Carl PAvano was unable to stop the Twins current losing streak, now at 5 games.

Brewers Break Out The Brooms Against Twins; Win 6-2

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Losing Streak Reaches Five As Twins Dumped By Milwaukee

Minnesota arrived in Milwaukee with a little bit of momentum and ideas of getting back into the AL Central race.

Although the season is a long way from over, they leave Milwaukee vexed by the very things that caused them to have baseball’s worst record for the first two months of the season—mediocre starting pitching, a bullpen that can’t hold a lead if they inherit one, and inconsistent hitting that can’t produce runs when needed.

Carl Pavano got the start, shut out the Brewers through 4 innings, and was staked to a 1-0 lead in the second, thanks in large part to a Danny Valencia triple. But in the bottom of the fifth, with the score tied 1-1, Ryan Braun absolutely crushed an 0-1 pitch to deep left-center for a two run home run, giving the Brewers a lead they would not relinquish.

The Twins had opportunities to get back in the game in both the 7th and 9th inning, but could not get the big hit they needed to do so. They scored one in the 7th on a Jim Thome single, but Alexi Casilla struck out with the bases loaded to end the threat. In the 9th, the Twins got runners on 1st and 2nd on back to back singles by Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Joe Mauer, but Rene Tosoni grounded into a double play to end the game.

The Twins return home to face the Dodgers tomorrow for a three game series, with Nick Blackburn scheduled to face Chad Billingsley. First pitch from Target Field is 7:10 CST.

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Twins Drop Fourth Straight, Get Run By Milwaukee 11-1

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Starting pitcher isn’t good, bullpen is worse, offense doesn’t produce and a key player gets hurt.

Starting pitcher Francisco Liriano gave up 6 runs (5 earned) and couldn’t make it out of the 4th inning, and then the bullpen took over. If it was the Titanic, they would’ve hit a second iceberg, as they gave up another 5 earned runs.

Delmon Young sprained his ankle chasing a deep fly by Yuniesky Betancourt. Young hit the wall and crashed to the turf, unable to get up. By the time CF Ben Revere got to the ball, Betancourt had hit an inside the park home run, one of about eleventy by the Brewers. Okay, it was ‘only’ four.

For the Twins offense, Yovanni Gallardo and two relievers scattered 8 hits over 9 innings, managing only one run.

It was a brutal night to be a Twins fan.

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Twins Look To Stop Skid Against Gallardo

And the hits just keep on coming for Minnesota, just not the ones they need when they’re, you know, batting during the game. Friday’s game against the Brewers has been a microcosm of the Twins’ season to this point. Decent starting pitching wrapped around an inconsistent bullpen and poor hitting, resulting in a close loss.

On top of that, All Star first baseman Justin Morneau will be out another 4-6 weeks for surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck, and relief pitcher Jose Mijares called out C Joe Mauer for how he called the Prince Fielder at bat.

Mijares was miffed that Mauer called all fastballs, and Mauer was apparently miffed that Mijares couldn’t get it over the plate, as Mijares ran the count to 3-0, then 3-2, then threw a fastball right over the middle, which Fielder drilled into the right field corner, scoring what proved to be the winning runs.

When asked about the Fielder at bat, Mauer said “I didn’t call for a fastball down the middle.”

Ouch.

The Twins need to put that turmoil behind them as they face one of the National League’s better lefties in Yovanni Gallardo, who was drilled in his last outing against Milwaukee.

For the Twins, an ever improving Francisco Liriano takes the mound. Over his last 7 starts, Liriano is 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA, and a no-hitter.

First pitch from Miller Park in Milwaukee is at 6:10 CST.

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Twins Drop Third Straight

A solid outing by starting pitcher Scott Baker was squandered by inconsistent hitting and another Jose Mijares relief appearance, as the Twins fell to Milwaukee in Miller Park, 4-3.

The Twins fell behind early, but in the top of the 6th, 3rd baseman Danny Valencia took a 78 mph curveball that didn’t curve deep into the left field seats for a three run home run, scoring Michael Cuddyer and Delmon Young ahead of him.

But in the 7th, Mijares, in relief of Scott Baker, couldn’t get inside on a 3-2 pitch to Prince Fielder, and Fielder ripped it into the right field corner for a two run double.

That proved to be the difference, as the Twins were retired in order in the 8th and 9th, sending them to their third straight loss.

Did you know: Michael Cuddyer’s hitting streak came to an end…Joe Mauer’s average is down to .186…Tsuyoshi Nishioka is hitting .184…the Twins pitchers have never hit a home run in interleague play.

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Twins Getting Healthy, Set To Take On The Brewers

Although the San Francisco Giants cooled down the Twins the last two days, Minnesota remains one of the hottest teams in baseball.  A torrid June has seen Minnesota scratch and claw back into shouting distance in the AL Central, and had they gotten a timely hit or two yesterday, they would've taken 2 of 3 from the defending world champion San Francisco Giants.

But now it's on to Milwaukee, where the Twins will face a tough Brewers team, and even though the Brewers have lost 7 of thier last 10 games, they are tied for first in the NL Central with the St. Louis Cardinals.

For the Twins, they are getting healthy, as Joe Nathan will be activated and available for tonight's game, but there is no word from manager Ron Gardenhire whether or not Nathan will assume his role as the closer.  The only thing Gardy would say is that Nathan will be available from the 6th inning on.  Also expected to come off of the DL is Jim Thome, who has been out since early June, and should be available as a pinch hitter.

Getting the start for Minnesota is Scott Baker (5-4, 3.24 ERA), who has been the most consistent starter on the staff this year.  He will be opposed by LHP Randy Wolf (5-4, 3.15 ERA).  Baker faces a potent offense, led by big hitters Cecil Fielder and Ryan Braun, two of the biggest bats in the National League.

First pitch tonight is at 7:10 PM from Miller Park in Milwaukee.   

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