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Chicago at Minnesota

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Chi. Cubs0000000011113
Minnesota «02300111x8100

Twins' Radke silences Cubs' bats despite Lee's return

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Brad Radke looked all but finished in May. His breaking ball wasn't breaking and his fastball was lifeless, rendering a normally outstanding changeup moot.

He's had a renaissance in June, and the Minnesota Twins are rolling right along with him.

Radke threw seven shutout innings to spoil Derrek Lee's return from two months on the disabled list, and the Twins capped a three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs with an 8-1 victory Sunday.

"I've just been making a little better quality pitches when I need to," said Radke, who scattered seven hits and struck out six. "Changing speeds on my fastball has been working for me."

In his first 10 starts, Radke was 4-6 with a 7.44 ERA and allowed 14 homers. He has gone 2-1 with a 2.39 ERA and given up just three long balls in his last six starts.

Torii Hunter and Luis Rodriguez homered for the streaking Twins, who have won four in a row and 14 of 16.

Radke (6-7) has been an integral part of turning around the Twins, who are a season-best four games over .500 (39-35) just more than two weeks after a fourth straight loss dropped them to 25-33 on June 7.

But the Tigers and White Sox have been just as good. The Twins trail first-place Detroit by 11 games in the AL Central.

"We've been putting some wins together," Radke said. "The only bad thing about it is the other two teams in front of us are winning, too. Hopefully we'll keep winning and they'll start losing some time here."

Sean Marshall (4-6) lasted just 4 2/3 innings for Chicago, but he didn't get much help from his offense or defense.

The Cubs committed three errors and misplayed two other balls in the field. After getting shut out Saturday, they didn't score until the ninth inning in this one and lost for the 10th time in 12 games.

"We have to right the ship somehow," ex-Twin Jacque Jones said. "It is getting old. It isn't one guy, it is everybody. We have to do something to get this thing together."

Lee, who hit .335 with 46 home runs and 107 RBI in 2005, missed 59 games after breaking his wrist on April 19. The Cubs went 9-5 with Lee in the lineup, but were just 19-40 without him.

The plan was for Lee to play two games at Triple-A Iowa before joining the club on Monday. But after Freddie Bynum and Tony Womack were injured Saturday night, Lee made the four-hour drive from Des Moines to Minneapolis after going 1-for-4 with an RBI single in his lone rehab appearance on Saturday night.

Lee got a raucous ovation from thousands of Cubs fans in attendance when he stepped to the plate in the first inning Sunday.

After Juan Pierre and Todd Walker opened the game with singles, it was exactly what manager Dusty Baker has been desperately waiting for -- an offensive opportunity with his star slugger at the plate.

But Lee struck out swinging and Phil Nevin bounced into a double play. Lee went 1-for-4 with a single and two strikeouts.

"Physically, I felt good," he said. "I didn't swing the bat well."

The Cubs had runners on first and second with one out in each of the first three innings, but couldn't score. After going 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position in Saturday night's 3-0 loss, they were 2-for-11 on Sunday.

"The first three innings we had him on the ropes," Baker said. "We had trouble getting those RBI. We got a lot of hits, we didn't get many runs."

While the Cubs failed time and again to capitalize on their opportunities, the Twins took advantage right from the get-go.

After Justin Morneau walked with one out in the second, Hunter hit a screamer to left field that one-hopped Matt Murton. He bobbled the ball, allowing Morneau to reach third and Hunter second.

Ruben Sierra followed with a broken-bat single to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.

The Twins had four straight singles in the third inning, and a throwing error by Jones in right field helped two runners move up a base. First baseman Nevin and second baseman Walker let Morneau's single squeak through the infield, scoring Mike Redmond.

Shortstop Neifi Perez then bobbled a groundball from Hunter to eliminate any chance of an inning-ending double play, and Michael Cuddyer scored on the fielder's choice to make it 5-0.

Marshall allowed five runs -- four earned -- and six hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

A throwing error by Perez in the sixth allowed Sierra to score and make it 6-0. Hunter's 11th homer of the season, off Bob Howry in the seventh, made it 7-0.

Rodriguez hit a solo shot in the eighth off Ryan Dempster, the second homer he has allowed all season.

Henry Blanco had an RBI single in the ninth for Chicago's only run.

Notes

  • Before the game, the Twins posthumously inducted 1965 AL MVP Zoilo Versalles into the team's Hall of Fame.
  • Womack left Saturday night's game with back spasms. Baker said he was feeling better on Sunday and is still day to day.
  • Twins SS Jason Bartlett went 0-for-4, ending his career-high 10-game hitting streak.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Derrek Lee strikes out twice and finishes 1-for-4 in his first game back since a wrist injury on April 19.  (AP)
Derrek Lee strikes out twice and finishes 1-for-4 in his first game back since a wrist injury on April 19. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

B. Radke
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 0
BB 1
K 6
Minnesota

T. Hunter
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Chicago Cubs
Juan Pierre, CF5030002 .248
Todd Walker, 2B3020100 .293
Derrek Lee, DH4010024 .313
Phil Nevin, 1B4000014 .233
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4000012 .249
Jacque Jones, RF4020000 .295
Matt Murton, LF4110021 .263
Neifi Perez, SS4010012 .226
Henry Blanco, C4011002 .235
Totals3611111717 
Batting
2B - Jacque Jones (13, Radke)
RBI - Henry Blanco (15)
2-OUT RBI - Henry Blanco (8)
CS - Juan Pierre (7, 2nd base by Radke/Redmond)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Jacque Jones (5, throwing error), Matt Murton (2, misplayed ball), Neifi Perez (5, throwing error)
Chicago Cubs
Sean Marshall (L,4-6) 4.2654330 5.13
Roberto Novoa 1.1210120 4.89
Bob Howry 1111011 3.09
Ryan Dempster 1111021 4.59
Pitches-Strikes - Sean Marshall 94-54, Roberto Novoa 25-14, Bob Howry 15-10, Ryan Dempster 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sean Marshall 5-6, Bob Howry 1-1, Ryan Dempster 1-0
Batters Faced - Sean Marshall 23, Roberto Novoa 7, Bob Howry 4, Ryan Dempster 4
Minnesota Twins
Luis Castillo, 2B4010000 .275
    Luis Rodriguez, 3B1111000 .228
Nick Punto, 3B-2B4110112 .268
Mike Redmond, C4110013 .370
Michael Cuddyer, RF3111110 .268
Justin Morneau, 1B3111122 .282
Torii Hunter, CF4222012 .264
Ruben Sierra, DH4122001 .217
Lew Ford, LF3000121 .218
Jason Bartlett, SS4000003 .368
Totals3481074814 
Batting
HR - Luis Rodriguez (2, Dempster), Torii Hunter (11, Howry)
RBI - Luis Rodriguez (4), Michael Cuddyer (41), Justin Morneau (62), Torii Hunter 2 (41), Ruben Sierra 2 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Luis Rodriguez (1), Torii Hunter (14)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Castillo-Bartlett-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
Brad Radke (W,6-7) 7700160 5.40
Dennys Reyes 1100010 1.42
Willie Eyre 1311000 5.74
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Radke 97-69, Dennys Reyes 18-12, Willie Eyre 20-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Radke 7-6, Dennys Reyes 2-0, Willie Eyre 2-1
Batters Faced - Brad Radke 27, Dennys Reyes 4, Willie Eyre 6
Game Information
Attendance - 35128
Game Time - 2:40
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Adam Dowdy, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Brian Gorman