A home series with the Minnesota Twins usually brings out the
best in the Milwaukee Brewers.
With the way things have been going, the reigning NL Central
champions will be desperate for that trend to continue when they
open a three-game set with the Twins on Friday night at Miller
Milwaukee (16-22) lost for the fourth time in five games
Thursday, falling 4-0 at Houston. The Brewers have totaled eight
runs in those defeats while batting .152 with runners in scoring
“We have a lot of things that we have to start doing better
offensively,” manager Ron Roenicke said.
Milwaukee enters interleague play with the NL’s fourth-worst
record and is six games out of first in the Central. The Brewers
raced to a division crown last season thanks to their outstanding
play at Miller Park, leading the majors with a franchise-record 57
home wins. They didn’t lose their ninth game in Milwaukee last
season until June 9, their 31st home contest, but are 9-9 in front
of the home fans this year.
A series with Minnesota might be what Milwaukee needs to
establish some home-field advantage.
The Brewers have gone 4-2 against the Twins each of the past two
seasons, and have outscored Minnesota 38-14 in winning all six
meetings at Miller Park. Ryan Braun is batting .304 with a homer
and seven RBIs in the six home games, Corey Hart has a 1.100 OPS
and Rickie Weeks is hitting .455 with two homers and seven
The Twins (12-26) own baseball’s worst record, but they arrive
in Milwaukee feeling good after beating Detroit 11-7 on Wednesday
and 4-3 Thursday to sweep a two-game series from the defending AL
“We had some good things happen – a good couple of wins here,”
manager Ron Gardenhire said. “This is the team everybody’s picked
to win this division, and you come in here and you win a couple of
ballgames against them. It’s a good feeling. It’s something we can
kind of build off of.”
In trying to win three straight games for the first time,
Gardenhire will give the ball to Scott Diamond (2-0, 0.00 ERA), who
already is tied for the team lead in victories despite being called
up from Triple-A Rochester just last week.
After allowing four hits in seven innings of a 5-0 win over the
Los Angeles Angels on May 8, the left-hander yielded five hits in
seven scoreless innings in Sunday’s 4-3 victory over Toronto. In
the two home outings, he has struck out 10 and walked one.
This will be the first appearance against the Brewers for
Diamond, who went 1-5 with a 5.08 ERA in seven starts as a rookie
Milwaukee counters with Marco Estrada (0-2, 4.20), who hopes to
do a better job of keeping the ball in the park.
Against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, Estrada yielded two runs and
five hits in six innings of an 8-2 loss, but didn’t get a decision.
Both runs came off solo homers, and the right-hander has now served
up two home runs in each of his last three starts.
“That’s what’s killing me right now,” he told the Brewers’
The Twins have an AL-low 25 homers, but have hit two in each of
their last two games.
Justin Morneau hit his fifth Thursday in his second game back
from a trip to the disabled list with a wrist injury. The 2006 AL
MVP is 2 for 2 with a double and a walk against Estrada.
This will be Estrada’s first start against the Twins after
recording a 6.35 ERA in three relief appearances against them.