Gallardo stars as Brewers win 5-0, sweep Twins
Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks homered as the suddenly resurgent Brewers chased struggling Twins starter Nick Blackburn from the game in the fourth inning. Gallardo (7-3) tied a career high with 12 strikeouts and gave up only five hits as he recorded his second career shutout.
Gallardo even helped himself at the plate with a double, single and two runs scored.
It was the Brewers' fourth straight win, and only the second time this season the Twins have been swept.
Gallardo, trying to become the third pitcher to throw a perfect game this season, retired the first 16 batters he faced before Butera's one-out single broke up the bid. Gallardo's effort was recognized with a warm standing ovation from the crowd, announced at 35,898.
Meanwhile, the Twins kept unraveling in uncharacteristic fashion.
Traditionally one of the best defensive teams in baseball, the Twins were charged with another error Thursday when Denard Span allowed a single by Gallardo to slip between his legs. Minnesota made four errors in the three-game series.
And it was yet another miserable June outing for Blackburn (6-5), who gave up five runs in only 3 2-3 innings.
Blackburn won all five of his starts in May but fell to 0-4 with a no-decision in five starts this month. Blackburn has lasted fewer than four innings in four of his five starts this month.
Gallardo — who has decent power at the plate for a pitcher — was the catalyst for Milwaukee's four-run third inning, smacking a one-out double for the Brewers' first hit of the game.
Weeks followed with a two-run homer to left, his 12th of the season off a 2-2 pitch from Blackburn.
After a walk to Corey Hart, Fielder homered just over the left field fence and into the bullpen for his 14th homer of the season.
Blackburn has given up five homers in his past three starts.
Gallardo found himself standing on second base in his next at-bat in the fourth, singling to center and continuing to second after the ball slipped through Span's legs. Weeks walked, and Hart singled to score Gallardo and give Milwaukee a 5-0 lead.
That was it for Blackburn, who was lifted for reliever Brian Duensing.
NOTES: Brewers LHP Doug Davis was scheduled to make a rehabilitation start at Triple-A Nashville Thursday night. Davis is on the disabled list because of pericarditis, an inflammation of the lining around his heart, and could return next week. ... Minnesota's Orlando Hudson fouled a ball off of his right foot in the seventh but stayed in the game. ... Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker, who had heart surgery April 30, was at the ballpark Thursday.
Last updated: 2:00 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012