Radke Goes The Distance In Defeat

The Twins continue to dig a deep hole as they try to catch up to the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central race. Friday, Brad Radke gave them a complete game performance, only for the offense to sputter for the second straight night. Bret Boone fell to 0-8 as a Twin, as Shannon Stewart provided the only spark offensively for Minnesota. The Twins send Johan Santana to the hill on Saturday, hoping to end this two-game slide to start the second half.

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Brad Radke fired a complete game, but was on the losing end in Friday's 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Shannon Stewart drove in both of Minnesota's runs, and Luis Rodriguez added two hits. Newly acquired Bret Boone is still looking for his first hit in a Twins uniform.

The Twins took the lead in the third inning when Shannon Stewart hit a sacrifice fly that scored Nick Punto. However, just like Thursday night, the Twins relinquished the lead in the following inning.

Darin Erstad doubled to start the fourth, but Radke got Vladimir Guerrerro to strike out, and then Steve Finley to pop out weakly to second for two outs. The Angels would get a run when Bengie Molina doubled home Erstad to make the score 1-1. Juan Rivera struck out to end the inning for Los Angeles.

The Angels would manufacture more runs in the sixth inning off Radke. Chone Figgins singled and then stole his 27th base of the season. He would come around to score on an Erstad single, and Erstad would score on a sac fly by Finley.

With the Angels up 3-1, the Twins tried to make it interesting in the bottom half of the sixth. After a Rodriguez single, Stewart doubled him home to make the score 3-2. Boone's groundout moved Stewart to third, and the Joe Mauer walked. Justin Morneau then grounded to first and Erstad threw home to get Stewart at the plate. With runners on second and third, Torii Hunter popped out to second to end the rally.

The bats would go quietly into the night after the sixth, with neither team crossing the plate again. When all was said and done, the two teams combined only had nine hits. It was a solid game by Radke none the less, who's record fell to 6-9.

With the loss, and the White Sox win, the Twins are now 11 games back of the Sox for first place in the AL Central. The loss dropped them to 48-40, and moved Baltimore into the lead for the Wild Card. The Twins will be looking to salvage game three of this four game set when they send All-Star Johan Santana to the hill on Saturday to face Bartolo Colon.

Boone was moved up in the order on Friday, shifting from third to second. Look for Michael Cuddyer to be activated on Sunday, as he finished his rehab assignment at Triple-A Rochester. Joe Mauer went 0-2 with two walks, ending his seven-game hitting streak.

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