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Notes: Cuddyer starts at second
10/08/2004 8:00 PM ET
MINNEAPOLIS -- Knowing he had a ground-ball pitcher like Carlos Silva who would keep infielders busy in ALDS Game 3, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire considered shoring up defensively at second base with Augie Ojeda.

Then he decided that sticking with hot-hitting Michael Cuddyer was the right decision all along.

Cuddyer was 4-for-8 in two playoff games at New York, while also handling himself well in the field in place of an injured Luis Rivas.

"We kicked it around but everyone is saying the same thing. Cuddyer is playing great at second base," Gardenhire said. "He's swinging the bat and catching the ball. He's strong-armed on the double play."

Gardenhire's decision proved to be a good one, as Cuddyer went 2-for-4 in Game 3 and is 6-for-12 (.500) in the ALDS. Rivas told Gardenhire that his injured right elbow had improved and he would be ready off the bench.

"That's a good thing," Gardenhire said. "Now I'm back to having two guys who can run out there. I was concerned."

Rivas said he switched to a new medication, which has eased the discomfort he felt while playing with bone chips in his elbow.

"I woke up feeling much better today," Rivas said.

Jones returns: Twins right fielder Jacque Jones was back in Minnesota again on Friday after spending Thursday's off day in Sacramento, Calif., attending the funeral for his father, Hardy.

Jones arrived home at 1:30 a.m. CT but his journey to the West coast and back was made easier by Twins owner Carl Pohlad, who offered his private jet.

"I am very appreciative of the Pohlad family," Jones said. "They accommodated me and they accommodated my family."

Radke ready: Although it was expected, Gardenhire said right-hander Brad Radke is set to start ALDS Game 5, if necessary in New York. Radke did not pitch well in his Game 2 start, allowing five runs over 6 1/3 innings.

Gardenhire asked Radke if he was ready for his assignment when he saw him in the clubhouse.

"(Heck) yes. I want the ball," Radke told Gardenhire.

Mauer report: In his first action against live pitching since July 15, rookie Joe Mauer went 1-for-5 with an RBI on Friday in an instructional league game in Fort Myers, Fla. Reports said Mauer had no problem running the bases on his recovering left knee.

If Mauer can show he's ready to return and the Twins advance to the next round of the playoffs, he might be added to the roster.

Game 4 tickets: As usual in the postseason, the curtain that covers the outfield's upper deck seats was lifted to accommodate an expanded capacity crowd of about 55,000. Friday's Game 3 was sold out, but Twins president Dave St. Peter said about 2,000 tickets remained available for Game 4 on Saturday.

Fans can purchase tickets by going to the ticketing section of twinsbaseball.com.

Twins tidbits: Former Twins great and Baseball Hall of Fame member Harmon Killebrew threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Friday.

Just before the start of Game 3, the Twins held a moment of silence to commemorate the passing of former player and scout Angelo Giuliani, who died Friday morning at the age of 91. Giuliani was responsible for signing Twins players like Kent Hrbek and Jim Eisenreich and created the still on-going Twins Youth Clinic program in 1961.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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