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Washington at Minnesota

W: K. Slowey (4-6) L: J. Bergmann (1-5)
HR: WAS - F. Lopez (2)   MIN - None

Twins 11, Nationals 2

CBSSports.com wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- Kevin Slowey again backed up his manager's confidence in him.

Slowey won his second straight start since his worst outing of the year, Justin Morneau drove in three runs and the Minnesota Twins beat the Washington Nationals 11-2 Wednesday night.

Carlos Gomez again got the Twins going from his leadoff spot, bunting for two of his three singles, scoring two runs and driving in a run in the eighth.

Jason Bergmann (1-5) pitched better than his last two starts, but lost his third straight for Washington. Minnesota scored eight runs in its last two innings against Saul Rivera, Jesus Colome and Brian Sanches.

"It had the feel like last night where it'd be a 3-1 game, or maybe we'd get one run and let Joe (Nathan) come in for a save in the ninth," said Brendan Harris, who had an RBI double for the Twins.

Minnesota won the series opener 2-1 and will try for the sweep on Thursday.

Slowey (4-6) allowed one earned run on seven hits over six-plus innings for his second straight quality start. He gave up two runs and five hits in eight innings Friday in Milwaukee, after allowing eight earned runs and 10 hits in three innings June 8 in Chicago. It was part of a four-game stretch where Minnesota gave up 40 runs.

After that outing, Slowey said manager Ron Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson urged the staff to stay the course.

"They're big proponents of sticking with what works and not changing stuff every time you give up a hit or give up a run," Slowey said. "As pitchers, we're going to have to go through some tough outings and just learn from them."

Other than a home run by Felipe Lopez, Slowey mostly kept the ball down, stayed away from the middle of the plate, picked off a runner and got out of two middle-inning jams.

After Lopez homered to make it 3-1 in the fifth, Washington got two runners on when Lastings Milledge grounded out to end the threat. One inning later with Dmitri Young on third and two outs, Slowey got Paul Lo Duca to foul out.

"Didn't matter how good he was. He won," Milledge said. "I'm not going to sit here and say he was Cy Young, but he pitched well enough to win."

Gardenhire was especially impressed with how Slowey pitched around those tight situations without letting either turn into a big inning.

"He made some pitches when he had to to get out of jams that he created himself. That's a good sign," Gardenhire said. "When you don't have your best stuff and are not locating as well, you've got to be able to do some other things."

The Nationals left the bases loaded in the seventh against Jesse Crain when Jesus Flores popped out.

Minnesota nearly turned an around-the-horn triple play in the eighth, but umpire Tim McClelland ruled Alexi Casilla didn't touch second base as he made a pivot to throw to first. Casilla agreed he missed the bag.

"After I saw the play and I saw him reach up I was really happy to see the guy out at first to get some more people out," Gardenhire said. "I was happy to see Lexi catch the ball and continue the play more than trying to do something crazy and everybody else is safe."

Bergmann, who allowed nine earned runs in 7 2/3 innings in his previous two starts combined, allowed one earned run and five hits in six innings.

In seven starts since being recalled from Triple-A Columbus May 14, he is 1-4 with a 3.05 ERA, but has received a combined five runs of support in those games.

He didn't get any defensive help, either. Washington tied a season high with three errors.

Harris doubled to easily score Jason Kubel in the second, and Brian Buscher scored when Milledge bobbled the ball in center field for a 3-0 lead.

Lo Duca could have been charged with an error on Kubel's single, and was charged with one after booting Buscher's grounder in the fourth.

"They're going to pick me up at certain times. It's a long season," Bergmann said. "You can't get frustrated by that. ... They're fighting through it, so I can do the same."

Morneau had an RBI single and Kubel a sacrifice fly in the seventh against Rivera.

A two-run double by Delmon Young highlighted a six-run eighth.


Gomez has 29 infield hits this year. ... Cristian Guzman had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, longest by a Nationals player this year. Guzman has 11 three-hit games. ... Minnesota's Nick Blackburn, whose Tuesday start was skipped because of a sore elbow, threw a full bullpen session Wednesday and is expected to be ready for his Saturday start.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

J. Morneau
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

C. Gomez
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0

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Washington Nationals
Cristian Guzman, SS4130000 .316
Elijah Dukes, RF5030013 .243
Lastings Milledge, CF4001015 .254
Dmitri Young, DH3010214 .267
Jesus Flores, C5000018 .298
Aaron Boone, 3B4020001 .266
Felipe Lopez, 2B4121011 .252
Paul Lo Duca, 1B4000013 .193
Kory Casto, LF3000111 .219
HR - Felipe Lopez (2, Slowey)
RBI - Lastings Milledge (27), Felipe Lopez (19)
PK - Elijah Dukes (1, Slowey)
Team LOB - 12
E - Aaron Boone (2, Throwing), Paul Lo Duca (1, Misplayed grounder), Lastings Milledge (3, Misplayed grounder)
Washington Nationals
Jason Bergmann (L,1-5) 6531320 5.03
Saul Rivera 0.2322200 4.07
Jesus Colome 1355210 5.88
Brian Sanches 0.1211010 5.40
WP - Jesus Colome (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Bergmann 106-61, Saul Rivera 23-9, Jesus Colome 24-13, Brian Sanches 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Bergmann 5-12, Saul Rivera 1-1, Jesus Colome 1-1
Batters Faced - Jason Bergmann 27, Saul Rivera 7, Jesus Colome 8, Brian Sanches 3
Minnesota Twins
Carlos Gomez, CF5231022 .274
Alexi Casilla, 2B3100102 .298
Joe Mauer, C4120102 .332
Justin Morneau, 1B4123001 .308
    Matt Macri, 3B0000000 .345
Michael Cuddyer, RF3100202 .244
Jason Kubel, DH3211100 .258
Delmon Young, LF3112201 .276
Brian Buscher, 3B-1B5122014 .333
Brendan Harris, SS5121013 .236
2B - Delmon Young (13, Sanches), Brendan Harris (10, Bergmann)
3B - Brendan Harris (1, Colome)
SF - Justin Morneau (2), Jason Kubel (3)
SH - Alexi Casilla (5)
RBI - Carlos Gomez (25), Justin Morneau 3 (56), Jason Kubel (37), Delmon Young 2 (24), Brian Buscher 2 (6), Brendan Harris (18)
2-OUT RBI - Justin Morneau (20), Delmon Young 2 (7), Brian Buscher 2 (2)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Buscher-Casilla-Morneau, Macri-Casilla-Buscher
E - Brendan Harris (6, Misplayed grounder)
Minnesota Twins
Kevin Slowey (W,4-6) 6711241 4.37
Jesse Crain (H,7) 1000120 2.93
Brian Bass 1200000 5.16
Boof Bonser 1211010 6.48
HBP - Milledge (by Kevin Slowey), Guzman (by Jesse Crain)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Slowey 91-59, Jesse Crain 24-13, Brian Bass 13-11, Boof Bonser 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Slowey 7-6, Brian Bass 2-0, Boof Bonser 2-0
Batters Faced - Kevin Slowey 27, Jesse Crain 5, Brian Bass 4, Boof Bonser 5
Game Information
Attendance - 23841
Game Time - 2:52
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Mike DiMuro