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Eldred, Brewers Stop Twins 9-2


Cal Eldred's performance was just what the Milwaukee Brewers needed.

Knowing the bullpen needed some rest, Eldred allowed just two runs in 7 1-3 innings Thursday afternoon as the Brewers went on to a 9-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

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Brewers may have moved to the National League this season but Eldred hasn't forgotten the days of tired American League bullpens.

"I've been through that so I had a little bit of experience," Eldred said. "You have to know you can't go out and do too much, you just have to try not to waste pitches."

Eldred called it the "old American League days," and in those old AL days, he had pretty good success against the Twins, despite never winning a game in the Metrodome. The Twins starting lineup entered the game with a combined .217 batting average against him.

"The made some adjustments on me and I had to make some right back," Eldred said. "Regardless of how you've done against them, I know the last time they beat me so you don't forget those things."

Eldred (3-5) gave up five hits and struck out six, winning his first game since June 5. Mike Myers, who faced one batter Wednesday night, held the Twins to one hit over the final 1 2-3 innings.

The Brewers scored all the runs they needed in the first with the aid of three Twins errors that sabotaged Minnesota starter Brad Radke (8-6). In addition to the errors, Matt Lawton lost a ball in the Metrodome ceiling, allowing Mark Loretta to reach base with a leadoff double.

Jeff Cirillo drove in the first run with a single and Dave Nilsson made it 2-0 with an RBI double. Marquis Grissom's single gave Milwaukee a 3-0 lead. Grissom went 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

"We still had to put the ball into play but we took advantage of the mistakes and that's what you want your club to do," Milwaukee manager Phil Garner said. "In today's case we certainly did take advantage."

Twins manager Tom Kelly was appalled by his team's four errors. Radke committed his first career error in the fifth inning. The three-error first was Minnesota's first since April of last season in Detroit.

"(It was) one of those embarrassing games and I apologize to our fans and Brewers fans that came from Wisconsin," Kelly said. "It was embarrassing for myself and I'm sure for the players. It's a shame people had to pay money."

The Twins cut the lead to 3-1 in the second on a single by Pat Meares and made it 3-2 in fifth on a double by Brent Gates.

Bob Hamelin, who entered the game in the second inning after Nilsson left with a strained left groin, doubled a run home in the sixth inning and delivered a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Grissom's two-run single in the eighth off reliever Hector Carrasco built the lead to 7-2. Five of the nine Milwaukee hits were doubles.

Radke, who was 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA against the Brewers last season, went six innings, giving up seven hits and four runs - two earned.

"I felt a little off today," Radke said. "I could have done better. I felt the whole team was a little off today."

Jeromy Burnitz hit a two-run homer in the ninth, his 18th of the season, to make it 9-2.

Notes:

  • The Brewers lead the overall series against the Twins 176-173. ... Burnitz's ninth-inning home run traveled 473 feet, the team's longest this season. The longest home run ever at the Metrodome was 481 feet by Milwaukee's Ben Oglivie.
  • Mark Loretta led off for the first time this season, marking just the second game this season that Fernando Vina was not at the top of the order. Vina was given the day off.
  • The Brewers have won four straight series for the first time since Aug.-Sept. 1996.

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