Twins serve as Gomez's salve

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 26, 2011 - 1:30 AM

He hasn't been hitting, but against his former team he got three hits, including a homer that was important at the time.

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Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez was congratulated in the dugout after hitting a two-run homer off former teammate Francisco Liriano on Saturday in Milwaukee.

Photo: Morry Gash, ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP

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MILWAUKEE — Carlos Gomez entered Saturday batting .063 for June, but that didn't stop him from having some fun at the Twins' expense.

The Brewers center fielder hit a two-run homer off Francisco Liriano in the third inning and added two more hits, as the Brewers rolled to a 11-1 victory at Miller Park.

"It's fun to do it against any team," Gomez said. "I've been really struggling."

Gomez, 25, added a few theatrics to his performance, as well, stirring memories of his over-the-top celebration on May 21, 2010, when he hit a three-run homer at Target Field with the Brewers trailing 15-0.

"It doesn't get under my skin at all," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's a real cool kid, and he's just playing. I have a lot of respect for the kid. I like him a lot."

At least Saturday's home run had some importance.

The Twins had a 1-0 lead when Gomez came to the plate with a runner on first. With a 1-2 count, Liriano threw a slider, and Gomez launched it into the left field seats. Gomez twirled his body as he swung, and flipped his bat.

He tapped his helmet and looked into the Brewers dugout as he rounded third base.

"I hit it good," Gomez said. "I felt good and excited about it. They know it's nothing personal, especially when I have my best friend on the mound, Liriano."

Liriano said he was trying to throw a slider in the dirt, adding, "I think it was a mistake to throw that pitch to Gomez,"

The lefthander seemed rattled, as the Twins committed two errors that inning, and before it was finished Milwaukee had a 5-1 lead.

Gomez, who entered the game with a .262 on-base percentage, singled and scored in the fourth inning, when Gardenhire pulled Liriano from the game.

Liriano (4-7) had a 2.20 ERA in his previous seven starts, but he allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits in 32/3 innings.

With Yovani Gallardo (9-4) on his game, the Twins needed a far better performance. Gallardo allowed one run on six hits over seven innings and left after Prince Fielder hit a three-run homer, giving the Brewers a 10-1 lead.

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