Twins slam Red Sox 8-1

  • Article by: JEFF SHELMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 15, 2006 - 5:11 PM

Justin Morneau hit the Twins' second bases-loaded shot in two games and Jason Kubel hit a two-run homer to back Brad Radke.

Small ball? Who needs small ball?

So the Twins haven't had a player hit 30 home runs in a season since 1987. So the Twins entered Wednesday night's game against Boston with the second-fewest home runs in the American League. So the Twins didn't get their first homer from the designated hitter position this season until Tuesday night.

Manufacturing runs has apparently become passé. Suddenly, the Twins are playing for the big inning.

Wednesday's 8-1 victory over the Red Sox was the latest example of the Twins' new-found power. One night after Jason Kubel hit a grand slam to beat Boston, Kubel hit another homer and Justin Morneau hit a grand slam.

To put this grand slam mania into perspective, the last time the Twins hit grand slams in consecutive games was in July 1972. In the past seven games, the Twins have hit four grand slams.

While only 64 games into this season, the Twins already have six grand slams. The last time they had that many grand slams in an entire season was 1970 -- before any current Twins player was born.

Throw in 10 walks from Boston's pitching staff and a solid outing from Twins starter Brad Radke (5-7) and there wasn't a lot of drama on this night.

As a result, the Twins are guaranteed their second consecutive series victory in a row and they moved into a tie for third place with Cleveland in the American League Central.

Kubel gave the Twins a 2-0 lead with a second-inning homer. While Tuesday's game-winner barely snuck over the right field baggy, there was no doubt where this Matt Clement (5-5) pitch was going as Kubel's blast reached the upper deck.

"Something motivated us," Kubel said. "We're just putting really good swings on it and hitting it hard."

Especially Morneau.

His opposite-field grand slam in the bottom of the sixth gave the Twins an 8-1 lead. It was his third home run in the past five games and he's now halfway to that elusive 30-homer mark with 98 games still to play.

"I got home and took early [batting practice] the first day we got back," said Morneau, who is hitting .571 on this homestand. "The last couple rounds I just tried to stay back. I'd been getting fooled a lot and I just tried to stay back on my back leg. All of a sudden, I started hitting the ball hard."

The offensive outburst allowed Radke to pick up his first victory since May 13. After working his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first, Radke gave up only two more hits in a strong outing.

Going six innings, Radke gave up only one run on five hits and dropped his ERA under 6.00 for the first time all season.

"It seems like my fastball has been more of a variety of speeds instead of staying consistently at one speed," said Radke, who gave up only a home run to Boston's Coco Crisp. "I saw a fastball at 84 tonight and a fastball at 92 tonight."

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