Series: Game 3 of 3

Minnesota won 3-0

Game 1: Friday, June 30
Game 2: Saturday, July 1
Game 3: Sunday, July 2

Brewers 0

(40-43, 15-26 away)

Twins 8

(45-35, 30-10 home)

    2:10 PM ET, July 2, 2006

    Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

    123456789 R H E
    MIL 000000000 0 3 1
    MIN 10502000 - 8 11 0

    W: F. Liriano (9-1)

    L: Z. Jackson (1-1)

    Liriano fans career-high 12 to send Twins to 10th win in row

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins are winning so much these days that even ultra-talkative center fielder Torii Hunter is speechless.

    He grew more incredulous by the second as the list was read to him -- 10 wins in a row, 18 of 19, 20 of 22.

    Start strong, come on stronger
     Francisco Liriano
    Since June 11, the Twins are an other-worldly 18-1. One of the biggest reasons behind Minnesota's recent surge has been the performance of 22-year-old rookie pitcher Francisco Liriano. This is how Liriano has done over his last five starts:


    To read more about Liriano's recent surge, check out Elias Says.

    "What! I don't ..." Hunter stammered. "I didn't even think about that. We're playing great ball."

    Francisco Liriano struck out a career-high 12 in eight innings and Justin Morneau homered in the Twins' 8-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

    Liriano (9-1) allowed just three hits and won his fifth straight start for the streaking Twins, who have won 13 in a row at the Metrodome to improve to a major league-best 30-10 at home.

    The Twins' surge has coincided with the 22-year-old Liriano's insertion into the starting rotation back on May 19. He faced the Brewers at Miller Park in his debut, and he's only gotten better since giving up one run and two hits in five innings to win that one.

    "I don't know how many different ways you can describe the way he's throwing the baseball," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's pretty nasty. He dominated the game."

    Rookie Zach Jackson (1-1) gave up eight runs -- seven earned -- and walked three in five innings for Milwaukee. He wasn't hit all that hard on Sunday, but an error and two walks in the third got the Twins rolling toward the three-game sweep.

    "That's not my game," Jackson said. "I'm not a big walk guy. I need to have control and I wasn't able to do that today."

    After Michael Cuddyer's RBI single gave the Twins a 1-0 lead in the first, Minnesota broke the game open with an opportunistic third inning.

    Morneau came up with the bases loaded and one out and hit a high chopper toward Rickie Weeks at second. But the ball handcuffed Weeks and scooted past him for an error, allowing Luis Castillo and Mike Redmond to score to start the rally.

    Jackson also walked two in the inning, then Shannon Stewart blooped a double to shallow right field that scored two more runs to make it 6-0.

    Morneau's solo homer in the fifth -- his 21st of the season -- rattled a suite in right field, and Jason Kubel added an RBI single to make it 8-0.

    "I don't care how hot a team is, I have to give my team a chance to win," Jackson said. "I didn't do that today."

    Liriano got off to a rough start, hitting Weeks to start the game and giving up a single to Jeff Cirillo. He then stumbled during his delivery to No. 3 hitter Corey Hart, and the balk allowed Weeks and Cirillo to each move up a base.

    Liriano walked around the mound gingerly after the stumble and was examined by Twins trainers.

    "I don't even know what happened," Liriano said. "I tried to use the slide step and just slipped."

    Once he regained his footing, it was all over for the Brewers.

    Liriano struck out Hart on the next pitch, then got Carlos Lee swinging before Prince Fielder ground out to second to end the inning.

    The Brewers managed just two hits the rest of the way as the Twins continued their remarkable run.

    They improved to 16-2 in interleague play, matching the 2002 Oakland Athletics and 2006 Boston Red Sox for most interleague wins in a season, yet remain 10 games behind Detroit in the AL Central.

    The dominating June led to a clean sweep of the AL monthly awards for the Twins. Joe Mauer was named player of the month, Johan Santana pitcher of the month and Liriano was named the top rookie, the first time in the five-year history of the trifecta that all three players came from one team.

    "That's never been done before," Hunter said. "That's pretty impressive. It lets everybody know that we're playing good baseball."

    Game notes

    Cirillo's single in the sixth was his 1,500th career hit. He had two hits. ... Mauer, the majors' leading hitter, got the day off. He fouled a pitch off his toe in Saturday night's win and also was suffering from a bout of the flu. ... The announced crowd of 35,466 pushed the Twins' attendance over the 1 million mark, the fastest the team has reached that mark since 1992.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press