he strode off the mound, he turned and stared into the Twins'

"Not very classy," said Gardenhire, who refused to say
Sabathia's name. "I don't like to say his name because he hates

LeCroy hit a solo homer in the sixth, and the Twins added three
more in a wild seventh that included Gardenhire's ejection and the
scrum behind home plate.

It was the second ejection of the season for Gardenhire, and the
17th of his career. He was also tossed against the Angels for
arguing about a warning.

"I will protect my players and our pitchers will protect our
players," Gardenhire said. "We're not saying we're going to go
out and whack their guys, but we will brush them back like the rest
of them. There's a difference between brushing people back and
whacking guys. We've been whacked a few times. ... It gets old."

Game notes
The Twins are headed on the road for a six-game swing
against Tampa Bay and Baltimore. ... The Indians are in the middle
of a nine-game road trip, with a three-game series at Texas
beginning Friday.