06/28/08 11:35 PM ET
Twins' 10-game win streak snapped
Hernandez allows four earned runs early, settles to go seven
By Leslie Parker / Special to MLB.com
Twins batters could only muster three hits over the course of the game, and Brewers starter Manny Parra stopped their previously potent offense dead in its tracks for seven innings.
"Tough night tonight, they pretty much dominated us. Their lefty was really good," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He changed speeds, he was effectively wild in the strike zone, in and out, and boy his fastball was jumping. He had a decent breaking ball, a great changeup he threw when he was behind in the count. He really mixed it up on us and made it tough for our hitters."
Parra was making his first career start against the Twins and his third career start in Interleague Play. The win gives him a perfect Interleague record with a 2.37 ERA.
"He was a good pitcher, and they played some pretty good [defense] out there too, and they had some big hits," Jason Kubel said. "It's just one of those things. We still have to try to win the series tomorrow and try to start another [winning streak]."
Kubel put the only Twins run up on the board when he knocked his sixth home run in his last 16 games with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Delmon Young and Brendan Harris, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games, were the only other Twins to get hits.
"I'm just feeling comfortable, getting more at-bats," Kubel said. "It's all about being comfortable and seeing some good pitches. It keeps everything going. My hitting is based off timing, so as long as I'm in there consistently and have the timing going then I feel OK."
Kubel already has 240 at-bats this season, and is on pace to surpass his 418 from 2007. After getting off to a slow start, he is batting .324 for the month of June, raising his overall average to .267.
Twins starter Livan Hernandez allowed all five Brewers runs in the first three innings, but settled down enough to stay in the game through the seventh. Hernandez exited the game after 115 pitches, having given up four earned runs. He walked four and struck out five.
Hernandez had trouble placing his slider in the first couple innings, but made the in-game adjustment to keep from getting pulled.
Aside from Kubel's home run, the game's lone bright spot was Hernandez's ability to stretch his outing to seven innings, saving the bullpen after Friday's starter, Nick Blackburn, only lasted 4 2/3 innings.
"Livan had trouble early, didn't make any pitches early in the game and then he settled in and gave us seven innings and at least protected our bullpen a little bit," Gardenhire said. "Him going out there and doing that really helps us out for games down the road, but unfortunately it ends up in a loss.
"He ate up some innings and protected our bullpen a little bit. We had Boof [Bonser] up there early, but that's huge after the fact. You don't like to get behind like that, but he sucked it up out there and gave us a chance," Gardenhire said. "He kept us in the ballgame and didn't let it get away from there. I'm sure he's disappointed about the performance at the start of the ballgame, but he did eat up some innings for us and that does protect you down the road."
Starter-turned-reliever Bonser pitched two scoreless innings for the Twins, giving up just one hit and one walk.
Prior to Saturday night's loss, the Twins' last loss was on June 15 to the Brewers at Miller Park. Between those games, the Twins reeled off 10 straight wins, outscoring opponents, 63-25. The last time the Twins were held to one run or less was June 10 when they were shut out, 1-0, in Cleveland.
"They kind of took us out of our offensive flow tonight, but I think their pitcher had more to do with that than anything else," Gardenhire said. "We had watched film on him and seen everything, and we knew he had good stuff but he really pitched well against us, and I think that pretty much is the story for tonight, their guy throwing really well against us."
Leslie Parker is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.