Grand slam not enough to lift Twins

Published 3:28 am Friday, June 6, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS — Oswaldo Arcia hit his first grand slam this season, and the night was going so well for the Minnesota Twins.

Two innings later their young slugger limped off the field, and the rest of the game was quite a mess.

Carlos Gomez hit a three-run homer against his former team to spark Milwaukee’s comeback, and the Brewers hung on to beat the Twins 8-5 on Thursday.

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“Made some bad pitches. Made some bad baserunning decisions. Ah, pretty frustrating game,” manager Ron Gardenhire said, rubbing his face with his hand and adjusting his cap as he addressed reporters afterward.

Khris Davis hit a two-run homer off Kevin Correia (2-7) for the lead in the sixth inning to pull Brewers starter Wily Peralta (5-5) out of an early deficit built by Arcia’s slam. Jonathan Lucroy tacked on a two-run shot in the ninth, and Francisco Rodriguez finished up for his 18th save in 20 attempts.

Peralta was in trouble every other inning, but Arcia was the only one who actually made him pay for it — and in a big way.

After two walks sandwiched around a single, all with two outs, Brewers pitching coach Rick Kranitz visited the mount for a talk with Peralta. Then, the burly 23-year-old Arcia clobbered a 2-2 slider onto the open concourse behind the right field seats.

Arcia responded to a curtain call, emerging from the dugout, flipping his helmet off to reveal his intimidating faux-hawk haircut and thrusting both arms in the air to acknowledge the crowd.

Peralta (5-5) finished five innings, needing 101 pitches, after Brian Dozier tried to tag up for second base on a fly out to center but was thrown out by the cutoff man, shortstop Jean Segura.

“You just can’t make those outs,” Gardenhire said.

Arcia led off the sixth with a double.

When Trevor Plouffe tried a drag bunt, whiffing on his attempt, Arcia hurt himself trying to pivot and retreat to second and was picked off. He gingerly left the field with a sprained right ankle. Plouffe wound up doubling, but his curious decision had Gardenhire beside himself afterward. Arcia was a little too casual with his lead, too.

“And our guy did the tuna out there and fell down and hurt his ankle. That’s a bad play all around,” Gardenhire said.

Peralta was 0-4 in his previous five starts despite a couple of strong performances. Naturally, as he matched his shortest turn this season he picked up the win.

Gomez gave him a boost in the second inning with a sprinting, leaping grab of Plouffe’s drive to right-center field. Gomez crashed against the wall, crow-hopped away from it as he flashed his glove and chopped his arms below his chest in celebration.

Then came the bigger play by Gomez, whose all-around potential showed in two seasons with the Twins but was too raw at the time for them to trust him. He tapped his helmet and pumped his arm at each base as he sprinted around the diamond following his three-run drive that brought the Brewers roaring back in the fourth.

“That’s a power-hitting team. They’ve got a lot of guys who can hit the ball out of the park,” Correia said.

Correia was the most reliable starter for the Twins last year, but he gave up a season-high 10 hits.

“Baseball’s just a weird sport in that way. There’s a lot of variables that come into play,” Correia said. “Sometimes there’s streaks for it feels like everything’s going against you, and sometimes there’s streaks where it feels like everything’s going for you.”

His ERA spiked to 6.11, putting his spot in the rotation in question. But there’s no question for the manager, even with several prospects thriving for Triple-A Rochester.

“Kevin’s one of our starters. He’s paid good money to do that,” Gardenhire said, adding: “We need him to be a little bit more consistent. So he’s one of our starters right now. The guys in Triple-A have had their ups and downs too.”

NOTES: Gomez batted cleanup for the 13th straight game, hitting .333 with two homers and 12 RBIs in that span. … Arcia was limping significantly in the clubhouse, but his injury was described as mild. “They tell me it’s not that bad. … Hopefully we won’t lose him for very long.”