MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Minnesota Twins started a lineup Sunday that had hit only 22 home runs this season, one more than Milwaukee first baseman Prince Fielder.
The result was another punchless offensive outing, as Milwaukee starter Chris Narveson and three relievers shut down the Twins 6-2 to complete a three-game sweep.
Using a watered-down lineup decimated by injuries, Minnesota has scored only eight runs in losing five consecutive games.
``For us right now, because of the injuries, everything's got to be going on all cylinders,' Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer said. ``Our hitters have to pick up pitchers and our pitchers have to pick up hitters.'
That didn't happen Sunday. The Twins were charged with two errors, but made several other miscues that led to Milwaukee runs.
``Ugly ballgame for us,' Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``Defensively, we made way too many mistakes.'
Carl Pavano (5-6) blanked the Brewers the first four innings, but allowed five runs with two outs over the next two innings to lose for the first time in five June starts.
``I gave up those runs with two outs,' he said. ``That's tough to swallow.'
The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the second when Danny Valencia singled and scored on Jason Repko's single.
Milwaukee's Jonathan Lucroy opened the fifth with a triple down the left-field line. Two outs later, Nyjer Morgan singled just past the glove of second baseman Alexi Casilla to tie it at 1. Ryan Braun then hit an 0-1 pitch over the center-field wall for his 16th homer, extending his hitting streak to 17 games.
In the sixth, Milwaukee scored twice more off Pavano with two outs. Yuniesky Betancourt singled and scored on Lucroy's double. Narveson (5-5) doubled down the left-field line for his second extra-base hit in 105 major league plate appearances, scoring Lucroy for a 5-1 lead.
Minnesota scored its second run off Narveson in the seventh. Hughes walked and scored on pinch-hitter Jim Thome's RBI single, moving the 40-year-old past Ernie Banks into 28th on the all-time RBI list with 1,637.
Narveson allowed two runs in 6 2-3 innings.
Twins reliever Jose Mijares allowed another hit to Fielder in the seventh that gave the Brewers a 6-2 lead, two nights after getting into a dispute with catcher Joe Mauer over pitch selection. Mijares complained after Friday night's game that he wanted to throw a slider to Fielder, but Mauer called several fastballs and the big first baseman hit one for a game-winning double.
With Braun on second Sunday, Fielder came to the plate and Mauer called for the slider. Fielder promptly sent it into center field for an RBI single to make it 6-2.
NOTES: Gardenhire said Mauer would begin taking grounders at first base when the team returns to Minnesota this week so the team could have more options to get him in the lineup. Mauer did not start Sunday, but pinch-hit in the seventh and stayed in the game. ... Twins OF Jason Kubel, out since May 31 with a sprained left foot, is expected to undergo a workout Monday, and then likely will be sent on a rehab assignment to Triple-A Rochester. Gardenhire said Kubel likely will play seven games at Rochester before returning to the Twins. ... Pavano's strikeout of Fielder in the fifth was the 1,000 of the right-hander's career. ... After Thome collected the RBI hit, LHP Brian Duensing pinch-ran for him. ... It was the seventh time the Twins have been swept this year after being swept only four times all of last season.
The Associated Press News Service
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