Morrison delivers, Twins salvage series with 3-1 win over Brewers
Morrison hit a two-run single to give Minnesota’s offense a much-needed lift, and four relievers worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings in a 3-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
Morrison’s liner hit high off the right-field wall with one out and the bases loaded in the eighth against reliever Boone Logan. The Twins were 3 for 18 with runners in scoring position in the series before Morrison’s single.
“We’ve been close the last two games, just hadn’t come through,” Morrison said. “It was good to come through there and get us the `W.’ I think yesterday we were a hit away. Got guys on, just couldn’t come through. Same thing for most of the game today. Keep getting them on, we’ll get them in.”
Minnesota salvaged the final game of the series, snapping a three-game skid with a roster missing four of its expected starters when spring training began.
“These guys understand it’s been a grind,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
Taylor Williams (0-2) walked Brian Dozier to lead off the eighth. Logan entered and walked Max Kepler. Eddie Rosario was out on a swinging bunt that moved the runners to second and third, and Eduardo Escobar was intentionally walked in front of Morrison.
“The walk hurts in that situation,” Williams said. “That kind of stuff can’t happen. It’s got to stop.”
Morrison, in his first year with Minnesota after signing a one-year contract after spring training had begun, was hitting .113 through April 26. The veteran slugger had two hits and a homer the next day and has hit .296 with four home runs and 14 RBIs in his last 21 games.
“It’s definitely just being able to stay behind the ball more, not getting out there so much,” Morrison said. “Again, it’s still happening sometimes. … It’s always a work in progress, but more often than not it’s getting a little more consistent.”
Taylor Rogers came on with runners at first and third and got out of the jam by striking out pinch-hitter Domingo Santana. Rogers got the first out in the seventh and Ryan Pressly finished the inning.
Aguilar, who is the Brewers’ regular first baseman with Eric Thames and Ryan Braun on the disabled list, homered for the third straight game. He had four home runs in the series and now has seven this season in 102 at-bats.
“He was brilliant this weekend,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “Four homers, three straight days of it. He’s swinging a real nice bat, and he’s pretty locked in.”
Aguilar’s homer snapped a string of 15 straight scoreless innings by Odorizzi, who entered the day tied for 18th in the majors in lowest run support per game.
Odorizzi got the Brewers to chase fastballs up in the zone and notched 10 strikeouts, one off a career high and the most since he had 10 on April 5, 2016.
Milwaukee starter Junior Guerra dealt with some control issues, throwing just 49 of his 91 pitches for strikes. He gave up one run in 4 1/3 innings.
Brewers: RHP Zach Davies is nearing a return from right rotator cuff inflammation, but Counsell said Davies isn’t in consideration to start Wednesday, when Milwaukee has an open spot in the rotation.
Twins: Molitor said he’s exchanged texts with Mauer, but Mauer was going to stay away from the park on Sunday as he tries to recover from a neck strain and concussion-like symptoms. Mauer was having balance issues and sensitivity to light. Molitor said he expects Mauer to be at the park on Monday.
Brewers: RHP Chase Anderson (3-3, 3.97 ERA) will come off the disabled list to start Monday’s series opener against Arizona at home. Anderson has been out since May 10 because of an illness. He last started on May 6, when he gave up five runs in 5 1/3 innings in a loss to Pittsburgh. RHP Zack Greinke (3-2, 3.46) will start for the Diamondbacks.
Twins: RHP Jose Berrios (4-4, 4.05) will start Monday as Minnesota finishes its homestand with a three-game series against Detroit. Berrios bounced back strong in his last outing, giving up one run in 7 1/3 innings in a win over St. Louis. The Tigers will start LHP Blaine Hardy (0-0, 3.68), who will be making his second start of the season and just his second in 170 career appearances.