It was nice while it lasted, but the Minnesota Twins' four-game win streak is now a thing of the past after strong performance by Chicago pitcher Ryan Dempster powered the Cubs to an 8-2 victory in Sunday's series finale.
The Twins could only produce a measly four hits against the veteran Dempster, who went eight clean innings with six strikeouts to drop his season ERA down to 2.32. Dempster's opposition to begin the afternoon, Minnesota lefty Francisco Liriano, fell to 1-7 on the year with the loss despite a promising start that seems to bode well for his continued stay in the rotation.
It looked like a pitcher's duel for the initial five innings as only one total run had crossed the plate, but a wild sixth frame from Liriano plated three Cubs runners to extend the lead to 4-0 and chase him from the mound. From then on there was nothing the Twins could do offensively to beat the red-hot Dempster, as multiple attempts to produce runs down the stretch proved futile. Worse yet, designated hitter Joe Mauer followed up his huge 3-for-4 performance on Saturday with an 0-for-4 game that included three strikeouts in the loss to Dempster and the Cubs.
Next up for the Twins is another tough interleague tilt at home, as the Philadelphia Phillies and their ace pitching staff will come to Target Field for a three-game set that starts on Tuesday.