Giants 8, Twins 4

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—After 15 losses in 17 games, San Francisco manager Felipe Alou was downright depressed before Wednesday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins.

“The wine is not tasting the same these days,” Alou said, shaking his head. “Wine after a loss is different. It’s tasteless.”

It undoubtedly tasted much sweeter on Wednesday night.

Michael Tucker drove in three runs and Moises Alou went 4-for-4 to lead the Giants to an 8-4 victory over the Twins.

Noah Lowry (3-6) tied a season high with seven strikeouts and pitched with confidence after being staked to a 4-0 lead after the first inning, helping the Giants snap a four-game losing streak and win for just the third time in the last 18 games.

The Giants jumped on Twins starter Kyle Lohse (5-5) early and put the game out of reach in the ninth against J.C. Romero on Mike Matheny’s RBI double and a two-run homer by Omar Vizquel—his first right-handed homer in 711 at-bats.

“We’ll take them any way we can get them,” Matheny said in the jubilant clubhouse. “Getting a win any way we can right now is a beautiful thing.”

Lowry gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings and was relieved by Scott Munter in the sixth. Munter, Scott Eyre and Tyler Walker combined for 3 1-3 innings of scoreless relief for the Giants.

Joe Mauer hit two doubles for the Twins, who couldn’t quite erase a deficit to win as they had the night before. The Giants led 3-1 on Tuesday night but wound up losing 4-3 in 11 innings.

“Not a very good game for us,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “You get behind in the first like that, it’s a constant battle.”

Vizquel led off the game with a single and advanced to second on a balk by Lohse.

After getting rookie Todd Linden to fly out to left, Lohse hit J.T. Snow on the knee, then gave up an RBI single to Alou. Two batters later, Tucker hit a two-run double past a diving Jacque Jones in right for a 3-0 lead.

Pedro Feliz capped the inning with a single past third baseman Glenn Williams that scored Tucker and drew boos from the home crowd.

“We came out scoring early against a guy who, after the first inning, was really, really tough,” Felipe Alou said. “Four runs was big because we haven’t been giving our pitchers that kind of support.”

Lohse settled down after the first, striking out the side in the second inning and allowing just one more unearned run the rest of the way. Lohse gave up five runs—four earned—and 10 hits. He struck out six in seven innings.

Moises Alou and Ray Durham hit back-to-back singles in the third, and Alou advanced to third on a passed ball by Mauer. Alou then scored on a sacrifice fly by Tucker for a 5-0 lead.

Lowry, meanwhile, cruised through the first three innings, allowing just two singles before the Twins got to him in the fourth.

Mauer led off the inning with a double and Torii Hunter followed with a homer to left to make it 5-2.

Minnesota hit three doubles in the fifth, including RBIs by Mauer and Lew Ford, to pull within 5-4, but couldn’t get any closer.

Gardenhire said the Twins weren’t patient enough against Lowry’s baffling changeup, but Hunter disagreed.

“It’s easy to say that when you’re sitting,” Hunter said. “Why not tip your hat to the young guy? If we knew more about him, we would have been patient.”


Snow crumpled to the turf and writhed in pain after being hit in his right kneecap. He was able to walk to first and scored on Tucker’s double, but he did not come out to play defense in the bottom of the second inning. Feliz moved from third base to first and Deivi Cruz was inserted at third base. Snow is listed as day-to-day. … Linden got his first hit of 2005 with a single in the seventh, snapping an 0-for-8 start that included five strikeouts. … Mauer’s RBI double in the fifth easily could have been a triple after the ball got past diving CF Jason Ellison. But Mauer slipped on first base and wound up with a double, and a sheepish grin. … Jones went 0-for-3 with a walk, ending his career-high 13-game hitting streak.

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