Wed. Final: Brewers 4, Twins 3
By Todd Welter
Next game: Thursday, June 25th vs. Minnesota
It was not so much a rally as it was a wild comeback. Some would think the Brewers created their own breaks and some would think the breaks went the Brewers way. No matter how it is describe, the Brewers topped the Minnesota Twins 4-3 at Miller Park to break a four-game losing streak.
The Brewers (38-33) were down 3-2 in the eighth inning when J.J. Hardy hit a two-out single to keep the inning alive. Jason Kendall drove him in with a RBI-double off the center-field wall.
As it turns out, Kendall would score the go-ahead run on that very same play as shortstop Brendan Harris' throw to home bounced way right of catcher Joe Mauer thus allowing Kendall to advance to third.
It got better when pitcher Nick Blackburn decided to try to throw out Kendall at third. Bad decision by Blackburn as his throw ended up in left field thus allowing Kendall to cross home. Harris and Blackburn were charged with errors on that play.
"Much like they capitalized on our mistakes yesterday, we were fortunate to capitalize on their [mistakes] today," Brewers manager Ken Macha said.
Leave it to a heady veteran to snap the Brewers' four-game losing streak to the Twins. Kendall went 2-for-3 with a double, a single, a walk, a run, and 2RBI.
"I don't hit enough home runs to think they are going out so I knew it was going to be in the gap," Kendall explained. "J.J. was going to score and I saw the ball get past and I knew I could get to third. Fortunately for us, the ball went into left field."
Up until Blackburn's throwing error, he was in line for the win. Instead, Blackburn (6-3) pitched eight innings and walked away with his third loss of the season which snapped his personal four-game win streak.
Before Blackburn literally threw his shot at the win away, he had pretty good control over keeping the Brewers off the scoreboard. He allowed 11 hits but the Brewers went just 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position against him and also stranded eight runners on base.
Blackburn's final line read that he gave up four runs--only three of them were earned--he walked one and struck out two.
Brewers starter Braden Looper was not so bad himself but he was not great either. Looper ate up six innings in which he allowed a baserunner in five of them. He was charged with all three Minnesota (36-37) runs. He gave up five hits, walked four and struck out four as he took the no decision.
"Looper went out there with tremendous determination," Brewers manager Ken Macha thought. "I thought his fastball was as good as its been this year. He went after hitters. For the most part, he met the challenge."
Looper did have a brief scare in the fifth inning when Carlos Gomez lined a ball off Looper's right triceps. The trainer and Macha came out to check on him but it turned out Looper was all right and he continued on with the game.
"It is one of those things that when it happens, your adrenaline is in and you don't feel it," Looper explained. "I'm sure it will be sore tomorrow but it didn't effect me at all. I was able to get out of that inning and strike Mauer out which is unbelievable feat in itself."
Gomez scored the first run of the game when he led off the game with a triple and came home on Harris' sacrifice fly.
The Brewers evened the game in the second inning when Looper helped his cause as he drove in Mike Cameron with a two-out single.
Minnesota's Jason Kubel broke the tie in the sixth with a solo home run to right off Looper. Joe Crede drove in the another run with a RBI-double.
The Brewers picked up a run in the bottom of the frame when Kendall drove in Cameron with a bloop single to right. Cameron finished 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs.
Todd Coffey (3-1) got the win for being part of a bullpen effort that retired nine of the last 12 Twins batters. Trevor Hoffman picked up his 17th save on the year for getting the final three outs of the game.