Brewers 13, Twins 1
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—The Minnesota Twins appeared to hit bottom, and their neighbors did nothing to cushion the fall.
Matt Kinney allowed eight hits in his first career complete game, and Richie Sexson had three hits and five RBIs to power the Milwaukee Brewers past the defending AL Central champions 13-1 Friday night.
“Hopefully tonight was the lowest it can get,” said Twins starter Kyle Lohse.
Sexson, John Vander Wal, Brooks Kieschnick and Eddie Perez each homered and Scott Podsednik had a career-high three hits for the second straight game for the Brewers, who own the NL’s second-worst record but have beaten Minnesota three out of four times this season.
“We’re not enjoying it enough right now,” said manager Ron Gardenhire, who kept the clubhouse doors closed longer than usual while imploring his team to come together, stop putting so much pressure on itself and start having some fun.
“You know what? We’re not going to quit,” Gardenhire said. “We’re going to try to get back to playing the game the right way.”
Torii Hunter had an RBI double for the Twins, who have lost 10 out of 13 in falling two games behind first-place Kansas City.
Kinney (6-6) walked one and struck out four in his 35th major league start, throwing 119 pitches—82 for strikes.
“They kind of kicked my butt last time, so I think this just evens it all out,” Kinney said. “They know how I pitch and I’ve seen them hit a lot, so it can work either way—just whoever guesses right sometimes.”
Kinney, who went 2-7 with a 4.64 ERA in 14 games (12 starts) for Minnesota in 2002, was acquired by the Brewers last November after spending four-plus seasons in the Twins’ organization.
He’s done a decent job this year in the No. 2 spot in Milwaukee’s rotation behind Ben Sheets, lowering his ERA to 4.26.
“The last start against the Twins was a good opportunity for him to learn some things about pitching within yourself,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “Today, he was in a lot better control.”
Jacque Jones reached on a one-out bunt in the third and moved up on Cristian Guzman’s single, but Corey Koskie’s line smash was snared with a leaping catch by the 6-foot-7 first baseman Sexson—who stepped on the bag for an easy double play.
Batting with two on and one out, Dustan Mohr weakly grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the fourth.
“When we get good starting pitching like we’ve had lately,” Yost said, “We play pretty good.”
Lohse (6-6) found trouble for the third consecutive outing.
After allowing seven runs in five innings last Saturday in an 8-1 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park, Lohse lasted just five Friday.
After a line-drive single by Eric Young grazed his elbow and hit him in the hip, Lohse served up a double to Podsednik that gave Milwaukee an early 2-0 lead.
Sexson led off the fourth with a single, took third on Vander Wal’s double that popped out of the glove of Jones on the warning track in left and later scored on a single by Kieschnick.
Mohr let Kieschnick’s hit roll under his glove for a two-base error that scored Vander Wal, putting the Brewers ahead by four and eliciting a smattering of boos from frustrated fans.
Milwaukee scored two more in the fifth with a double by Podsednik that preceded a towering shot to the upper deck in left by Vander Wal, his eighth of the season that made it 6-0.
Lohse, replaced by Johan Santana for the sixth, gave up eight hits, six runs—five earned—and a walk while striking out four.
Santana, one of the few Twins pitchers who’s had any success this month, gave up a three-run homer to Sexson, his 22nd, in the seventh.
Micheal Nakamura gave up a two-run single to Sexson that made it 11-1 in the eighth after Young loaded the bases on a bloop single that Jones and shortstop Guzman let drop in between them.
Then Kieschnick and Perez went back-to-back off Nakamura in the ninth.
A crowd of 24,413 showed up for Eddie Guardado bobbleheads. Guardado, an All-Star in 2002 who led the AL with 45 saves, went his 13th game without a save—the longest such drought since he became the Twins’ full-time closer at the beginning of last year. … The Brewers purchased the contract of veteran right-hander Dave Burba from Triple-A Indianapolis, and Ruben Quevedo was outrighted to Indianapolis. Burba will start Saturday and Matt Ford moves fromthe bullpen to take the mound Sunday.