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Failure to execute does Sox inagain
At least Ozzie Guillen tried to do something different Thursday night. He tried to attack the streaking Minnesota Twins with a running game.
It didn't work.
The Sox failed to execute a hit-and-run play, and the Twins threw out Willie Harris trying to steal in the first inning.
Shortly thereafter, the Twins' bats went to work, and the sweep was on. Led by Michael Cuddyer, the Twins swept the series with a 10-1 victory Thursday night, their ninth win in a row.
"I tried a change," Guillen said after the loss. "I didn't want to wait and see. I wanted to make some things happen. But we didn't execute. And they did."
The rout earned the Twins a 26-4 aggregate score in the three games. Thursday's loss was the fifth in six games for the Sox. It dropped them below .500 to 72-73, 13½ games behind the Twins, who have beaten the Sox five straight times.
"Jon Garland pitched good," Guillen said. "He just had that one bad inning again."
The Sox manager referred to the third inning when Cuddyer's two-run homer sparked a four-run outburst that put the game away. Garland (10-11) allowed five runs in his seven innings of work.
Winner Kyle Lohse (8-11) toyed with the Sox, limiting them to one run on four hits in seven innings.
Cuddyer led the Twins at bat and in the field. He had two singles in addition to his homer and started two double plays, one with a diving stab of Carlos Lee's sixth-inning smash.
The Twins wasted no time negating the Sox running game with smart, sure defense.
Harris singled to open the game, but he was out stealing when veteran catcher Pat Borders anticipated the attempt and called for a pitchout. Aaron Rowand then beat out an infield hit, but Cuddyer erased him by starting a slick double play.
"Our team didn't quit," Guillen insisted. "We just caught the Twins at the wrong time. They're playing great baseball."
The Sox made a good fielding play of their own in the second. Right fielder Timo Perez threw out Jose Offerman at the plate trying to score on Cuddyer's single. However, Borders' two-out single scored Cuddyer to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.
The usual Sox tormentors drilled Garland for five hits and four runs to up the lead to 5-0 in the third. Doubles by Justin Morneau and Cristian Guzman and Cuddyer's two-run homer were the big blows. Three of the runs scored after two outs.
The Sox got back one run in the fourth. Lee singled, took third on Paul Konerko's double and scored on Ross Gload's sacrifice fly.
The Twins scored five more runs in the eighth off relievers Jon Adkins and Neal Cotts.
The Sox did not hit a home run in the series. They have a 2-13 record in the last 15 games they have played without hitting a homer.