Brewers 6, Twins 2
Ryan Braun has watched his childhood buddy Trevor Plouffe climb
up the leader board in home runs with a remarkable binge of late
that included two long balls in Minnesota’s series opener against
Braun’s Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.
With Plouffe right in Braun’s rearview mirror, the reigning NL
MVP put on a show in Plouffe’s spacious backyard on Saturday to let
him know where he stands.
Braun hit two home runs and Michael Fiers pitched seven strong
innings to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to a 6-2 over the Minnesota
”I can’t let Trev surpass me in homers or I will never hear the
end of it,” Braun said with a smile. ”It’s my motivation to not
allow Trevor Plouffe to pass me in home runs, which is not easy to
do. Luckily we didn’t throw him any strikes today. He only got to
swing the bat once.”
Braun added a double and a walk to back Fiers (2-2), the
right-hander who gave up one run on four hits with five strikeouts.
Aramis Ramirez and Cody Ransom also homered for the Brewers, who
have taken the first two games in this interleague series.
Liam Hendriks (0-3) gave up five runs – two earned – on eight
hits in five innings in his first start since being recalled from
Triple-A Rochester. Plouffe went 0 for 1 with three walks, ending
his streak of four straight games with a homer as the Twins lost
their fourth straight.
”They weren’t giving me much to hit today,” said Plouffe, who
leads the majors with 13 homers since May 16.
Ben Revere had two hits and an RBI for the Twins. Joe Mauer
didn’t start because of a sore hamstring, but grounded out in a
pinch-hit appearance in the ninth to end the game.
Norichicka Aoki had two hits and two RBIs for the Brewers.
Braun is hitting .322 with 19 homers and 47 RBIs this season,
even better numbers than at this point last year when he won the NL
In eight interleague games this year, Braun is hitting .515 (17
for 33) with five home runs and 14 RBIs. The numbers are even more
impressive considering Braun spent much of the offseason winning an
appeal of a 50-game suspension for a positive drug test and he no
longer has Prince Fielder hitting behind him for protection.
”I’m like a little kid in the dugout,” Fiers said. ”I want to
watch every at-bat he has.”
Braun and Plouffe have been friends for the better part of 15
years. Plouffe played baseball with Braun’s younger brother growing
up in California and got to know Braun, who is two years older,
quite well. They share the same agent and work out together in the
”He’s a special player,” Plouffe said. ”We’ve got to contain
him. Can’t let him beat us.”
The Brewers were much more careful with Plouffe, who went deep
10 times in the previous 14 games, on Saturday. Fiers didn’t give
him much to hit in the first two at-bats, walking him twice before
getting him to fly out to left in the seventh.
The Twins probably should’ve taken a similar approach with
Braun and Ramirez went back-to-back in the third inning, the
second time this season the Brewers have gone deep two hitters in a
row. Braun’s solo shot was a rare opposite field homer for a
right-handed hitter at Target Field, landing in the flower bed
above the scoreboard in right-center.
”He’s just got tremendous power,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke
said. ”There’s really no ballpark that can hold him in when he’s
hitting the ball well. When you see a guy going right-center, a
right-hander in this ballpark, it’s struck really well.”
Braun got a little help in the fifth to get a crack at another
one. He lifted a fly ball down the first base line and second
baseman Jamey Carroll couldn’t hold on to the ball after a very
long run, getting charged with a tough error on the play.
Braun hit the next pitch into the bullpen in left-center field,
giving the Brewers a 5-1 lead.
”I put too much of it out over the plate and he hit it a ton,”
NOTES: Ransom’s HR was his first in 19 games with the Brewers
since being claimed off waivers from Arizona. … Brewers RHP Marco
Estrada (right quad) was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with
Triple-A Nashville on Saturday. … Willingham was at DH rather
than his usual spot in LF to rest an achy knee. … Twins 1B Justin
Morneau returned to the lineup after missing the game Friday night
with a sore left forearm. He went 0 for 4, including a
rally-killing double play in the eighth inning. … The Twins will
send RHP Nick Blackburn (3-4, 7.68) to the mound for the series
finale on Sunday against Zack Greinke (7-2, 2.96). Greinke has
allowed one run or fewer in six of his last seven starts.