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Sox Win - Tied For Wild Card


Pat Rapp couldn't locate his curveball Monday night and neither could the Minnesota Twins.

Rapp stranded 11 runners including eight in scoring position to leading Boston to a 4-1 victory over Minnesota on Monday night that pulled the Red Sox into a tie for the AL wild-card lead with Oakland.

"I couldn't find my curveball early in the game, but they didn't hit me hard. I think they got four or five infield hits," Rapp said. "Once the guys got on, I pretty much tried to make the right pitches."

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  • "I got my curveball back late in the game and I started using it. I knew they had a lot of young players and they might have trouble hitting the curveball."

    Minnesota manager Tom Kelly chewed out his hitters for their inability to hit anything and their poor pitch selection.

    Rapp (5-5) gave up one run, eight hits and three walks in six innings. He worked his way out of bases-loaded jams in the first and third. Overall, the Twins stranded 12, nine in scoring position.

    Trot Nixon and Troy O'Leary hit two-run homers as the Red Sox halted their four-game losing streak.

    Kelly was so upset with his team's 11 strikeouts and 2-for-12 performance with runners in scoring position that he said the fans should get a refund.

    "We played terrible, swung terrible, swung at so many bad pitches," Kelly said. "Just a bad day. All I can do as the manager is apologize for not having the players ready to play. It hurts when I have to say that ..."

    "We just didn't do anything. We were bad. Bad game. I hope the fans don't take it too personal, but it was awful, just awful. They ought to get their money back."

    Right-hander Derek Loe pitched the three innings for his seventh save. He struck out the side in the eighth, the first 1-2-3 inning of the game.

    "The other manager doesn't even warm up anybody in the ninth inning," Kelly fumed. "That's how afraid he was of our people coming up there to hit. The second time around for the guy. The guy's a good pitcher, don't get me wrong. He's doing a good job. But (Boston manager Jimy Williams) has no fear. We have these lefties coming up, he's not even worried about it. He's got two lefties in the bullpen ... That's how bad we were."

    Lowe threw 50 pitches and acknowledged that the Twins helped him out by swinging at pitches off the plate.

    "I'm not used to throwing that many pitches," he said. "I'm a groundball pitcher and I don't try to strike guys out. Those were all luck. They were balls going out of the strike zone and they swung at them."

    Kelly could be heard hollering at his team in the locker room immediately after the game. Then, third base coach Ron Gardenhire came out of the shower and saw Jacque Jones laughing with Matt Lawton and yelled at them, "What's so funny?" before going into a vulgarity-laced rage that quieted the clubhouse for the night.

    Nixon's homer put Boston ahead 2-0 in the second and O'Leary's 25th made it 4-1 in the fifth. Both shots came off LaTroy Hawkins (8-11), who allowed 10 hits in 6 1-3 innings.

    "It's crunch time from now through September," Nixon said. "I feel like I need to hit the ball so there are no weak links in the lineup."

    The Twins, who managed just an RBI single from Corey Koskie in the third, fell to a season-worst 21 games under .500 at 51-72.

    Notes

  • The game was designated "Brianna Scurry Night," honoring the Minnesota native and star goalkeeper for the U.S. Women's World Cup soccer team.
  • The first inning lasted 26 minutes and produced no runs.
  • Boston RHP Bret Saberhagen was placed on the 15-day DL because of a weak throwing shoulder, retroactive to Aug. 18. OF Damon Buford, who had been sidelined with a rib cage injury, was activated from the DL. The Red Sox optioned RHP Brian Rose to Triple-A Pawtucket and recalled RHP Tomokazu Ohka from the Paw Sox.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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