The Minnesota Twins haven’t been able to get the job done at
home lately after a strong stretch at Target Field.
Welcoming the Milwaukee Brewers could help the Twins regain
their winning ways in Minneapolis.
Minnesota tries to avoid a third straight defeat Friday night
when the Brewers look to end their three-game skid.
After opening 6-17 at their ballpark in 2012, the Twins (25-37)
won five straight as the home team. Minnesota, though, has dropped
two in a row and three of four at Target Field following Thursday’s
6-1 loss to Philadelphia.
The Twins, though, are 15-6 at home against Milwaukee since 2005
after winning two of three in the Brewers’ last visit July 1-3.
Milwaukee (28-35), which has lost four straight and 11 of 13 in
AL parks, arrives in town after getting swept at Kansas City. The
Brewers have dropped 10 of 12 during interleague play after giving
up two ninth-inning runs in Thursday’s 4-3 defeat.
“We played a good game until that last inning,” manager Ron
Roenicke said after the club’s third consecutive one-run defeat.
“Same thing. We let it get away again.”
Milwaukee continues its six-game trip with Yovani Gallardo (5-5,
4.21 ERA) facing the Twins for the second time this season.
The right-hander threw six innings of two-run ball in a 5-4,
11-inning home loss to Minnesota on May 19.
The Brewers had their best offensive performance of the season
the following day – a 16-4 victory – to avoid the sweep.
Gallardo will try to help Milwaukee get off to a quick start in
this three-game series after striking out five and yielding two
runs in seven innings of Sunday’s 6-5 victory over San Diego. He
had surrendered eight runs in his previous two outings.
“Yovani I thought threw the ball really well,” Roenicke
Gallardo will need to against Trevor Plouffe, who has homered in
three consecutive games and five of the last six to move within one
of tying Josh Willingham for the Twins’ lead with 13.
Minnesota (25-37), though, will need more production from
throughout the lineup after getting held to seven hits Thursday in
Joe Blanton’s complete game. The Twins had a major league-high 68
runs from June 1-13.
The Twins could use a start like that from Francisco Liriano
(1-7, 6.45) on Friday.
The veteran left-hander is 1-2 with a 2.55 ERA in three starts
since returning to the rotation. Liriano’s worst start since his
stint in the bullpen was Sunday when he surrendered four runs over
5 2-3 innings in an 8-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
“Just keep running him out there. He’s got a great arm. He can
give you an opportunity to win a ballgame,” Gardenhire said.
Liriano would give the Twins a better chance of doing that if he
can cool Ryan Braun, who is batting .397 (29 for 73) with three
homers and 20 RBIs during a 19-game interleague hitting streak.
The reigning NL MVP is batting .400 (14 for 35) while hitting
safely in nine consecutive games against Minnesota. He went 8 for
13 with a homer, two doubles and seven RBIs in last month’s
Minnesota’s Joe Mauer went 7 for 11 with three doubles in those
contests. He has five hits in nine at-bats off Gallardo.