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News » Brewers-Twins Preview 2008-06-29


Brewers-Twins Preview 2008-06-29


Brewers-Twins Preview 2008-06-29
Despite being at opposite ends of the rotation, Ben Sheets and Manny Parra have proven to be quite the winning pair for the Milwaukee Brewers of late.

Sheets gets his turn Sunday when the Brewers close out a three-game interleague series at the Metrodome against the Minnesota Twins.

The elder statesman of the Brewers rotation, Sheets (9-1, 2.59 ERA) appears to be in line for his second straight All-Star selection and fourth overall. The right-hander is trying to win his fourth consecutive start and sixth straight decision, having gone 5-0 with a 1.92 ERA over his last seven starts.

"Oh yeah, no doubt," said Brewers manager Ned Yost, stumping for Sheets as the best pitcher in the NL before adding he is the best of "anybody in baseball, in both leagues."

Sheets is coming off his third complete game of the season - a four-hitter in a 4-1 victory at Atlanta on Monday - and improved to 6-0 with a 2.41 ERA in 10 road starts. He has won eight decisions in a row on the road since losing at Pittsburgh on July 5, 2007, compiling a 2.80 ERA in 13 starts during his streak, but dismissed talk of being dominant outside Milwaukee.

"We've got a good team," said Sheets, who has allowed three runs or less in his last seven starts. "We're going to win games."

Sheets has not faced the Twins since beating them in 2004, lost his only career start in the Metrodome in 2002 and is 1-1 with a 2.18 ERA in three lifetime starts versus Minnesota.

He is following a dominant performance by Parra, who scattered two hits and four walks in seven shutout innings of a 5-1 victory that ended Minnesota's season-high 10-game winning streak. The rookie left-hander struck out six in winning his sixth straight start as the Brewers (44-36) won for the ninth time in 12 games.

Brewers right fielder Corey Hart, who had an RBI double and scored in a three-run third inning, has eight homers and 24 RBIs in 24 games in June.

Kevin Slowey (4-6, 3.96) may be the right pitcher to get the Twins back on track. He is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in his last three starts, but had nothing to show from arguably his best outing of the season.

The right-hander outpitched Jake Peavy at San Diego on Tuesday, striking out a season-best seven in six innings - retiring 14 in a row at one point - and leaving with a 1-0 lead. But Minnesota's bullpen squandered the lead before eventually winning 3-1.

Slowey is 1-0 in two starts versus the Brewers, winning at Miller Park on June 13 after limiting the Brewers to two runs in eight innings of a 10-2 rout.

The lone positive from Saturday's loss for Minnesota (44-37) was losing pitcher Livan Hernandez saving the bullpen by throwing a season-high 115 pitches in seven innings after falling behind 5-0 after three.

The Twins have not lost consecutive games since dropping six in a row from June 5-10, and have not lost a series since dropping two of three at Cleveland from June 10-12.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: June 29, 2008

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