Brewers 8, Twins 7

A potentially awful road trip turned around quickly for the

Milwaukee Brewers.

Pinch-hitter George Kottaras capped a four-run ninth inning with

a a go-ahead RBI single that gave the Milwaukee Brewers an 8-7 win

over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.

The Twins blew a 7-0 lead that they built on 13 hits in four

innings. They had one hit the rest of the way.

Trailing 7-4, Milwaukee had three straight singles to open the

ninth against closer Matt Capps (2-4). Nyjer Morgan then hit a

two-out double high off the right-field wall to score the tying

runs.

”He put a nice pitch low and away and I just happened to get

the sweet spot of the bat on it,” said Morgan, who was a single

shy of hitting for the cycle on his 31st birthday. ”I thought I

put it in the seats.”

Morgan scored when Kottaras’ grounder went through the hole

between second baseman Alexi Casilla and the bag, creating a roar

by the thousands of Milwaukee fans that drowned out the boos of the

Minnesota fans.

”You can’t be successful here pitching up in the zone and

that’s what I was doing today. It’s not acceptable. It sucks,”

said Capps, who blew his sixth save in 19 chances.

Activated off the 60-day disabled list earlier in the day,

Takashi Saito (1-1) needed just 10 pitches – nine strikes – in an

inning of scoreless relief and John Axford pitched the ninth for

his 21st save in 23 chances.

”It was a nice outing for (Saito),” manager Ron Roenicke said.

”I liked the pitches he was throwing. That’s as good as you can do

coming back after that length of time.”

Ryan Braun doubled to extend his hitting streak to 22 games for

the Brewers, who ended a four-game slide. Milwaukee, which was

outscored 22-4 in a sweep at Yankee Stadium earlier this week and

lost 6-2 in Minnesota Friday, is 3-9 in its past 12 road games. The

Brewers are 16-28 away from Miller Park, but 29-11 at home.

”From where we were sitting on this road trip, having a tough

go and a tough go in this game too, putting a four-spot there

against a pretty good closer to seal that win was awesome,” said

Axford. ”You can just feel all the energy in the clubhouse right

now.”

Jonathan Lucroy got the Brewers started with an RBI single in

the fifth, Morgan hit a two-run homer in the sixth and Braun had an

RBI groundout off Twins starter Carl Pavano, who allowed eight hits

and three earned runs in 7 2-3 innings.

”I thought this was a really important game to win, and the way

we did it should be a big lift,” Roenicke said.

Milwaukee starter Chris Narveson struggled to find his rhythm,

allowing a career-high 14 hits and seven earned runs in 4 2-3

innings. He gave up two earned runs on five hits in 6 2-3 innings

to beat Minnesota in his previous start.

Michael Cuddyer and Danny Valencia homered on consecutive

pitches with one out in the third for a 3-0 lead.

Narveson retired the first two Twins hitters in the fourth

before Alexi Casilla doubled off the left-field wall. After a walk

to Joe Mauer, Cuddyer, Valencia, Hughes and Repko had RBI singles

to make it 7-0.

”You have to turn the page on it,” Minnesota manager Ron

Gardenhire said. ”It’s frustrating and disappointing because we

had a huge lead and they slowly got back in the game.”

Marco Estrada silenced the Minnesota bats with 2 1-3 innings of

hitless relief before giving way to Saito.

”If the relievers put up zeros you give a good offense a chance

to catch up,” Roenicke said. ”I know we haven’t been doing it.

Today was really nice to see.”

NOTES: Braun left the game in the eighth inning with a strained

left calf. He is day-to-day. … The paid attendance of 41,378 was

the largest regular-season crowd at Target Field. … Minnesota

Lynx stars Candice Wiggins and Maya Moore threw out the first

pitch. Wiggins is the daughter of former big leaguer Alan Wiggins.

… Milwaukee optioned RHP Tim Dillard to Triple-A Nashville to

make room for Saito. … Minnesota LF Delmon Young, on the disabled

list since June 26 with a sprained right ankle, is scheduled to

leave Sunday for a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester.