Mientkiewicz, Koskie lift Twins over Red Sox

BOSTON (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins were glad they halted a
season-high losing streak, especially with a matchup against Pedro Martinez coming up.

Doug Mientkiewicz and Corey Koskie drove in two runs each as the
Twins ended their four-game skid, beating the Boston Red Sox 5-4
Friday night.

"We went out there to break the streak and we did it,'' center
fielder Torii Hunter said. "Pedro (Saturday). Tough day.''

Martinez is 6-0 with a 0.55 ERA in his last seven starts,
including a 23-inning scoreless streak.

"You're not going to have a lot of opportunities to score so
you have to take advantage of them,'' Mientkiewicz said.

Cristian Guzman went 3-for-4 and scored a run for the Twins, the
runaway leader in the AL Central.

Nomar Garciaparra went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and two RBI.
Boston has lost three of its first four games on a six-game

A losing streak and three bad games in Baltimore certainly
didn't bother Minnesota on Friday.

"We put those things behind us,'' Minnesota manager Ron
Gardenhire said. "We came in here and we knew it's a positive
atmosphere. Our young guys were excited. If you can't get up for a
ballgame here, you can't get up.''

With the score 4-all in the seventh, Luis Rivas singled leading
off against Frank Castillo (5-12), took second on Guzman's infield single and scored on Koskie's single.

Castillo, who has become the fans' scapegoat, was booed when he
entered the game and cheered when he was taken out.

"This is one of those years you try and put things behind you
and hope you get to pitch again,'' Castillo said.

Castillo gave up four hits, and recorded just four outs in
relief of starter Casey Fossum.

"I see him gradually coming out of it,'' Boston manager Grady
Little said. "The life in his arm is back. He is just not getting
the results right now.''

J.C. Romero (8-1) allowed one hit in 2 2/3 scoreless innings,
and Eddie Guardado got three outs for his 34th save in 38 chances.
After Cliff Floyd's one-out single, Guardado struck out Jason
Varitek and Shea Hillenbrand.

Twins starter Kyle Lohse gave up four runs and five hits in five
innings, while Fossum allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 2/3

Garciaparra homered in the first, his 20th of the season and
ninth in his last 19 games. Mientkiewicz's sacrifice fly tied it in
the second.

Rey Sanchez's RBI grounder put Boston ahead in the third, but
Mientkiewicz's run-scoring single made it 2-2 in the fourth.

Minnesota took a 4-2 lead in the fifth on Koskie's RBI single
and David Ortiz's run-scoring grounder, but Boston retied it in the
sixth when Garciaparra singled in a run off Lohse and Manny Ramirez
had an RBI single off LaTroy Hawkins.

"Casey?'' Hunter said when asked about Boston's starting
pitcher Friday. "Oh, that's his first name. I didn't know it.''

They know who they're facing Saturday.

Game notes
Mientkiewicz has 14 RBI in his last 18 games. ... Hunter's
double in the second inning was his seventh in the last 21 games.
... Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire and trainer Jim Kahmann
visited the mound in the fourth after Lohse fell off the mound
attempting to field a Ramirez grounder. ... Floyd has seven
extra-base hits, including five doubles, in eight games with the
Red Sox. ... Brian Daubach's triple was his second this season. ...
Lohse pitched less than six innings for the first time in his last
six starts. ... The Red Sox dropped to 11-18 in one-run games, and
2-5 in August.