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Archive for Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Redman cuts down Twins

Lefty rides new pitch to sterling five-hit shutout

August 30, 2006

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— Mark Redman used a new pitch to beat his old team.

The Kansas City left-hander tossed his first shutout of the year - and second complete game - to lead the last-place Royals past the Minnesota Twins 2-0 Tuesday night.

Redman (8-8), drafted 13th overall by the Twins in 1995, went 15-13 with Minnesota from 1999-2001. Since being traded by the Twins to Detroit five years ago, Redman was 0-3 with a 6.00 earned-run average in eight starts against Minnesota.

The difference this time was a cutter he has been working on for about four weeks with pitching coach Bob McClure. Redman said 60 percent of his pitches were cutters.

"The last start I threw it one time and the start before that I probably threw it about 20 times," he said. "When I'm pitching fastball-changeup they're beating me. My objective today was to use the cutter and not walk anyone."

Entering the game he was 0-2 with a 7.77 ERA in five August starts.

"I want to turn the page," he said.

Minnesota, which lost its second in a row and third in eight games, is now a half-game behind Chicago in the wild-card race. With the loss, the Twins are now 51â2 games behind Detroit in the AL Central. The White Sox beat Tampa Bay 11-8, and the Tigers were rained out in New York.

Minnesota's Matt Garza (1-3) was almost as good as Redman.

In his fourth major league start, he allowed five hits and two earned runs in 72â3 innings, striking out a career-high seven and walking one. Garza, who gave up 10 runs in 72â3 innings in his previous two home starts, lowered his ERA in the Metrodome from 11.74 to 7.04. He retired 10 of the last 12 batters he faced.

"I felt good about the way I threw. We just ran into some tough luck tonight," Garza said.

Kansas City scored both of its runs in the fifth. Emil Brown and Ryan Shealy both hit one-out singles before catcher John Buck doubled off the center-field wall, driving in Brown. Shealy scored on a groundout by Andres Blanco.

"It was a fastball over the plate and I just put a good swing on it, and luckily Torii (Hunter) didn't catch it," Buck said. "He'll track down some of those so I wasn't too confident until I saw it hit the fence."

Kansas City has won nine of its past 13 games against first- or second-place teams.

"You should always be playing for something," manager Buddy Bell said. "A lot of guys in this clubhouse are playing just to survive in the big leagues. In a lot of ways that's a heck of a lot more pressure than guys even fighting for a pennant."

Redman, who threw all eight innings in a 1-0 loss at Boston on July 19, won for the first time since July 25. It was his second career complete game shutout. The other was on May 14, 2005.

"The cutter just opened up the whole plate for him and made his changeup a little more effective and his breaking ball a little more effective," Buck said. "Because he was pounding them inside with the cutter and changing speeds so well they couldn't look out over the plate, and when he did miss over the plate they missed a couple."

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