On Friday night, Minnesota Twins fans had to sit through a two-hour rain delay to see it, but once the game got started, it didn't take long for them to see Jim Thome take another step closer to history.
Thome's three-run first inning home run off of Brewers' starter Yovani Gallardo (9-5, 3.92 ERA) provided the Twins all of the offense they needed on the evening, and the Twins collected their third consecutive victory by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 6-2 at Target Field.
Things got off to a rough start for the Twins, as former Twin Carlos Gomez put the Brewers on the board first, launching a solo home run to center field off of Minnesota starter Francisco Liriano (5-7, 4.76 ERA) to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead. It did not take the Twins long to strike back, however. Gallardo quickly collected the first two outs in the bottom of the first, but Joe Mauer extended his hitting streak to six games with a single, and Michael Cuddyer followed that up with a walk. Thome then stepped to the plate, and took an 0-1 offering from Gallardo to the opposite field for a home run, electrifying Target Field and giving the Twins a 3-1 lead.
The Brewers scratched out a second run in the top of the third, as a two-out single by Ryan Braun scored Rickie Weeks to make the score 3-2. However, that would be the last run Milwaukee would get on the evening, as Liriano would allow just two hits over the next four innings.
The Twins got a couple more runs in the bottom of the fifth, the first one coming when a ground ball by Mauer went right between Prince Fielder's legs and into right field. Fielder was charged with an error, and Ben Revere scored to make the score 4-2. Cuddyer came up next, and promptly grounded into a double play. However, the double play was enough to score Alexi Casilla to give the Twins a 5-2 lead.
The Twins got one more insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, thanks to a single by Danny Valencia that scored Mauer to give Minnesota the final margin of victory at 6-2.
Liriano had a pretty good night on the mound, pitching seven innings and allowing just four hits and two runs, walking two and striking out seven. Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Glen Perkins pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to close things out for the Twins.
The win is the third in a row for Minnesota, and cuts their deficit in the American League Central race to eight games behind the new division leaders, the Cleveland Indians.
The same two teams will get together on Saturday night at Target Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:10 PM Central time. Left-hander Chris Narveson (5-5, 4.42 ERA) will take the hill for the Brewers, while right-hander Carl Pavano (5-6, 4.24 ERA) will get the ball for Minnesota.