A day after celebrating his 26th birthday with his first career
two-homer game, Trevor Plouffe has a chance to become the first
Minnesota Twin in 17 years to hit the ball out of the park in five
Milwaukee right-hander Michael Fiers could stop that from
happening a day after turning 27 as the Twins and Brewers continue
their three-game series at Target Field on Saturday.
With solo shots off Yovani Gallardo in the fifth and sixth
innings of Friday’s 5-3 loss, Plouffe took over the team lead with
14 homers. He also leads the majors with 13 since May 16.
Before this 22-game stretch, he had 11 homers in the first 125
games of his career.
“He’s on the ball,” manager Ron Gardenhire told the Twins’
official website following the team’s third straight defeat. “He’s
fun to watch. You see guys getting on hitting streaks, but it’s not
too often you see a guy almost every time he puts a good swing on
the ball it goes in the seats.”
The last Twin to homer in five consecutive games was Marty
Cordova from May 16-20, 1995.
Fiers (1-2, 4.50 ERA) didn’t give up a long ball in his last
start, but he was tagged for four runs and 10 hits in last
Saturday’s 5-2 loss to San Diego.
It was the right-hander’s third major league start, all since
being called up May 29 to replace Marco Estrada (strained
quadriceps) in the rotation.
“Fiers threw too many hittable pitches,” Brewers manager Ron
Roenicke said. “They didn’t crush balls but they put the ball in
play a lot.”
Ryan Braun will try to extend his hitting streak against
Minnesota (25-38) to 11 after hitting a three-run shot – his 17th
homer – in Friday’s series opener. The reigning NL MVP is also
batting .408 (31 for 76) during a 20-game interleague hitting
Braun and the Brewers (29-35) will get their first look at Liam
Hendriks (0-2, 9.00) on Saturday.
The Australian right-hander will be called up from Triple-A
Rochester to start in place of injured starter Carl Pavano.
Hendriks makes his first big league appearance since
surrendering six runs in 2 1-3 innings of a 9-0 road loss to the
Los Angeles Angels on May 2, the game in which Jered Weaver threw a
“He was lost,” Gardenhire said of Hendriks. “The last outing
that he had up here, he was screaming at himself in the dugout. He
needed to take it easy. Go down and get some confidence. Right now,
it sounds like he got it.”
Hendriks went 5-0 with a 1.94 ERA in seven starts since being
sent down last month.
“I’ve been messing around with mechanics a little bit, just
trying to get a little bit more comfortable and I finally hit a
little groove,” said Hendriks, who’s 0-4 in eight career major
It’s uncertain if Twins first baseman Justin Morneau will make
an appearance Saturday after sitting out the series opener with
left forearm soreness. Morneau was on the 15-day disabled list last
month with soreness in his left wrist.
After Martin Maldonado’s two-run ninth-inning homer was the
difference Friday, the Brewers can win two straight at Minnesota
for the first time in exactly five years.
Milwaukee had lost 14 of its last 19 on the road against the
Twins heading into this series.