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Minnesota moves 1 1/2 games ahead in AL Central race

Twins steam clean White Sox

Posted: Wednesday, September 17, 2003

MINNEAPOLIS Brad Radke beat Esteban Loaiza for the second time in six days as the Minnesota Twins stretched their AL Central lead over the White Sox to 1 1/2 games with a 5-2 victory against Chicago on Tuesday night.

Radke (13-10) scattered eight singles over seven innings, allowing one run on Carl Everett's RBI single in the sixth. He won his fifth straight decision.

Loaiza (19-8) gave up four runs, four hits and five walks in 2 1-3 innings.

Detroit (38-112), which has dropped four straight, moved within five of the AL record for losses, set by the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics (36-117). The Tigers need five or more wins in their last 12 games to avoid the post-1900 major league mark, set by the 1962 Mets.

Alfonso Soriano hit his third homer in two nights and Hideki Matsui drove in three runs for the Yankees, who maintained their 5 1/2-game lead over second-place Boston in the AL East.

Mariano Rivera worked the ninth for his 38th save. New York went up 4-1 with a three-run sixth against Jason Johnson (10-8).

Martinez, in his sixth year with the Red Sox, struck out six and walked one in his second complete game this season.

With the score 1-all in the eighth, Nomar Garciaparra doubled off Travis Harper (4-8), David Ortiz hit an RBI single against Joe Kennedy and Bill Mueller added a sacrifice fly.

Hank Blalock had a three-run homer for Texas, which opened a 9-0 lead in the fourth. Seattle has lost three straight and is 6-8 in September.

Darrell May (9-7) struck out a season-high eight in 5 2-3 innings, allowing seven runs only one earned and seven hits.

Rookie Billy Traber (6-9) gave up six runs and seven hits in 1 2-3 innings, his shortest start this season.

Spiezio's 16th home run, on the first pitch he saw from Jim Mecir, ended Oakland's seven-game winning streak.

The A's, who scored twice in the eighth to take a two-run lead, maintained their 4 1/2-game lead in the AL West over Seattle.

Mecir (2-3) started the ninth in his first save situation of the season and gave up a one-out single to Garret Anderson. Mecir then walked Tim Salmon before Spiezio lined a fastball into the seats in right field.

Derrick Turnbow (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for his first major league victory.



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