Vizcaino balks home winning run in eighth

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins finally got the
performance they'd been craving from Eric Milton.

Milton pitched eight strong innings and got the win when
Milwaukee reliever Luis Vizcaino walked in one run and balked in
another in the bottom of the eighth as the Twins beat the Brewers
4-3 Sunday.

Milton (9-6) gave up two runs and four hits to get the win. He
matched his season-high with eight strikeouts.

"Everything was working tonight for me,'' Milton said. "I've
got to take advantage of it when it happens.''

Denny Hocking started the winning rally with a leadoff single
against Glendon Rusch (5-6). One out later, Matthew LeCroy blooped
a single to right.

Vizcaino relieved and struck out Torii Hunter. But he walked
Bobby Kielty and then walked Mohr on a 3-2 pitch to force in

Then Vizcaino stopped in mid-motion on his first pitch to Brian
Buchanan and was called for a balk that forced in pinch-runner
Cristian Guzman. Vizcaino said after the game that the spikes of
his left shoe hit his right leg during his motion and caused him to
stop his delivery.

"To lose a game without giving up a hit is tough,'' Brewers
manager Jerry Royster said. "That's a new one for us.''

Eddie Guardado pitched the ninth for his 24th save in 26
opportunities. He allowed a two-out RBI double to Ryan Thompson but
struck out Alex Ochoa to end the game.

The Twins took two of three games from the Brewers and extended
their AL Central Division lead to six games over the Chicago White

"All we need to do is win series,'' Hunter said. "If we sweep,
that's fine, but we have to win the series. This was big today.''

So was Milton's performance. Counted upon to be the Twins' ace
with Brad Radke and Joe Mays on the disabled list, Milton has been
inconsistent all season, giving up two runs or fewer in eight
starts but allowing five runs or more in seven others.

"It's been frustrating all season,'' Milton said. "I hope this
turns things around.''

The left-hander started strong, allowing just two baserunners
over the first four innings but ran into trouble when Thompson
singled to lead off the fifth and Alex Ochoa walked.

Milton managed to strike out Jose Hernandez and Ron Belliard,
but Robert Machado tripled over Mohr's head in left field to tie
the score. It was Machado's first triple since 1997 with the White

But Milton recovered and retired eight of the last nine batters
he faced.

The Twins took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on LeCroy's
bases-loaded, two-run single. That hit ended Rusch's career-high 18
1/3 inning scoreless streak.

Rusch gave up 10 hits and struck out seven in 7 1/3 innings.

The low-scoring game was befitting of both teams, considering
their records against left-handed pitching. Milwaukee is an
NL-worst 4-16 against lefties, while Minnesota is 12-14.

Game notes
Hocking is now 7-for-9 all-time against Rusch. ... Twins OF
Jacque Jones, in the throes of an 0-for-20 slump, got the day off
against the left-hander Rusch. Jones is hitting .191 against
lefties versus .326 against righties. ... Twins 1B Doug
Mientkiewicz also got the day off after mildly spraining his ankle
Saturday. ... Richie Sexson, who had started 78 of the Brewers'
previous 80 games at first base, was the team's designated hitter.
Mark Loretta took his place at first. ... Twins manager Ron
Gardenhire will rejoin the team Monday in Oakland after missing
five games to attend his father's funeral in Oklahoma. ...
Attendance was 33,193, fourth-highest at the Metrodome this season.