MILWAUKEE (AP)—Stuck in a rut, the Minnesota Twins got back in the win column with a proven method—a strong pitching performance.
The Twins won for just the third time in the last 11 games. They broke a five-game road losing streak.
“Bonser was very good tonight,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He used all of his pitches. He was attacking the strike zone. Let’s hope we can continue this tomorrow as we’ve been struggling.’
After giving up a run and two hits in the first inning, Bonser (2-1) shut out the Brewers on a single over the next six innings. Bonser, who stuck out the side in the third inning, matched the longest outing of his two-year career—he also pitched seven innings at Boston last Sept. 20.
“I felt really good out there tonight,” Bonser said. “I had control of all my pitches and was able to get ahead of the hitters. It was a lot of fun.”
Hunter hit his second grand slam of the season and Cirillo, who played for the Brewers the past two seasons, and hit a two-run homer and a triple in his first trip back to Miller Park.
“This is (Cirillo’s) ballpark,” Gardenhire said. “He proved it. He had a good ballgame here. I didn’t think Jeff Cirillo could get a triple. It was a very good night for him and I know he’s excited about the way he was able to play.”
Cirillo said he had mixed emotions before the game.
“I have a lot of fond memories here,” he said. “It feels weird to tell the truth. I really liked playing with those guys. But it is a new year and I’m with a different team.”
Cirillo said he was surprised he was able to get his first triple since 2001.
“I really didn’t want to go, but the ball was hit pretty well,” he said. “My legs felt like Jell-O for two innings after that.”
The Brewers lost for the sixth time in eight games. Before this skid, they held the best record in the majors at 24-10.
Chris Capuano (5-2) gave up six runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. It was his second straight rough start—Capuano began the season 5-0 before the Mets tagged him last Sunday.
The Twins broke open the game in the third with five runs, all with two outs. After Luis Castillo walked, Cirillo tripled off the center-field wall.
Capuano said he hung a first-pitch breaking ball to Hunter.
“I knew he was going to be aggressive there,” he said. “In retrospect, it probably wasn’t the smartest pitch to throw, especially where I threw it.
“I needed to make a pitch right there to get out of the inning and I think it would have been a different game because I thought I had pretty good stuff tonight.”
Minnesota made 6-1 in the sixth on Lew Ford’s RBI double. Cirillo hit a two-run homer, his first of the season, in the seventh.
Brewers manager Ned Yost said Milwaukee is struggling to score runs.
“(Bonser) threw a pretty good game,” he said. “But I don’t think we’re swinging the bats the way we’re capable.”
Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks sat out his second straight game with an injured right wrist. He was examined by the team physician Friday and is expected to miss a couple more games. … Cirillo’s triple was the 20th of his 12-year career. The game drew a crowd of 44,759, many of them Twins fans. It was the sixth sellout of the season for the Brewers and the seventh-largest crowd in Miller Park history.