The taste of success for a starting pitcher is addicting. The worst part: Once it is found, there are four days of rest before there is a chance to taste it again.
After beginning the season with a 6.05 ERA through his first seven starts, Brewers righty Marco Estrada has flashed signs of dominance, perhaps none more impressive than his last start, a seven-inning, eight-strikeout gem when he held the Pirates to just one run on four hits.
He is 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA and 15 strikeouts to five walks over his last three starts.
As the Brewers travel to Minnesota for the second part of the four-game Interleague series between the geographically close teams, Estrada has a chance to keep it going and provide the first quality start the Brewers have had since the last time he was on the mound.
"I wanted to get out there the very next day," he said. "It's just one of those things, once you come off a good game you want to keep it going. I want to give the team another great game -- I know we need it again. We've had short outings."
Estrada said he was hoping to last longer than 100 pitches Wednesday, which would be of good timing after Tuesday's 6-5 loss to the Twins that lasted 14 innings, nine of which were pitched by the bullpen.
As of Tuesday, the Brewers had the worst ERA (5.43) among starting pitchers in the National League.
"This year's been a little frustrating -- it's been a lot frustrating," Estrada said. "It hasn't gone that well for me; it hasn't gone well for other guys, but I know it's going to change. This has happened for, what, the last three years I've been here, for sure.
"It always starts off like this, and you wonder, 'Is this ever going to change?' And things do change. Something clicks, and then you get it rolling. Once we get going, you can't stop us."
At 19-31, the Brewers could certainly use a winning streak.
They will be up against Twins right-hander Samuel Deduno, a 29-year-old with limited Major League experience who will be making his second start of the season for Minnesota.
Having struggled with walk issues in the past, Deduno believes throwing strike one will be key.
"The fastball was working good, and the changeup was a little bit better than the breaking ball," Deduno said about his season debut May 24. "But [Wednesday], the first thing I have to do is to throw first-pitch strikes. This is the key. I just have to do my job."
Brewers: Segura sets another milestone
Jean Segura added another impressive moment to his short Major League career Tuesday night, picking up six hits in a 6-5 loss in 14 innings. At 23, he became the youngest shortstop in baseball history to collect six hits in a game.
His fifth tied the game with one out in the ninth inning. He finished 6-for-7.
On the season, Segura is hitting .365 with eight homers and 22 RBIs.
Twins: Plouffe to return Wednesday
Trevor Plouffe has not yet caught fire the way he did at times last season, but getting the powerful third baseman back could provide a big lift to the Twins lineup.
Plouffe, who is on the seven-day disabled list following a concussion, is set to return Wednesday.
"Getting Plouffe back is going to help," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's one of our guys that we hope can drive the ball."
Plouffe, who hit 24 homers in just 422 at-bats last year, was hitting .254 with nine doubles and four homers in 134 at-bats this season.
• Twins right-hander Josh Roenicke pitched another scoreless inning against the Brewers Tuesday as his uncle, Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke, watched from the opposing dugout.
"It's always cool to play against him," Josh said.
• Joe Mauer was recently moved from No. 2 to No. 3 in the lineup, where he will stay for the time being as the Twins try to get more runners on base for Mauer to drive in.
• Injured first baseman Corey Hart is traveling with the Brewers and said he was close to beginning a Minor League rehab assignment.
• Chris Narveson will make his first rehabilitation start Thursday for Triple-A Nashville as he works back from a sprained left middle finger