Sloppy play vs. Brewers ends Twins' winning streak at 4
Apr. 19, 2016
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — After enduring a late night at the ballpark on Monday, it took a little while for the Minnesota Twins' bats to wake up Tuesday afternoon.
Their gloves? Still snoozing.
Scooter Gennett hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning and the Milwaukee Brewers beat Minnesota 6-5 Tuesday, ending the Twins' four-game winning streak.
Gennett's timely hitting ended a sloppy day at Target Field for the Twins, who missed several opportunities for big innings early and committed two costly errors in the outfield that the Brewers pounced on. Promising youngsters Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton were the culprits and Ervin Santana's erratic start only compounded the problems.
"There were a couple miscues out there that were fairly obvious to see," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Ervin kind of fought himself today as far as command. But we try to look for the positives. We stayed the game and battled and found a way to come back and get it even going into the ninth."
The Twins won their fourth straight on Monday night when the game was called after a two-hour rain delay, and Miguel Sano looked a little bleary-eyed in the outfield on Tuesday.
The Twins moved Sano from designated hitter to right field this season as a way to keep his bat in the lineup and give him a position to play every day. It's been a tough transition for him, and he had more difficulties on Tuesday.
Sano misplayed a ball off the wall on a hit by Gennett in the first inning, then was charged with an error when he let a line drive from Gennett get by him in the fifth. The Brewers scored three runs after that hit to take a 5-2 lead.
"There are going to be some mistakes along the way," Molitor said. "It looks like he got a little fooled by that ball somehow and wasn't able glove it. We're just going to encourage him to learn when things don't go his way. It's part of the process. You turn the page."
Santana appeared to be frustrated by Sano's mistake and he walked Ryan Braun, gave up a double to Jonathan Lucroy and threw a wild pitch. Catcher John Ryan Murphy also had a passed ball in the inning to allow Lucroy to score.
"You're not going to let that mistake control you the whole game," Santana said. "Just try and wipe it out and go up there and keep pitching."
The Twins loaded the bases three times in the first two innings against Wily Peralta, but only managed to score two runs. The bats got going in the eighth on home runs from Byung Ho Park and Eddie Rosario that tied the game at 5.
In the ninth, Buxton couldn't field a double by Yadiel Rivera cleanly, allowing him to scoot into third base before Gennett's single scored him to put the Brewers back on top.
The Twins right-hander was hardly recognizable when he took the mound without the braids that have become so familiar for him over the years. He gave up five runs, two earned, on five hits with three walks in five innings.
"I was not finishing," he said. "That's the main thing for me, to finish my slider and I didn't have that today."
Park's solo homer in the eighth reached the second deck in left field, an estimated 394 feet from home plate. It was the fourth homer of the season for the player brought over from Korea in the offseason to add some pop to the lineup.
"He's adjusting continually," Molitor said. "He has a lot of baseball intelligence, which is really in his favor. His swing is fun to watch when he connects."
Twins: Put 3B Trevor Plouffe on the 15-day disabled list with a right intercostal strain. INF Jorge Polanco was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to take Plouffe's roster spot.
The series shifts to Milwaukee, where the Twins will send LHP Tommy Milone (0-1, 5.06) to the mound to face RHP Jimmy Nelson (2-1, 2.79). Milone has given up multiple homers in both of his starts this season. Opponents are hitting just .176 against Nelson this season.