MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The wind gusts at Target Field had the ball flying out to left field on Thursday night, a rare evening that made the big ballpark feel more like the “Homerdome” the Minnesota Twins used to call home.
After a 10-game losing streak earlier this month, the Twins will take all the help they can get to keep the good times rolling.
Joe Mauer had two hits, two RBIs and one of Minnesota’s four home runs to help the Twins beat the slumping Milwaukee Brewers 8-6 on Thursday night.
Chris Parmelee, Brian Dozier and Ryan Doumit also went deep to back P.J. Walters (2-0), who gave up four runs on 10 hits in six innings. The Twins have won four in a row and five of their last six after that miserable losing skid.
“It’s a totally different vibe, I’m going to be honest with you,” Dozier said.
Kyle Lohse (1-6) gave up six runs on eight hits in 4 2-3 innings against his former team. Logan Schafer drove in three runs and finished a homer shy of the cycle for the Brewers, who have lost a season-high six straight games.
Jared Burton picked up his second save and the Twins showed a rare power surge after entering the night with just 42 homers, good for second fewest in the American League.
Lohse was making his first career start against Minnesota, where he began his career in 2001. He was a fiery 22-year-old when he broke into the big leagues, and he spent five and a half eventful seasons with the Twins. He once took a baseball bat to manager Ron Gardenhire’s office door at the Metrodome after a disagreement.
He was traded to Cincinnati in 2006 and put together some very good seasons in St. Louis, including going 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA last year. He signed a three-year, $33 million deal with the Brewers a week before the opener and only got one spring training start before the season.
Lohse pitched pretty well early, but received just over two runs of support per game in his first nine starts. He missed his previous turn in the rotation due to irritation in his right elbow, and definitely did not look comfortable in his return to the mound.
“Guys were swinging pretty good and the ball was jumping pretty decent,” Gardenhire said. “It was flying around pretty good.”
Parmelee hit a solo homer in the third inning to get the Twins on the board, and they broke the game open with three long balls in the fourth. Dozier and Mauer started the inning with the first back-to-back homers for the Twins this season and Doumit added a two-run shot to make it 5-0.
“It’s a series we gave up a lot of home runs, and it killed us,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “We didn’t swing the bats well except for today, but the home runs really hurt.”
Walters gave the Twins’ struggling rotation its second straight quality start, striking out four to help lighten an overworked bullpen’s load. Schafer tripled with the bases loaded in the sixth to get the Brewers on the board, and they picked up another in the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Ryan Braun to make it 6-4. But Josh Roenicke, the nephew of Ron Roenicke, struck out Aramis Ramirez and then got a nice diving stop from shortstop Pedro Florimon on a grounder up the middle by Yuniesky Betancourt to strand three runners.
The Twins wore uniforms from the 1948 St. Paul Saints, while the Brewers modeled 1948 Milwaukee Braves duds. Ron Roenicke is no fan of the recent craze on wearing throwbacks.
“I’m not a good person to ask those questions about the uniforms,” Roenicke said before the game. “Once in a while is fine, but no. There’s too much of it.”
NOTES: The last time the Twins had three homers in an inning was Aug. 6, 2012, when Josh Willingham, Justin Morneau and Doumit went deep. … Ron Roenicke gave struggling OF Norichika Aoki the day off. The plan is to have him back in the lineup on Friday. … The Twins will open a three-game series against Seattle on Friday night, with RHP Mike Pelfrey (3-5, 6.85) facing RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (5-1, 2.35). … The Brewers head to Philadelphia, where RHP Yovani Gallardo (3.5, 4.79) will face LHP Cole Hamels (1-8, 4.43).