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Twins' Silva dazzles in shutting down Braves

Jun 14, 2007 - 3:39 AM MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Carlos Silva has had a couple of pretty good days.

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins starter and his wife, Maria, celebrated the birth of their first child. On Wednesday, Silva pitched his second career complete-game shutout and his first complete game of the season to lead the Twins to a 6-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

Silva (4-7), who had lost six of his previous seven starts, scattered eight hits and allowed only one baserunner past second base to give the Twins their third straight win and clinch the three-game set against Atlanta.

"The only thing I felt today was something I never felt before," Silva said. "One day before the game and the day I have to pitch, the only thing on my mind is game, game, game, game, game. But today, it was game, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby. It's a great feeling, like you have no worries."

Minnesota will go for the three-game sweep on Thursday.

Michael Cuddyer went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored and the Twins hit three home runs to give Silva more than enough offensive support.

Atlanta starter Chuck James (5-6) gave up three homers in a start for the second time this season, losing his second straight decision.

For the third time in his last four decisions, James lasted just 4 1/3 innings - his shortest outing since lasting 3 2/3 innings on May 7 against San Diego. His six earned runs allowed matched a season high, which he allowed in a loss against the New York Mets in Shea Stadium on April 21.

"I felt like I had good command as far as the strike zone, I just left a few fastballs up," James said. "And they kind of, I guess, eliminated the changeup and weren't chasing a lot. I'd make a mistake with a fastball and they'd hit it."

"Chucky wasn't on top of his game at all tonight," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "I don't know exactly what happened, but they had some good rips at him, that's for sure."

The trouble started early for James, who gave up a single to Joe Mauer and Cuddyer's first double with one out in the first inning. Mauer scored on Justin Morneau's RBI groundout, and Cuddyer came in from third on a bunt by Torii Hunter, who saw third baseman Yunel Escobar playing back.

"I'm not going to put a bunt on with Torii up and two outs with a man on third," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That's something we've talked about a lot around here, if the third baseman is playing really deep. Well, Torii did it. It actually got everybody fired up in the dugout."

"I try to play the game," Hunter said. "I know I have a little speed and I used to be a leadoff hitter. I can bunt a little bit."

Lew Ford's first home run of the season made the score 3-0 in the second inning, and back-to-back homers from Morneau and Torii Hunter in the third virtually buried the Braves.

Morneau's blast plated Cuddyer, who led off the inning with a double. Hunter followed with a solo blast, giving the Twins back-to-back home runs for the first time since Opening Day, when Morneau and Hunter accomplished the same feat against the Baltimore Orioles.

"The guys in the middle did some damage," Gardenhire said. "That always bodes well for our ballclub."

Silva (4-7) bounced back from his worst outing of the season last Friday against Washington for his best start of the year. He gave up seven earned runs in just three innings against the Nationals his last time out - the second time in four starts he had allowed seven earned runs.

But Silva has now given up two or less earned runs in three of his last four starts despite a 2-2 record over that stretch. He also has hardly slept since Sunday night after taking his wife to the hospital on Monday before his baby was born at 5:07 Tuesday morning.

Silva handed out Dom Perignon to all his teammates before the game and was heading back to the hospital following the contest.

"That's what they are looking for out of me," Silva said. "I was mixing my pitches good.

"I told my son, 'I don't know if you can hear me,'" Silva said. "I didn't say I'll win this game for you. I said, 'I will do my best for you.'"

Braves relievers Pete Moylan, Macay McBride and Chad Paronto held Minnesota scoreless after the fourth inning, but got no help from their offense.

Designated hitter Chipper Jones returned from the disabled list to go 3-for-4 - all singles - and Kelly Johnson had a pair of singles, but it was all Atlanta could muster at the plate.

Hunter finished 2-for-4 with two RBI and Morneau drove in three runs for Minnesota. Hunter said after the game he was happy for Silva and impressed not only by his performance, but by his baby gift as well.

"That might have been the best baby gift I've ever seen in my life," Hunter said. "Most guys give candy bars, 'It's a boy,' a note. Dom Perignon, that's pretty impressive."








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
    MINNESOTA 2 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 x 6 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: ATL - CHUCK JAMES, PETER MOYLAN (5TH), MACAY MCBRIDE (7TH), CHAD
    PARONTO (8TH) AND BRIAN MCCANN
    MIN - CARLOS SILVA AND JOE MAUER

    HOME RUNS: ATL - NONE
    MIN - LEW FO

    Jun 13 10:20 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY TORII HUNTER (14) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF CHUCK JAMES.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 0, MINNESOTA 6
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J CIRILLO (.215, 0-FOR-1)

    Braves vs. TwinsJun 13 8:53 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JUSTIN MORNEAU (18) TO CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 3RD OFF CHUCK JAMES SCORED MICHAEL CUDDYER.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 0, MINNESOTA 5
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: T HUNTER (.311, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Braves vs. TwinsJun 13 8:52 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY LEW FORD (1) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    2ND OFF CHUCK JAMES.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 0, MINNESOTA 3
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: N PUNTO (.235, 1 HR, 13 RBI)

    Braves vs. TwinsJun 13 8:32 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    BUNT SINGLE BY TORII HUNTER SCORED MICHAEL CUDDYER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, T HUNTER ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 0
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J CIRILLO (.218, 1 HR, 11 RBI)

    Braves vs. TwinsJun 13 8:22 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JUSTIN MORNEAU SCORED JOE MAUER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M CUDDYER ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 0
    MINNESOTA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: T HUNTER (.308, 13 HR, 51 RBI)

    Braves vs. TwinsJun 13 8:21 PM