MINNEAPOLIS -- The Brewers blew a first-inning scoring opportunity Sunday afternoon. They didn't have a chance to spoil another one. Minnesota's talented left-hander Francisco Liriano tossed eight scoreless innings and struck out a career-high 12 batters as the Brewers lost, 8-0, in front of 35,466 at the Metrodome. The Brewers positioned runners on second and third with nobody out in the first but didn't score. "We had a chance, but the guy is good, you know," said Carlos Lee, who couldn't extend his six-game hitting streak. "You have to give it to him. He made great pitches and got us out."
In the end, it didn't make a difference as Milwaukee's starting pitcher Zach Jackson lasted just five innings and exited with eight runs on the scoreboard. He allowed seven hits and was blasted for five runs in the third inning as the Twins notched their 10th straight victory. Jackson walked three batters and hit another with a pitch. Three of the four came around to score. "That's not my game," Jackson said. "I'm not a big walk guy. I like to pound the zone and I wasn't able to do that today. "A walk, a hit batter, any free pass -- they're going to score more times than not. That's all me. That's my fault and it's not a good way to keep the team in the way." In the series, Brewers starters threw just 14 innings, allowing 24 hits and 19 earned runs. They surrendered four home runs and had a 12.21 ERA. Milwaukee was swept by the Twins in a three-game set in Minnesota for the first time since May 26-28, 1987. The Brewers were shut out for the seventh time this season. The Twins scored five runs in the third inning on just three hits to pull away from the Brewers. With one run already in and the bases loaded, Justin Morneau hit a sharp ball to second baseman Rickie Weeks, who entered leading the Major Leagues with 20 errors despite a 24-game errorless streak. Weeks misplayed the potential inning-ending double-play ball and Minnesota scored a pair of runs. The Twins tacked on two more when Shannon Stewart doubled to take an 8-0 lead. Weeks was hit by a pitch to lead off the first inning and advanced to second on a single by Jeff Cirillo. They advance to second and third base on a balk when Liriano tripped delivering a pitch.
But Corey Hart and Lee struck out swinging and Prince Fielder grounded out to second to end the threat."You're not going to get many chances like that, so you'd better take advantage of the opportunity when it presents itself," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "With a pitcher of his caliber, you're just not going to get a whole lot of chances to do that. "There's a reason why he's as good as he his. That slider is devastating and it's a tough pitch to hit." Cirillo notched two of Milwaukee's three hits against Liriano. The second came in the sixth inning and was his 1,500th hit of his career. It was Cirillo's first multi-hit game since May 29 and the ninth of the season. After Cirillo singled in the first, Liriano didn't allow another hit until Cirillo earned his second hit in the sixth. Corey Koskie, the only other Brewer to hit safely, singled in the seventh. "Everything he threw was good today," Lee said. "He didn't throw that many sliders when he faced us the first time."
Jason Brummond is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.