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Twins Do a Number on Tigers

September 22, 2003|From Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota's magic number is down to two, and the Twins have a chance to do something they've never done at the Metrodome -- clinch a spot in the playoffs.

The Detroit Tigers are coming dangerously close to a feat of their own.

Minnesota's Brad Radke won his sixth consecutive decision in a 6-4 victory Sunday, the Twins' ninth in a row that sent the Tigers to their American League record-tying 117th defeat.

Minnesota, the defending AL Central champion, leads the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals by 5 1/2 games.

The Tigers must win four of their last seven to avoid losing more games than anyone in 103 years.

Minnesota is off today. The White Sox play host to the New York Yankees and the Royals play at home against the Tigers. The Twins begin a two-game series with Cleveland on Tuesday.

Detroit (38-117), which dropped its ninth in a row, tied the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics (36-117) for the second-most losses in a season since 1900. The 1962 New York Mets (40-120) were the worst.

"I think we're all mentally tired a little bit, but we got seven games left and we need to keep battling and see if we can get some wins," said starter Nate Cornejo (6-17), who gave up a season-high 12 hits and six runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Radke (14-10) gave up six hits in seven innings, improving to 9-1 in the second half. Radke has faced 116 batters without giving up a walk -- a span of four starts.

Minnesota's top three starters -- Radke, Johan Santana and Kyle Lohse -- are 25-5 since the All-Star break. The Twins are 43-20 in the second half, the best in baseball.

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