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Slowey hurls shutout as Twins edge Brewers

Jun 29, 2008 - 10:34 PM By Brian Hall PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- The dominance that Kevin Slowey showed in the minor leagues is starting to appear in his major league outings.

Slowey hurled his first career shutout and outdueled Ben Sheets as the Minnesota Twins won their fifth straight series with a 5-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday at the Metrodome.

A 24-year-old righthander, Slowey (5-6) tossed his second career complete game, holding the Brewers to just three hits, and Delmon Young connected for his second home run of the season for Minnesota, which bounced back after having its 10-game winning streak snapped in a 5-1 loss Saturday.

Last season at Class AAA Rochester, Slowey went 10-5 with a 1.89 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 133 2/3 innings. His career minor league ERA is 1.93 in 63 games pitched.

"I am still young and still learning stuff every outing," Slowey said. "Every day I am learning stuff from guys like (Livan Hernandez) and Mike Redmond back there and throwing to (Joe) Mauer, trying to really start to get comfortable with him.

"Just talking to those guys and trying to get as much information and advice as I can, I think it has helped me out both on and off the field."

The second-year starter (5-6) was in control throughout Sunday, holding the Brewers hitless through three innings. J.J. Hardy earned the first hit of the game - a double - when his groundball to shortstop couldn't be corralled by a diving Brendan Harris with one out in the fourth. Hardy advanced to third but was stranded to end Milwaukee's best scoring chance.

"Anytime you talk about an outing, the firsts are very important; the first batter of an inning, the first pitch of an at-bat, the first innings of the game," Slowey said. "Being able to get through the first couple of innings and give our hitters a chance to score, which they did and really came through big and they made it a lot easier for me those middle innings and towards the end."

Slowey finished with eight strikeouts to win his third straight decision. Since allowing eight runs in a loss to the Chicago White Sox on June 8, he has allowed just three runs in 29 innings over his last four starts.

"He understands. We saw him get knocked around a little bit, went back down and understood a little bit more about what it took to be up here," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You can't just pump fastballs. You have to use a mix of pitches and you have to change speeds. Since he's come back, I think he understands."

The Brewers now understand what made Slowey so successful in the minors.

"No mistakes," Milwaukee right fielder Corey Hart said. "Well, he might have made a couple, but when he did, we didn't get them."

The Twins somehow solved Sheets, who entered with the best winning percentage among starters in the National League. On Sunday, Sheets (9-2) allowed more than three runs for the first time since May 15, snapping a streak of five straight wins. He hurled seven innings, allowing five runs and nine hits while striking out seven.

Sheets was almost as dominant as Slowey early, giving up a hit in each of the first two innings but getting out of both frames with double plays.

"He threw OK," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "It never got out of hand. He just matched up against the wrong guy today."

However, Minnesota finally put it together in the fourth, when Mauer led off with a double to right. Following Justin Morneau's walk, Jason Kubel scored Mauer with a single to left. In the next inning, Carlos Gomez hit an RBI triple to left, scoring Brian Buscher to put the Twins up, 2-0.

Young belted a two-run homer in the sixth, and the Twins added another run in the seventh as Alexi Casilla's drive to right was just out of the reach of the diving Corey Hart, allowing Mike Lamb to score from first.

"You have to come out here and win the game because it was their ace," Young said. "You've got to come out here, forget (Saturday's) loss and come out here and get another victory and try to keep it close with Chicago."

With Sunday's victory, Minnesota finished 14-4 against the National League this season. The Twins' (45-37) dominance in interleague play helped them draw to within one-half game of the American League Central Division-leading Chicago White Sox (45-35).

The Twins now host division opponents, the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians, in their return to AL play.

Milwaukee has been almost as hot as Minnesota, owning baseball's best record since May 20 at 24-13. It finished interleague play at 7-8 and sits 5 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs (49-32) in the National League Central Division.

"Those types of games like that, you just take your hat off," Yost said of Sunday's loss. "(Slowey) beat us. He pitched very, very well. There wasn't much we could do against him."








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

    BATTERIES: MIL - BEN SHEETS, BRIAN SHOUSE (8TH) AND JASON KENDALL
    MIN - KEVIN SLOWEY AND JOE MAUER

    HOME RUNS: MIL - NONE
    MIN - DELMON YOUNG (2) OFF BEN SHEETS IN THE 6TH, 1 ON

    Jun 29 4:16 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALEXI CASILLA SCORED MIKE LAMB.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A CASILLA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 0
    MINNESOTA 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MAUER (.322, 1-FOR-3)

    Brewers 0, Twins 5  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 29 3:55 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY DELMON YOUNG (2) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF BEN SHEETS SCORED JASON KUBEL.
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 0, MINNESOTA 4
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: B BUSCHER (.358, 1-FOR-2)

    Brewers 0, Twins 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsJun 29 3:36 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY CARLOS GOMEZ SCORED BRIAN BUSCHER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C GOMEZ ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 0
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: A CASILLA (.310, 1-FOR-2)

    Brewers 0, Twins 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 29 3:20 PM
  • 10
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Brewers 0, Twins 1  Top 5, 0 OutsJun 29 3:12 PM


  • ML
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON KUBEL SCORED JOE MAUER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J KUBEL ON FIRST, J MORNEAU ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 0
    MINNESOTA 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D YOUNG (.281, 0-FOR-1)

    Brewers 0, Twins 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsJun 29 3:05 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Pasta2000 Added 5 roots

    Brewers vs. TwinsApr 10 2:27 PM