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Radke, Twins end Red Sox's win streak at 8 games

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins were longing for a win
like this, just as the Boston Red Sox were probably due for a
letdown.

Brad Radke's seven strong innings and a number of bad throws by
Boston helped Minnesota to a 12-0 victory Friday night over the Red
Sox, who had their eight-game winning streak snapped.

"I don't have to go home and stick my head through a wall,"
said Radke, who has been stung by a lack of run support all season.
"Now I can just go home and patch those holes up."

Radke (7-10), who nearly signed with Boston last winter before
deciding to take an $18 million, two-year contract and return for
his 11th season in Minnesota, wished his struggling teammates
could've saved some of these runs for next time. He didn't need
much, picking up his first victory since the All-Star break and
matching a season best with eight strikeouts.

"Spotting and painting," said Kevin Millar, who went 0-for-4
for the Red Sox. "Radke was Radke. Period. He's got great arm
action on his changeup. He's a great pitcher ... seemed like he
could do whatever he wanted with the baseball."

Joe Mauer had three hits and three RBI and Lew Ford had three
hits and three runs for the Twins, who won for only the fourth time
in their last 15 games and sent Boston starter Bronson Arroyo (9-7)
to an early exit.

Manny Ramirez, who collided with shortstop Edgar Renteria while
making a catch on Wednesday against Kansas City, returned from a
one-game absence and went 1-for-3 for the Red Sox.

Terry Tiffee's two-run double and Jacque Jones' two-run homer
highlighted a five-run eighth against Jeremi Gonzalez. The 12 runs
for Minnesota were a season high.

"Hopefully this will kind of get us going a little bit," said
Radke, who retired 15 straight batters at one point. He gave up
four hits and one walk.

Ford, a former Red Sox farmhand who was traded to the Twins in
2000 for reliever Hector Carrasco, has followed a breakout 2004
season with an unproductive year as the regular designated hitter.
But Ford, filling in for injured Gold Glove center fielder Torii
Hunter, gave the Twins a big lift with his glove and at the plate.

He led off the first with a triple and quickly scored on a
groundout. In the fourth, with the infield in, Ford hit a chopper
that Renteria couldn't handle, reaching on a single and later
scoring.

He took an extra-base hit from Millar by running down a fly ball
and smashing into the wall as he caught it to start the second
inning. In the sixth, Ford made a sliding catch in shallow center
of Johnny Damon's sinking line drive just before it hit the turf.

Then, with Ramirez on first, Ford raced back and jumped over the
wall to steal a sure home run from Millar in the seventh.

"I don't think Torii Hunter would have had that ball," Millar
said.

The Red Sox, who rallied from a 5-0 deficit to beat the Royals
11-9 on Thursday, lead the rival Yankees by 3½ games in the AL
East. But they showed no such spunk in this one.

"I'd rather lose this way than a 1-0 game," Millar said.
"We'll shower and come back tomorrow."

Arroyo was only charged with two earned runs, but most of the
seven runs he allowed were his fault. He walked one and gave up
eight hits in 3 2/3 innings while striking out three.

Already trailing 1-0 with runners at the corners in the first,
Arroyo loaded the bases on a single by Jones that Millar charged
and fielded -- but had no play when nobody was covering first base
behind him.

Justin Morneau then hit a soft grounder back to the mound, but
Arroyo's throw sailed wildly past second and into center. Damon
picked it up and threw weakly back toward the infield -- while all
three runners scored to make it 4-0.

"It especially can't happen with the bases loaded," Arroyo
said. "I just hesitated and threw it away."

In the fourth, Michael Ryan reached second when Bill Mueller
fielded his grounder at third base and threw errantly past Millar
at first. Mauer drove in two runs with a double four batters later,
and Matthew LeCroy -- who had three hits -- finished off Arroyo with
an RBI double of his own that made it 7-0.

"Some nights," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said, "it gets
away."

Game notes
Jones ended Minnesota's 0-for-25 streak with runners in
scoring position with his infield single in the first. ... Boston
is 33-18 at home and just 29-28 on the road. The last six wins
during its streak were at Fenway Park.