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Strong Start, Slow Finish: Twins Fall 7-5

After a strong start in which the first six Minnesota hitters reached base to start the game, the Twins cooled off over the course of the next eight innings and fell to the Milwaukee Brewers in the first game of the three-game border battle, 7-5.

For the Twins, the loss snubs them at yet another attempt to move 12 games above .500 for the first time in 2010.

Coming off one of his best outings of the year last week against the Colorado Rockies, starter Scott Baker was looking to start a trend of consistency. Through the first three innings Tuesday night, Baker was on track, but yet another homerun, this time a three-run shot, did the righty in. Baker has now allowed five homeruns in just four starts this month, more than he did in either of the season’s first two months.

Offensively, the Twins started strong against lefty Chris Narveson, but after the first six hitters reached base via a hitch by pitch, two walks and three singles, the Twins cooled off, stranded runners at second and third base with nobody out, and Narveson went from a potential short outing to an overall decent five inning start.

The offense did put another eighth inning threat together, scoring two runs off reliever Todd Coffey. A double play with two runners on ended that threat however, and the Twins left six total runners on base.

With the loss, the Twins fall to 40-30 on the season. The suddenly hot Chicago White Sox picked up a game to move within 4.5 games of first place, while the Detroit Tigers fell and remain 1.5 games back.

Notes: Alex Burnett struggled again, allowing two runs in the seventh inning. Had he not allowed the runs, the Twins’ late rally would have tied the game…Joe Mauer avoided dropping below .300 with a ninth inning single and overall went 1-4 on the night…Delmon Young is hitting .310 and is on pace for 20 HR and 111 RBI.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.