Minnesota arrived in Milwaukee with a little bit of momentum and ideas of getting back into the AL Central race.
Although the season is a long way from over, they leave Milwaukee vexed by the very things that caused them to have baseball’s worst record for the first two months of the season—mediocre starting pitching, a bullpen that can’t hold a lead if they inherit one, and inconsistent hitting that can’t produce runs when needed.
Carl Pavano got the start, shut out the Brewers through 4 innings, and was staked to a 1-0 lead in the second, thanks in large part to a Danny Valencia triple. But in the bottom of the fifth, with the score tied 1-1, Ryan Braun absolutely crushed an 0-1 pitch to deep left-center for a two run home run, giving the Brewers a lead they would not relinquish.
The Twins had opportunities to get back in the game in both the 7th and 9th inning, but could not get the big hit they needed to do so. They scored one in the 7th on a Jim Thome single, but Alexi Casilla struck out with the bases loaded to end the threat. In the 9th, the Twins got runners on 1st and 2nd on back to back singles by Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Joe Mauer, but Rene Tosoni grounded into a double play to end the game.
The Twins return home to face the Dodgers tomorrow for a three game series, with Nick Blackburn scheduled to face Chad Billingsley. First pitch from Target Field is 7:10 CST.