Radke finally gets victory for Twins

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- If the Minnesota Twins are going to stay in the AL Central race, they'll need more starts like the one they got Wednesday night from Brad Radke.

Radke won for just the second time in 13 starts and Jacque Jones drove in three runs as the Twins beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-1 to stop a three-game losing streak.

Radke (7-9) took a four-hit shutout into the eighth and wound up allowing one run and six hits in 7 1-3 innings with five strikeouts and one walk. It was the fewest runs he allowed since opening day.

"I'm throwing quality strikes," Radke said. "It's not just throwing pitches over the plate. The key is keeping the ball down and having a good change-up."


It was Radke's third straight strong start in a season marked by inconsistency. Radke has anchored the Twins rotation since his 20-win season in 1997 but got off to a horrible start this year, ending April with a 7.48 ERA. He won four starts in a row between April 30 and May 16 but had won just once since, beating Oakland on July 19.

Minnesota (52-54) moved within 51⁄2; games of first-place Kansas City in the AL Central.

Radke departed after Luis Matos' RBI single broke up his shutout bid. Juan Rincon relieved and struck out Jeff Conine with two on. J.C. Romero then got Jay Gibbons on a grounder to first to end the inning. Eddie Guardado completed the six-hitter.

Jones gave Radke the offense he needed with a two-run single in the first inning and a sacrifice fly in the third. Luis Rivas had two hits and scored twice.

Jones gave the Twins a 2-0 lead before a batter was retired, hitting a bases-loaded single that scored Shannon Stewart and Rivas. The

Twins added two more runs in the seventh when Cristian Guzman hit an RBI triple and scored on Stewart's single. Rochester, Minn., native Michael Restovich, who had doubled scored on Guzman's triple.

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