video thumbnail

MIN@NYY: Correia gives up nine hits, one run

Kevin Correia has been unlucky. That's what the numbers say, anyway.

The Twins starter went 9-13 last season with a 4.18 ERA. This season, his record (2-6) has dipped and his ERA (5.87) has soared despite maintaining better numbers in strikeouts/nine innings (4.99), walks/nine innings (2.05) and home runs/nine innings (0.88).

The primary culprit? Correia's left-on-base percentage. Last year, he stranded 76.1 percent of his baserunners. Entering Thursday's conclusion of a four-game set against the Brewers, he is trapping only 59.6 percent.

"I think that's been the main difference between this year and last year," Correia said. "I don't think I've thrown the ball much worse. I think last year I got a lot of those balls to get out of some jams, and this year it's kind of gone against me."

Correia's latest outing -- a no-decision against the Yankees in New York -- could end up being a turning point for the season. Correia got out of a bases-loaded jam and also pitched into two double plays.

"That was the first game I felt like things kind of went my way," he said. "It's a fine line between really good and really bad. I need those breaks sometimes, and I need to make those good pitches in those situations."

Brewers starter Wily Peralta has also faced some bad breaks. His 2.73 ERA is 19th-best in the Majors among starting pitchers, but he still has a losing record (4-5). Peralta and Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija (1-5, 2.54) are the only pitchers in the Top 20 to have more losses than wins.

Unlike that of Correia, though, Peralta's most recent outing was a turn for the worse. Peralta gave up six earned runs in only 5 2/3 innings, which sunk a punchless Brewers offense in an 8-0 loss at Wrigley Field.

"You know, I don't feel like I had my best today, but you know you're going to have days like that; you're going to have to make pitches," Peralta said. "I wasn't able to do that today."

The Twins may not be the best team for Peralta to get back on track against. He needed 108 pitches to get through five innings in last year's matchup at Miller Park. He gave up five walks and three earned runs in a 6-3 loss.

Correia, meanwhile, tends to struggle against the Brewers. On his career, he has a 5-6 record with a 4.57 ERA against Milwaukee.

Brewers: Road trippin'
Thursday will be the second game in a stretch that will see Milwaukee play 15 of 18 on the road.

The Brewers head to Pittsburgh on Friday for a three-game series before taking a day off to fly to New York and face the Mets for three games. Then they get a three-game home reprieve against Cincinnati before taking off for seven more at Arizona and Colorado.

"It's a good test for us," manager Ron Roenicke said. "We'll see where we are. Only coming home for three games is going to be interesting."

That's not all -- the first game of the Mets series will kick off a stretch of 20 straight games without a break.

Twins: Embracing the double play
Minnesota led the Majors in double plays turned last season (178), which had about as much to do with poor pitching as it did with defensive prowess -- more runners on the basepaths meant more opportunities to double up.

Currently, the Twins are 17th in MLB with 51 double plays turned, but that number has recently spiked amid a rash of athletic infield plays. Entering Wednesday night, the Twins had turned nine double plays in four games, the most impressive being a 4-3 turned by Brian Dozier on Sunday at the Yankees.

The second baseman slid to his right to snag an Ichiro Suzuki ground ball and tag second base all in one motion. He then powered a throw to first base to get the speedy Suzuki.

"I feel like the pitchers feel very confident getting those ground balls," Dozier said.

Worth noting
• Despite Peralta's stellar pitching, Milwaukee has lost five straight when he starts. His most recent win came May 2 at Cincinnati, when he threw eight scoreless innings in a 2-0 victory.

• Minnesota's Josh Willingham has hit safely in eight straight games, a season high. He was 2-for-3 with an RBI on Wednesday night.

• Twins catcher Joe Mauer went 0-for-4 with a walk on Wednesday night, which ended MLB's longest active Interleague hitting streak at 20 games. The all-time record is 37 games, which former Twin Matt Lawton accomplished from 1999-2001.

MLB.com Comments