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Twins Hit Back At Tribe

Doug Mientkiewicz was happy to get a second chance to face Steve Reed, and he made the most of it.

Mientkiewicz led off the ninth inning with a pinch-hit double and scored on Denny Hocking's single to lift the Twins over the Indians 4-3 Thursday night.

Reed (3-1) struck out Mientkiewicz the last time they met, in the ninth inning of a 5-4 Indians victory on June 30.

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Game Summary

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  • "Last time he froze me on an inside fastball, and I wasn't going to let him beat me inside," Mientkiewicz said. "He throws hard for a side-armer. He throws hard for anybody."

    The Twins had blown a 3-0 lead in a game that saw both benches empty twice in the sixth inning.

    Mientkiewicz's double was the Twins first hit since the third inning. He moved to third when Cristian Guzman bunted and Enrique Wilson threw late to third. Paul Assenmacher intentionally walked pinch-hitter Chad Allen, and Hocking singled through a drawn-in infield.

    "This was a big win for us, considering all the events that happened," said Twins reliever Mike Trombley (2-5), who pitched a perfect ninth for the win.

    The Twins survived a wild sixth inning, in which they let the Indians back in the game with four errors leading to two unearned runs. Twins starter Joe Mays threw over Manny Ramirez's head for the second time in the game, and Ramirez started toward the mound but was restrained by Twins catcher Javier Valentin.

    Cleveland starter Bartolo Colon hit Corey Koskie with the first pitch in the bottom of the sixth. Home plate umpire Larry Barnett immediately ejected Colon, who had hit Torii Hunter in the fourth inning.

    Both benches and bullpens emptied after the second pitch to Ramirez, and again after Koskie was hit, but no punches were thrown.

    "The ball got away from him," Indians manager Mike Hargrove said of the pitch that led to Colon's ejection. "I can't fault Larry Barnett for assuming that would happen. I was not surprised when Larry did what he did."

    Mays, making his fourth start of the year, gave up five hits and didn't walk a battr. In four starts, Mays has allowed two earned runs in 22 innings.

    "The last time I faced them I walked the house," said Mays, who threw 116 pitches and walked five in five innings against the Indians on July 1. "I was more aggressive with my pitches tonight. My goal tonight was to get through five innings without throwing so many pitches."

    Twins shortstop Guzman bobbled Kenny Lofton's leadoff grounder in the sixth, then made an ill-advised throw to first that sailed over Ron Coomer's head, allowing Lofton to reach second.

    Guzman was charged with two errors on the play. Lofton scored on Roberto Alomar's one-out single. Alomar advanced on a groundout and scored on Jim Thome's RBI single.

    Kenny Lofton's RBI double scored Wilson in the seventh to tie the score 3-3.

    The Twins built a 3-0 lead in the first two innings. Marty Cordova and Koskie had two-out RBI hits in the first inning, and Jacque Jones' singled with two outs in the second.


  • X-rays on Twins pitcher Eric Milton's left elbow showed no structural damage, but Milton will undergo an MRI as a precautionary measure Thursday. Milton will likely miss his scheduled start on Sunday, but the Twins expect him to be ready after the All-Star break.
  • Twins INF Ron Coomer was selected to his first All-Star Game as the Twins sole representative. Indians SS Omar Vizquel and RHP Charles Nagy were selected as reserves, joining four teammates who made the starting lineup.
  • The Twins are 18-10 when scoring first but 14-40 when the opposition scores first.
  • Dwight Gooden made his first relief appearance since Sept. 28, 1997 with the Yankees.

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

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