BOSTON (AP) -- Instead of looking for power at the plate to stop their losing streak, the Minnesota Twins turned to defense.
By turning three double plays, the Twins broke a season-high four-game skid in a 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Friday.
Minnesota owns the best defense in the majors and it has helped them open a commanding lead in the AL Central.
"A lot of teams believe in it. We have to believe in it. That is the way our ballclub has been built," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Through Tom Kelley and myself, that is all we ever talked about -- pitching and defense."
Corey Koskie and Doug Mientkiewicz each drove in a pair of runs as the Twins improved to 23-14 in one run games.
"They just caught more balls than we did," Red Sox manager Grady Little said. "They made every play they could make, and we misplayed a couple of balls and that was the difference."
Cristian Guzman went 3-for-4 and scored a run for the Twins. He extended his hitting streak to eight games and has hit safely in 19 of 22 games.
Nomar Garciaparra went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and two RBIs. Boston has lost three of its first four games on a six-game homestand. His 20th home run of the season came in the first inning.
"We came in here and we knew it's a positive atmosphere. Our young guys were excited. If you can't get up for a ballgame here, you can't get up," Gardenhire said.
With the score tied at 4 in the seventh, Luis Rivas singled leading off against Frank Castillo (5-12). Rivas took second on Guzman's infield single and scored on Koskie's single.
Castillo gave up four hits, and recorded just four outs in relief of starter Casey Fossum.
J.C. Romero (8-1) allowed one hit in 2 2-3 scoreless innings, and Eddie Guardado got three outs for his 34th save in 38 chances.
Twins starter Kyle Lohse gave up four runs and five hits in five innings, while Fossum allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings.
Mientkiewicz's two RBIs came on a sacrifice fly in the second and a run-scoring single in the fourth.
Minnesota took a 4-2 lead in the fifth on Koskie's RBI single and David Ortiz's run-scoring grounder, but Boston tied it again in the sixth when Garciaparra singled in a run off Lohse and Manny Ramirez had an RBI single off LaTroy Hawkins.
Notes: Mientkiewicz has 14 RBIs in his last 18 games. ... Hunter's double in the second inning was his seventh in the last 21 games. ... Cliff Floyd has seven extra-base hits, including five doubles, in eight games with the Red Sox. ... Brian Daubach's triple was his second this season. ... Lohse pitched less than six innings for the first time in six starts. ... The Red Sox dropped to 11-18 in one-run games, 2-5 in August.
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