Twins 7, Rockies 4

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Corey Koskie and rookie Justin Morneau put on quite a show for their favorite Canadian hitter—Larry Walker.

Coskie had four hits and Morneau added three more as the Minnesota Twins beat the Colorado Rockies 7-4 Wednesday night, ending a five-game home losing streak.

The Twins, who managed just three hits Tuesday in a 5-0 loss, built a 7-1 lead through six innings Wednesday and finished with 15 hits. Minnesota moved 4 1/2 games ahead of Kansas City in the AL Central.

Morneau went 3-for-4, batting cleanup for the second consecutive game since being recalled from Triple-A Rochester. Morneau got his first major league RBI with a first-inning single. He also drew an intentional walk and flied to Payton on the warning track in left field.

Koskie finished 4-for-4 with two doubles and two singles.

Morneau and Koskie grew up in Canada playing hockey and baseball, and both said they were excited playing against Walker, perhaps the best Canadian player ever.

“It probably fires Justin up more,” Koskie said. “He’s in the big leagues at age 22, and I was still trying to pursue my hockey dream at that age. But Larry’s the best Canadian hitter ever. What he’s done is incredible.”

Morneau said he met Walker for the first time before the game, and the Rockies outfielder wished him luck.

“When I saw who we were playing, I thought, ‘I get into the big leagues and meet Larry Walker at the same time’,” Morneau said.

Kyle Lohse (6-4), the Twins most dependable pitcher this year, gave up six hits and one run, including Jay Payton’s solo homer, striking out seven.

“They have a pretty aggressive team at the plate,” Lohse said. “So I had to make sure to get my first pitch over without grooving anything.” The Rockies hit three first-pitch homers Tuesday.

Lohse has given up more than two earned runs only three times in his 13 starts and pitched at least six innings 11 times. In his last 26 starts, dating back to last year, Lohse is 12-7 with a 2.79 ERA.

The Rockies scored three runs off the Twins bullpen in the seventh. Payton, Todd Helton and Walker each hit RBI singles. LaTroy Hawkins, the third Twins reliever in the seventh, struck out Greg Vaughn to end the inning.

Hawkins pitched the eighth, and Eddie Guardado pitched the ninth for his 18th save in 19 chances.

Aaron Cook (2-6) gave up 11 hits and six runs in his first career start against an AL opponent. He fell to 0-6 on the road.

“You have to have consistency at this level,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “His consistency has been his inconsistency.”

Cristian Guzman, Jacque Jones and Luis Rivas had two hits each for Minnesota.

Guzman hit a two-run single in the Twins three-run third inning. The Twins added two more in the fifth on Doug Mientkiewicz’s RBI single and a wild pitch by Rockies reliever Nelson Cruz. Koskie doubled in the final run in the sixth.

Lohse got into only one jam, in the sixth, when two-out singles by Preston Wilson and Walker, and a four-pitch walk to Vaughn loaded the bases. But Lohse struck out Jose Hernandez to end the inning.

Hernandez struck out three times for the second game in a row, increasinghis total to a major league-leading 89.


The crowd groaned when Morneau was intentionally walked in the third inning, loading the bases with no outs. But the strategy worked as the Twins only got one more run out of the opportunity. … Torii Hunter showed his Gold Glove defense in the second inning, making a leaping catch against the fence to take extra bases away from Vaughn. He nearly made another one in the seventh, but Juan Uribe’s deep fly bounced off his glove for a double. … The Rockies have hit 15 homers so far in June after hitting only 20 in all of May. …Koskie had his ninth career four-hit game.

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