Hicks homers again as Twins beat Brewers
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Aaron Hicks homered again and made another run-saving catch for Minnesota, helping Samuel Deduno and the Twins beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-1 on Wednesday night.
Deduno (1-1) pitched into the eighth inning, the longest start for a Twins pitcher in more than a month, and gave up four hits and one run. He beat Marco Estrada (4-3), who was done in by a three-run first as the Brewers lost their fifth straight game.
The night before in Milwaukee, Hicks had a home run and a double that set up the go-ahead run in the 14th inning. The rookie center fielder also made a jumping grab at the wall to take a homer away from Carlos Gomez earlier in the game.
This time, Hicks snagged a sinking line drive by Rickie Weeks with a dive to end the fourth and keep Gomez from scoring. In the second inning, Hicks nearly stole a double from Gomez with a long run and leap at the top of the fence, but the ball fell out on his way down.
Gomez scored after consecutive groundouts, the only damage done against Deduno, the lanky right-hander recalled from Triple-A Rochester last week. He gave a lagging rotation and a tired bullpen a big lift.
Deduno is one of the hardest throwers the Twins have, but he also might be their wildest. His control problems surfaced dangerously in the eighth when Jean Segura, who had six hits Tuesday, was plunked on the left wrist. Segura writhed in pain but stayed in the game. Then Ryan Braun walked, and Casey Fien relieved.
Deduno left to a standing ovation, a rarity at Target Field for a starting pitcher over the last three years. Fien immediately induced a double-play grounder by Aramis Ramirez, and then first baseman Chris Parmelee finished the inning with a tumbling catch over the railing and into the dugout of a foul ball popped up by Gomez.
Deduno’s hands were clasped together in a praying position as he watched Parmelee, before reacting with a shout and a pump of his fist to cheer the grab. Earlier, when Hicks sprinted forward and caught the liner just before it grazed the grass, Deduno raised his arms above his head in celebration.
Deduno walked two and hit three batters while striking out three. The last time a Twins starter lasted this long was April 28, when Kevin Correia finished eight innings.
Glen Perkins, who let the Brewers tie the game in the ninth the night before for his second blown chance this season, pitched a scoreless ninth this time for his 11th save. Jonathan Lucroy led off with a single, but Yuniesky Betancourt and Weeks struck out.
Estrada had a rough start, negating the fine work he did in the middle innings. Ryan Doumit hit a two-run, two-out double to put the Twins in front to stay, and Chris Herrmann followed with an RBI single in his first at-bat of the season. Herrmann was called up from Rochester recently, too.
NOTES: Brewers 1B/OF Corey Hart is closer to a rehab assignment for his right knee. “He’s been getting better every day. Every day he gets a little more confident and comfortable,” manager Ron Roenicke said. … Cleared from his concussion and coming off the DL in the afternoon, Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe was scratched because of a cramp in his left calf he felt while running before the game.