The Milwaukee Brewers didn’t have much fun facing the team with
the AL’s best record this week, but perhaps another series with the
Minnesota Twins will be more to their liking.
The Brewers try to bounce back from being swept in the Bronx on
Friday by visiting the Twins, whom they’ve beaten seven consecutive
times after last weekend’s sweep at Miller Park.
Milwaukee (44-38) went into New York feeling good about itself
after outscoring Minnesota 21-6 in three victories, but that
offense disappeared against the Yankees.
The Brewers entered that series with the NL lead in home runs
after going deep five times against the Twins, but they couldn’t
hit one out of Yankee Stadium. Of Milwaukee’s 25 hits in the Bronx,
22 were singles – including all five in Thursday’s 5-0 loss.
“It’s not that if we played 40 games against them, they would
beat us in 35 of them,” manager Ron Roenicke told the Brewers’
official website. “But in this series? There’s no doubt about it,
they were better.
“You can look at three games, but it doesn’t tell you the whole
The Twins (34-45) have to hope Roenicke’s words hold true at
Target Field, and given Milwaukee’s precipitous drop in success on
the road, they might. The Brewers are 29-11 at Miller Park – their
.725 home winning percentage is the best in the majors – but
they’re a dreadful 15-27 on the road.
Roenicke’s club is batting .282 and has a 3.60 ERA at home as
opposed to a .233 average and 4.27 ERA on the road. Perhaps most
concerning is a defense that’s made 30 errors away from Miller Park
– including 13 in 15 road games in June.
“I could see the offense – I don’t understand the pitching,”
Roenicke said. “I’d rather pitch on the road than at home,
probably, with the way the ball carries (at home). I don’t
understand those numbers, and I don’t understand the defensive
After leaving Milwaukee losers of five straight, the Twins’
misery was extended with a 15-0 shellacking from the Dodgers on
Monday. But Minnesota responded with a 6-4 win Tuesday, then got a
fantastic start from Scott Baker in Wednesday’s 1-0 victory.
The Twins finished June 10-2 at Target Field despite being
outhit 111-97 – though Monday’s loss certainly had plenty to do
“Winning two out of three after getting blown out in the first
one is a nice way to come back,” manager Ron Gardenhire said.
“Proud of the guys, so we’ll go from there.”
Friday’s pitching matchup offers a rematch of Saturday’s game in
Milwaukee, where Yovani Gallardo (9-4, 3.92 ERA) thoroughly
outpitched Francisco Liriano. Gallardo held the Twins to one run
over seven innings, while Liriano (4-7, 4.98) was rocked for six
runs and eight hits over 3 2-3 innings in the 11-1 loss.
Liriano fell to 3-2 with a 4.05 ERA in five starts against the
Brewers, and facing them at home may not help. His 7.62 ERA at
Target Field is more than four runs higher than his road ERA.
The left-hander has handled Milwaukee’s two biggest bats well,
however. Prince Fielder is 1 for 13 against him, while Ryan Braun –
who has the majors’ longest active hitting streak at 20 games – is
1 for 6 with three strikeouts.
Gallardo, meanwhile, is 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA in his past two
starts versus Minnesota. Both of those were at home, though.
“You can’t ever worry about the series before – you just have to
keep moving forward,” the right-hander said. “We know that before
they played us, they won so many games.”