Brewers fall victim to Slowey's shutout
Milwaukee musters just three hits in Interleague finale
MINNEAPOLIS -- Ben Sheets was a mere mortal on Sunday. The bigger problem was that the opposing pitcher, Kevin Slowey, was doing his best Sheets impersonation.
Sheets surrendered five earned runs in seven innings as the Brewers lost, 5-0, to the Twins. Slowey pitched a complete-game shutout while scattering three hits."[Sheets] matched up against the wrong guy today," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. Yost also said Sheets' stuff was as good as usual. "I didn't make a lot of mistakes," Sheets said. "I didn't get away with any at all." The Twins got to Sheets initially in the fourth inning on a two-out rally. Joe Mauer doubled into the right-field corner and Sheets walked the next batter, Justin Morneau. Sheets got Jason Kubel into an 0-2 count, but Kubel singled to left on the seventh pitch of the at-bat, scoring Mauer. A fifth-inning triple by Carlos Gomez that went into the left-field corner scored Brian Buscher, extending the lead to 2-0. The Twins put the game out of reach in the sixth, when Delmon Young hit his second home run of the season, a two-run line drive over the left-field fence off an 80-mph hanging curveball. Sheets (9-2, 2.83 ERA) called it an "awful pitch." The Twins scored all five runs with two outs. "I couldn't put away an inning," Sheets said. The Twins had difficulty with Sheets' fastball -- of Minnesota's nine hits, eight were on off-speed pitches. Five runs were plenty of support for Slowey, who had already shut down Milwaukee once this month. On June 13 at Miller Park, Slowey went eight innings and allowed two runs in a 10-2 Minnesota victory. "It was the exact same stuff, he didn't pull any tricks," Yost said. "It's called execution. It's called keeping the fastball down and away on the black and mixing in your off-speed stuff. Keeping you off balance, busting you up and in and then coming back down with pitches down and away. Those types of games like that you just take your hat off, really." Slowey (5-6, 3.48 ERA) needed 109 pitches to finish off the Brewers while surrendering no walks over nine innings. "With a team like Milwaukee, they make you pay for your mistakes," Slowey said. "If you put a guy on without making him earn his way on, I feel like there's a better than average chance that he's going to score, so it was big for me and it always has been." Said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire: "He really located, used his breaking ball, used his changeup. I think more than anything else it was location -- he just was painting. Heck of a performance." Corey Hart had as much success as any Brewer against Slowey, going 1-for-3. "Pretty lights out," Hart said. "He didn't throw me any balls over the middle of the plate."
Thor Nystrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.