Well, all good things must come to an end. The Twins saw their six-game winning streak snapped against the Brewers tonight, falling in frustrating fashion as they failed to hit with runners on base after the second inning and lost the lead late.
The Twins exploded for four runs in the second inning to start the scoring. Eddie Rosario singled for the first hit of the game, and moved to third on a Willians Astudillo broken-bat single through the shift. Luis Arraez came up with a big two-out hit, smacking a single to center field to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. Byron Buxton came up with the biggest hit of the inning, slugging a high fastball into the bullpens in left to give the Twins a 4-0 lead.
Unfortunately Michael Pineda would give up hits to each of the 7-9 hitters in the Brewers lineup to lead off the third, as they scored their first run on an Orlando Arcia double and then their next two on sacrifice flies from Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich. It looked like Byron Buxton’s throw might be able to clip Arica coming home for the third run of the game, but his toss was a tad up the line and Astudillo was unable to get to the ball before it hit Arcia on the fly.
Pineda settled in from there, which has seemingly been his pattern in his recent starts. He posted his fourth straight quality start, though he has allowed three runs in each of those starts. After his troublesome third inning he was great the rest of the way, retiring nine straight batters (including five strikeouts) to complete his outing. Including the first and second frames, Pineda posted 1-2-3 innings in five of the six innings he pitched.
The Twins had chances to tack on insurance runs during the middle and late innings, but were unable to do so. After Buxton’s home run in the second, the Twins were 0-8 with runners in scoring position in innings 2-9, leaving 10 runners on base.
Taylor Rogers came into the hold the lead for the Twins in the seventh, and got Keston Hiura to lineout to right field. He wasn’t so lucky in the eighth, as he gave up a double to pinch-hitter Hernan Perez before allowing a two-run dinger to the light-hitting shortstop Arcia, who has a career OPS of .667. It was a strange game for the Twins pitchers as five of the six hits they allowed were to the Brewers’ 7-9 hitters.
Josh Hader entered the game for the Brewers in the eighth for the two-inning save opportunity, which is almost always an automatic win for Milwaukee when they have the lead. The nasty lefty came into the game with an opponent batting average of .108, but the Twins gave the Brew Crew a scare. Hader gave up a single to Marwin Gonzalez in the eighth, and also walked Jonathan Schoop and allowed a single by C.J. Cron in the ninth. The Twins had a decent opportunity to score in the ninth with runners on first and second and one out, but Rosario flew out on the first pitch of his at-bat and Miguel Sano swung through three straight pitches to end the game.
Willians Astudillo has been pretty decent behind the plate this season, but struggled a bit tonight. There were a couple of pitches that got past him or squirted away, and was in a poor position to catch Buxton’s throw on the Brewers’ third run of the game. He also left four on base in his at-bats. I love La Tortuga as much as anybody, but he had a rough game tonight.
Miguel Sano is struggling against lefties for some reason this season. He did manage to draw two walks today, but swung and missed at nine pitches today, seven of those coming against lefties. He is now 1-13 against lefties so far this year.
This loss is a tough one to stomach considering the Twins held Milwaukee’s 1-6 hitters to 1-20 hitting on the day. The Brewers 7-9 hitters scored all five of their runs.
Max Kepler continued his recent tear, as he has 15 hits in his last 30 at-bats.
Byron Buxton: 1-3, HR, 3 RBI
Max Kepler: 2-4
Luis Arraez: 1-2, RBI, BB
Taylor Rogers: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
|less cowbell, more 'neau
|Erudites Smell Bad