Reds lose despite Harang#039;s big effort

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Associated Press

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Entering his 19th major league season, Terry Mulholland's desire to win hasn't waned.

Mulholland pitched two scoreless innings of relief and Jacque Jones hit a three-run homer to lead the Minnesota Twins over the Cincinnati Reds 7-1 Monday.

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''Anytime I come into a ballgame and we're behind or the game's tied, I go into the dugout after the inning's over and basically say, 'Hey, let's win one for the old guy,''' the 42-year-old Mulholland said. ''It doesn't hurt to ask. Sometimes they answer pretty well. I don't say it under my breath - I come in there to make a point of letting everybody know, and today they gave a good effort.''

Mulholland allowed one hit, struck out a batter and walked one.

Jones' home run highlighted the Twins' seven-run sixth inning.

Justin Morneau led off with a double and Michael Cuddyer followed with a single before Jones homered off reliever Todd Coffey.

Luis Rivas then tripled to center and scored on Augie Ojeda's single. Ojeda scored on a single by Lew Ford, who came home on Joe Mauer's double. Mauer scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-1.

Cincinnati right-hander Aaron Harang shut out Minnesota through five innings, allowing two hits and striking out two while walking five.

''Harang kind of shut us down - he threw the ball pretty good against us,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''But then after that we kind of got after it a little bit. Jacque hit a big homer - that was nice to see - and a few of the other boys put some nice swings on the ball and we ended up having a big inning. That's two days in a row we've scored a touchdown. Touchdowns are good in baseball. They're good in football, but they're better in baseball.''

Mauer finished 1-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and a run in six innings before being replaced at catcher by Mike Redmond. Mauer is scheduled to start Tuesday night in Sarasota against the Reds, his first back-to-back starts of the spring.

The club still is being cautious with Mauer, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and missed all but 35 games in his rookie season. He had swelling and soreness in the knee the first week of March but there have been no setbacks since.

''I felt good. No problems,'' Mauer said. ''I'm ready to go tomorrow night, and we'll go from there.''

Notes: Gardenhire said RH reliever Grant Balfour has been cleared by doctors to start his throwing program. Balfour was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a strained forearm. … Before the game, Donald Fehr, head of the players' union, met with the Twins for almost two hours.