Preview: Twins vs. Brewers
MINNEAPOLIS --Junior Guerra takes the mound Sunday afternoon as the Milwaukee Brewers go for their fourth sweep of the season when they face the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Guerra snapped a three-game losing streak his last time out by holding the Arizona Diamondbacks to two runs and three hits in six innings. He walked four but struck out three and notched his second quality start of the season despite not having command of his trademark splitter.
Instead, the 32-year-old relied on his fastball for much of the night.
And the results were good.
"It was a lot of fastballs, and a good fastball," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "A very good fastball."
The Brewers already clinched a winning record on their current 10-game road trip and after another victory Saturday, Milwaukee has won its last four road series and moved to 10 games above .500 for the first time since the end of last season.
To make it 11, they'll have to get past Twins starter Jake Odorizzi -- once a Brewers prospect who was dealt with Lorenzo Cain and Jeremy Jeffress to Kansas City for Zack Greinke in 2010.
The right-hander hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any of his last four starts and has held opponents to one run or fewer in three of those outings, including his last two.
He took a no-decision his last time out despite striking out seven in six shutout innings Monday in a 1-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners.
"I felt like I had pretty good stuff, got some strikeouts when I really needed them," Odorizzi said. "I had a lot of great defensive plays behind me."
Minnesota will be without first baseman Joe Mauer, who was placed on the disabled list Saturday with a strained neck that forced him from the series opener Friday after just five innings.
Mauer suffered the injury May 11 when he dived trying to catch a foul ball against the Angels. He was examined for a concussion after the play but even though he cleared the protocol, Mauer was showing possible concussion side-effects and with a history of concussion issues, the team decided to err on the side of caution.
"The concerning part for us is some other symptoms yesterday that involved some balance issues and light sensitivity and things that didn't sound good," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "So we ran through the protocol last night, and there was no definitive answer there as far as what exactly is ongoing.
"But given his history and the fact that we're already playing short-handed, it looks to me like it's gonna be at least a few days. So we're gonna go ahead and shut him down and just give him a chance to get well."
The Twins summoned outfielder Jake Cave to take Mauer's spot on the active roster. He made a splash Saturday in his big league debut, hitting his first career home run, off Milwaukee rookie Freddie Peralta.
"There are a lot of emotions -- I'm super excited and ready to go," Cave said before the game. "I feel great. I've been heating up lately and starting to swing it. I'm just looking to keep that rolling into here."