Brewers-Twins Preview

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

said.

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

series.

Minnesota’s Joe Mauer went 7 for 11 with three doubles in those

contests. He has five hits in nine at-bats off Gallardo.