Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire felt good about his club's chances of sweeping the Philadelphia Phillies when he sent reliever Jared Burton to the mound with a one-run lead in the eighth inning.
But a couple of bloop hits to right field, a bunt hit by a former Twins player, and a run-scoring infield dribbler turned a potential win into a hard-luck loss.
The usually steady Burton allowed two runs, three hits and a walk — in absorbing his second loss in three games — and Philadelphia rallied to beat Minnesota 3-2 on Thursday night.
Cliff Lee allowed two runs in seven strong innings, and Ben Revere had four hits and scored the go-ahead run as the Phillies snapped a five-game losing streak.
"You get that situation, you got Burton in the game, we feel pretty good about it," Gardenhire said. "It didn't work out tonight, but we feel pretty good about that situation."
Burton (0-4) has been the bridge to closer Glen Perkins for the Twins bullpen that had given up just 11 earned runs in the previous 55 2-3 innings.
Burton, who took the loss on June 6 at Kansas City when he allowed four runs, entered in the eighth after Justin Morneau's two-run double against Lee evaded the dive of Revere, the former Minnesota center fielder.
Burton, pitching for the first time in five games, gave up a single to pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen just inside the right-field line to lead off the inning. The speedy Revere bunted for a hit, followed by another single by Michael Young. Revere scored the winning run on a dribbler up the first base line by Jimmy Rollins.
"They didn't kill any balls," Gardenhire said of the eighth inning. "I don't think he was rusty. I think it was just bad luck. That's just luck of the draw. The first guy took a swing and stood at home plate and didn't even know where the ball went, and it landed down the right field line. There you have it."
Morneau, playing in, tried to get Revere at home, but had no chance after Revere took off on contact.
"I'll take the stuff I had out there every day, and I know stuff will play out," Burton said. "You can't ride the peaks and valleys. If you've got good stuff, you just got to keep throwing it out there and know that after 70, 75 games it's going to work itself out."
Lee (8-2) gave up only one hit and faced the minimum number of batters through his first six innings. But Joe Mauer walked and Ryan Doumit reached on an infield hit in the eighth before Morneau drove a pitch just past the outstretched arms of Revere, a catch the Twins had seen him make often in his time with Minnesota.
Twins starter Kevin Correia somehow kept Minnesota close enough to eventually break through against Lee. Correia was in and out of trouble throughout the first five innings. Philadelphia had 16 hits, but stranded 16 runners — including 10 in the first five innings against Correia.
"It was kind of one-sided," Correia said of trying to match Lee. "I felt like he was out there for three minutes an inning and I was out there for 30 minutes an inning. It was a different way of doing it. But as you saw, it can wear on you."
NOTES: Mauer was Minnesota's first runner against Lee when he singled with one out in the fourth. ... Revere tied a career high with four hits, including a triple. ... New Minnesota Gophers men's basketball coach Richard Pitino threw out the first pitch. ... Gardenhire on former closer Eddie Guardado, who will be inducted into the team's hall of fame on Friday: "He was an everyday guy. He really did take the ball it seemed like every day. Any time you needed him to take the ball, he did it." ... Scott Diamond (4-5, 5.19 ERA) will start the series opener for the Twins against Detroit's Rick Porcello (3-3, 4.86 ERA) on Friday at Target Field.