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Torii Hunter hit a game-tying, two-run single and

By Tom WithersAssociated Press Published: September 26, 2000 12:00 AM

Torii Hunter hit a game-tying, two-run single and Jacque Jones drove in the go-ahead run off Bob Wickman in the eighth inning as the Minnesota Twins beat Cleveland 4-3 in the nightcap of an historic, three-team doubleheader.

With just six games remaining, the Indians may need to win them all to get the AL wild card.

"We're running out of games," Indians manager Charlie Manuel said. "We're kind of at the point now where we can't lose."

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In the day game, Dave Burba got his 16th win in Cleveland's 9-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

It was only the second three-team doubleheader in the majors since 1900 and first since Sept. 13, 1951, when the St. Louis Cardinals played host to the New York Giants and Boston Braves at Sportsman's Park.

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The Indians had kicked and screamed about having to play the doubleheader _ their third in six days _ when the AL announced that a Sept. 10 rainout with Chicago would have to be made up.

Cleveland was worried its worn-out pitching staff might not hold up, and relievers Paul Shuey (4-2) and Wickman couldn't close out the sweep.

Manny Ramirez homered for the Indians, who missed a chance to gain any ground on the Oakland Athletics in the wild-card race.

"This burns pretty bad right now," said Shuey, who before giving up three runs in 1 2/3 innings, had been unscored upon in his last eight appearances. "Hopefully, we can come back (today)."

Shuey allowed the Twins to load the bases with two outs in the eighth. Wickman got ahead 0-2 on Hunter, who fouled off two pitches before lining a breaking ball into left-center to tie it at 3.

"I fell behind and just tried to battle," Hunter said. "It was a slider away and I just stayed with it."

Jones followed with a bloop RBI single to left, helping the last-place Twins improve to 7-3 against the Indians this season. This was the fifth time Minnesota has rallied to beat Cleveland.

"It seems like we can't score enough runs on them," Manuel said. "They've kind of had our number this year."

Travis Miller (2-3) pitched two scoreless innings of relief and LaTroy Hawkins got three outs for his 13th save in 13 tries.

The Indians put a runner on third with two outs in the ninth, but third baseman Corey Koskie made a diving stop to rob Omar Vizquel of a game-tying hit.

"I don't know if the game was won or lost on one play," Koskie said. "In that situation I was looking for him to hit it my way and he did."

With history being made, the Indians said they would send a ball from each game, signed by the starting pitchers, along with tickets and the lineup cards to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

They ought to throw in a towel autographed by Cy Buynak, the visiting clubhouse manager, who moved the White Sox out and the Twins in without a noticeable problem.

In fact, the White Sox and Twins didn't even see each other.

By the time Minnesota's players arrived at the ballpark, the only trace that another visiting team had been in the visitor's clubhouse earlier was a pair of white socks left behind by one of the White Sox.

Indians second game starter Steve Woodard allowed one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Ramirez hit a two-run homer, his 34th, in the first off Matt Kinney to put the Indians up 2-0.

Despite missing 44 games, Ramirez has 116 RBI in 415 at-bats.

David Segui's sacrifice fly in the third gave the Indians a 3-0 lead.

In the opener, Burba (16-6) allowed seven hits in seven innings, and Roberto Alomar and Ramirez had two RBI each for the Indians.

Alomar also took exception to a hard slide by Chicago's Tony Graffanino on a force at second in the top of the sixth inning. In the bottom of the inning, Alomar gestured toward Graffanino after grounding out and had words with Chicago's bench.

Both teams poured onto the field after Sandy Alomar pushed Chicago catcher Mark Johnson, but no punches were thrown.

"I don't complain about playing hard or sliding hard," Roberto Alomar said. "That's OK. But the play was a forceout. There was no way I was turning that."

Graffanino defended his aggressiveness.

"I just slid into the bag," he said. "I've seen him (Alomar) turn that

play. We were still in the ballgame. I'm just going in hard, that's


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