MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Carlos Silva couldn’t crack Philadelphia’s rotation, mostly because he had only two reliable pitches.
The right-hander got a chance to show the Phillies what they missed out on.
Silva struck out a career-high eight in seven sharp innings against his former team, leading the Minnesota Twins to a 6-1 victory over the Phillies on Saturday night.
“I’m happy because I won,” Silva said. “I’m not happy because I beat the Phillies.”
Silva (7-3), who’s developed a curveball and a changeup to accompany his fastball and power sinker, gave up eight hits without a walk.
Acquired in a December trade with Philadelphia for left-hander Eric Milton, Silva turned in one of his best starts—surprising his old club with a new pitch.
“He didn’t have that good curve,” Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. “Now as a starter, he’s had time to work on that and develop that pitch.”
Silva went 8-1 with a 3.83 ERA in 130 appearances for Philadelphia the last two seasons, making just one start. He tamed the Phillies, who scored 38 runs in their previous three games.
“The knock on Silva was his off-speed pitches,” Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal said. “Last year, he was inconsistent—not very sharp with his curves. This year, he looks more consistent.”
Silva said he was hurt, initially, by the trade, but it’s worked out for the best. He credited Minnesota pitching coach Rick Anderson and right-hander Brad Radke for their help, as well as friendly teammates.
“The first day when I get to the Twins, they treat me like I’ve played for them a long time ago,” Silva said.
Luis Rivas went 3-for-4 with a two-run triple and Juan Rincon struck out the side in the eighth for the Twins, who scored four runs with two outs in the second inning against Phillies starter Kevin Millwood.
Jim Thome hit career homer No. 399, his 18th of the season, to start the seventh. Silva gave up consecutive singles before retiring Chase Utley on a line smash to right and Lieberthal on a 6-4-3 double play.
Millwood (4-5), who avoided arbitration in February by signing an $11 million, one-year deal, isn’t giving the Phillies their money’s worth. He gave up four runs, six hits and two walks in six innings while striking out three.
“It’s definitely frustrating to have that high of an ERA and a losing record this late in the season,” Millwood said. “But there’s a long way to go and a lot of time to correct things.”
Millwood retired 13 of the last 16 batters he faced after the fateful second inning, but his ERA rose to 4.94 and he hasn’t won in six starts since May 11.
“The last two starts, it’s been one bad inning that’s killed me,” he said. “If I knew what was causing it, I would correct it.”
Rookie Joe Mauer ended the sixth by throwing out Bobby Abreu trying to steal. Rivas made an excellent pivot and throw to an outstretched Mientkiewicz on a 6-4-3 double play to end the fourth and prevent a run. And center fielder Torii Hunter made an outstanding catch for the third straight game—running down a long fly hit by Jimmy Rollins in the sixth and hauling it in with his glove at waist level.
“Sometimes it gets overlooked, but that’s what we pride ourselves on,” manager Ron Gardenhire said.
The Twins batted around in the second, when Millwood allowed six straight to reach base with two outs. Jacque Jones started the rally with a single.
Jose Offerman walked, and Mauer pounded an 0-2 pitch to center to drive in Jones. Rivas made it 3-0 with his triple to right, sliding in safely as Abreu’s throw bounced and third baseman David Bell couldn’t hang on.
Guzman singled to score Rivas and Mientkiewicz got hit in the foot with apitch before Millwood struck out Ford to end it.
Thome tied Al Kaline for 37th place on the all-time home run list. His 23 homers in the Metrodome are the most by any visitor. … Rollins is 2-for-26 in his career against Minnesota. … The Twins went 3-for-3 in stolen bases, two by Guzman. The last one, a close play at third, prompted Bowa’s thirdejection of the season.