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Twins Win Third Consecutive Title

September 21, 2004|From Associated Press

As Torii Hunter stood in the middle of the Minnesota Twins' raucous clubhouse at Chicago, two teammates sneaked up from behind and threw a cooler full of water on him.

Hunter didn't even flinch. If anything, the grin on his face got a little brighter. After everything the Twins have endured the last two seasons, it's going to take a lot more than cold water to spoil their party.

"Every year we've got to go out there and prove to somebody. But you know what? I like it," Hunter said after the Twins clinched their third consecutive American League Central title with an 8-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.

The game was all but over after the first inning, when Hunter and Corey Koskie each hit a two-run homer against Mark Buehrle.

Though they were forced to play host to someone else's party, the White Sox never put up much of a fight.

The Twins hung over the railing in front of their dugout for the final inning, and Manager Ron Gardenhire inserted Jacque Jones, one of the few players left over from the team that was threatened with contraction, as a defensive replacement so the veteran could be on the field.

When Timo Perez popped out to shortstop Cristian Guzman for the final out, the Twins rushed onto the field, turning second base into an impromptu mosh pit.

It's the first time in their 44-year history that the Twins have reached the playoffs three seasons in a row.

"They're all great," Gardenhire said, referring to Minnesota's three straight division titles. "It means everything in the world."


Baltimore 9, Boston 6 -- B.J. Surhoff hit a grand slam at Boston and the Orioles capitalized on the third consecutive poor start by a Red Sox pitcher.

Tim Wakefield (11-10) lost his control after three strong innings and fell to 0-3 in his last four starts.

The Red Sox lost their third in a row, their first such streak since dropping four in a row from June 29 to July 2.

Jason Grimsley (5-6) got the victory after starter Matt Riley was replaced with two out in the fifth and runners at second and third. Todd Williams replaced Riley, but pitched poorly and Grimsley was given the win by the official scorer.


Toronto 6, New York 3 -- Left-hander Gustavo Chacin (1-0) held the AL East leaders to four hits before leaving in the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium.

Only 10,732 watched the game, rescheduled less than two weeks ago. The three-game series was supposed to start tonight, but was pushed up so the Yankees could make up a game Thursday against Tampa Bay.


Kansas City 6, Tampa Bay 3 -- Calvin Pickering hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning at St. Petersburg, Fla.

Brian Anderson (5-11) gave up three runs in 7 2/3 innings.


Detroit 3, Cleveland 1 -- Mike Maroth (11-11) pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings and Dmitri Young and Brandon Inge homered for the host Tigers.

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