While the Twins have a fairly lopsided lead, 43-30, in the all-time series against the Brewers, neither team has swept the other in a three- or four-game series. But the Twins came close when these clubs met on May 21-23, taking the first two games of the series at Target Field.
They trailed, 4-2, in the ninth inning of the finale but scored a run off John Axford and had the bases loaded with two outs. Axford struck out Trevor Plouffe to set up this week's rematch at Miller Park, where the Brew Crew will try to avoid losing the season series for the eighth time in 14 years.
Milwaukee opted not to use Dave Bush for his scheduled start on Tuesday since the Twins tagged the right-hander for seven runs earlier this season and knocked him out of the game after just one-third of an inning. The Brewers can't afford another such meltdown taxing their bullpen, as they begin a stretch of 20 games in 20 days until the All-Star break.
Bush will be used in the bullpen temporarily, and lefty Chris Narveson will move up one day to start in his place. After Randy Wolf's seven-inning, one-run outing on Sunday, Milwaukee starters have thrown quality starts in seven of their past nine games, while sporting a 3.34 ERA.
"Our starting pitching has been very good lately," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "They've given us a chance to win pretty much every game lately, and that's what you ask for."
Narveson threw the last non-quality start, on Wednesday against the Angels. He allowed four runs on four hits in his first pass through the batting order and finished with five runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.
The Twins will oppose him with righty Scott Baker, who put up one of the best performances of his career in his previous outing, against the Rockies. He tallied a career-best 12 strikeouts, marking only the second time in his career with 10 or more. Baker didn't give up a run through the seven innings he pitched and allowed only two hits and one walk. He is 4-2 with a 4.93 ERA in six career starts against the Brewers, including a 3-1 mark and 4.26 ERA at Miller Park. Narveson has allowed two runs in 1 1/3 innings of relief against the Twins, but has never started against them.
Twins: Team has plenty to like about Interleague Play
The Twins have dominated the National League in their history, and are 7-5 against the Senior Circuit this sesason. They are 139-101 all-time in Interleague Play and rank second behind the Yankees (140-100) for the best overall Interleague record. Minnesota has posted an all-time Interleague road record of 63-55. Entering Sunday, the club's Interleague team ERA of 3.44 since 2005 was the best in baseball. ... Left fielder Delmon Young has hit .371 in 25 games since May 21. He has hit safely in 15 of his past 16 games, going 24-for-58 (.414) with four doubles, three homers and 16 RBIs.
Brewers: Relief corps gets boost
Reliever Todd Coffey was back in the bullpen for the Brewers on Sunday. He said he felt ready to go on Saturday following a 13-pitch, 1-2-3 inning in a rehab appearance with Triple-A Nashville on Friday. Coffey had been shelved after suffering a bone bruise on his right thumb during a rare at-bat on May 29. ... Milwaukee lefty Doug Davis threw 59 pitches over three-plus innings in his first of two expected rehab starts with Triple-A Nashvile. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 16 with pericarditis (inflammation of the lining around his heart).
The Brewers released 2001 12th overall Draft pick Mike Jones on Saturday. ... The Twins' Jim Thome became the 33rd player in Major League history to homer against all 30 clubs when he blasted a pinch-hit shot against Philadelphia on Saturday. His 570th career home run moved him past Rafael Palmeiro for 11th on the all-time list. ... The Brewers are 4-5 in Interleague Play this season.
Tue, 6/22 8:10 PM ET
Narveson's damage at plate gives Crew win
Chris Narveson rebounded after allowing three runs before he recorded an out, neutralizing the threat and completing five innings. He drove in the go-ahead run for the Brewers in a series-opening win over the Twins.
|Hudson, O, 2B||3||1||1||0||2||1||0||.293|
|Young, D, LF||4||0||2||2||0||2||0||.310|
|Burnett, Al, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Baker, S, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||3||.000|
|Hart, C, RF||5||1||1||0||0||1||0||.268|
|Escobar, A, SS||4||0||1||1||0||1||6||.250|
2B: Morneau (21, Coffey), Young, D (18, Coffey).
TB: Hudson, O; Mauer; Morneau 3; Cuddyer; Young, D 3; Punto.
RBI: Morneau 2 (49), Cuddyer (33), Young, D 2 (45).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Baker, S 2; Span; Morneau.
SAC: Baker, S.
Team RISP: 4-for-11.
Team LOB: 8.
CS: Hudson, O (1, 2nd base by Narveson/Lucroy).
PO: Hudson, O (1st base by Narveson).
E: Cuddyer (2, fielding).
2B: Fielder (11, Baker, S), Edmonds 2 (15, Baker, S, Baker, S), Hart, C (14, Burnett, Al), Braun (21, Burnett, Al).
HR: McGehee (12, 4th inning off Baker, S, 2 on, 0 out), Weeks (11, 7th inning off Burnett, Al, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Weeks 4; Hart, C 2; Fielder 2; Braun 4; McGehee 4; Edmonds 5; Escobar, A; Narveson.
RBI: McGehee 3 (50), Narveson (2), Escobar, A (21), Weeks (38), Braun (46).
2-out RBI: Narveson; Escobar, A.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Escobar, A 3; Loe.
Team RISP: 5-for-14.
Team LOB: 7.
Pickoffs: Narveson (Hudson, O at 1st base).
|Baker, S(L, 6-6)||6.0||9||5||5||0||7||1||4.61|
IBB: McGehee (by Burnett, Al).
HBP: Span (by Narveson).
Pitches-strikes: Baker, S 98-74, Burnett, Al 11-6, Mahay 4-2, Crain 10-6, Guerrier 13-8, Narveson 99-63, Loe 32-17, Coffey 11-7, Axford 31-18.
Groundouts-flyouts: Baker, S 2-4, Burnett, Al 1-0, Mahay 0-1, Crain 0-0, Guerrier 1-1, Narveson 5-4, Loe 2-0, Coffey 0-0, Axford 1-0.
Batters faced: Baker, S 27, Burnett, Al 5, Mahay 1, Crain 2, Guerrier 3, Narveson 22, Loe 8, Coffey 3, Axford 7.
Inherited runners-scored: Mahay 2-0, Crain 2-0, Axford 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Bill Hohn. 1B: Gary Darling. 2B: Bruce Dreckman. 3B: Paul Emmel.
Weather: 88 degrees, clear.
Wind: 7 mph, R to L.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media