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MILWAUKEE (AP) – Ryan Braun extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a tiebreaking home run and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Minnesota Twins 6-2 Sunday.
Braun connected for a two-run shot in the fifth inning. Chris Narveson (5-5) helped himself with an RBI double.
The punchless Twins, using a watered-down lineup decimated by injuries, have scored only eight runs in losing five consecutive games.
Jonathan Lucroy had a triple, a double, a walk, scored two runs and had an RBI for Milwaukee, which swept the three-game series and has won four of five.
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.
Narveson allowed two runs in 6 2-3 innings against a Twins starting lineup that had combined for only 22 homers this season, one more than Milwaukee first baseman Prince Fielder.
Narveson scattered five hits and two walks while striking out seven to win for the third time in four starts.
The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the second when Danny Valencia singled and scored on Jason Repko’s single.
The Brewers loaded the bases with two outs against Pavano in the third, but Braun flied out to end the inning.
In the fifth, Braun didn’t fail.
Lucroy opened the inning with a triple down the left-field line. Two outs later, Nyjer Morgan singled to tie it at 1. Pavano threw to first in an effort to keep Morgan close to the bag, but the ball went off Luke Hughes’ glove for an error, allowing Morgan to advance to second. Braun hit the next pitch over the center-field wall for his 16th homer.
In the sixth, Milwaukee scored twice more off Pavano with two outs. Yuniesky Betancourt singled and scored on Lucroy’s double. Narveson 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.
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: Twins manager Ron 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.
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