HRs, poor defense doom Twins in loss to Brewers

Published 8:58 am Thursday, April 21, 2016

MILWAUKEE — Walks, home runs and a defensive lapse cost the Minnesota Twins.

The Twins’ bullpen surrendered home runs by Aaron Hill, Chris Carter and Domingo Santana and the Milwaukee Brewers beat Minnesota 10-5 on Wednesday night.

Twins starter Tommy Milone exited with two outs in the fifth inning, leaving the bases loaded on a hit and two walks and the score tied at 1.

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“They were laying off some good pitches,” Milone said. “That led to a couple of walks there in the last inning and they kind of broke it open from there.”

Michael Tonkin took over and walked Ryan Braun to force in a run. Jonathan Lucroy followed with a two-run double that pushed the lead to 4-1.

“He was amped up,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said about Tonkin. “You could see it. He’s trying to throw as hard as he possibly can. That’s an opportunity for him to try to help us out. It didn’t happen for him tonight.”

The Brewers tacked on four more runs in the seventh. After a run scored on Oswaldo Arcia’s fielding error, Carter hit his fourth of the season, a two-run drive over the wall in center.

Arcia misplayed a line drive by Lucroy. The ball hit off his glove and rolled toward the wall as Braun raced home.

Molitor didn’t like how the game turned on his team.

“The loss is frustrating because we had chances,” he said. “You’re battling to find a way to get even with a few innings to play.”

Jimmy Nelson, who had never faced the Twins, allowed four runs on 10 hits. He struck out six and walked one to keep the Twins winless in seven games on the road.

The Brewers staked Nelson to a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth, but Nelson squandered it when the Twins tied it at 4 in the sixth on Arcia’s two-run homer and Eddie Rosario’s home run.

Hill led off the bottom of the sixth with a solo shot off Ryan Pressly (1-1). It was enough of a cushion for Brewers manager Craig Counsell to trust Nelson (3-1) with the seventh.

Santana led off the eighth with his second home run of the season.

Joe Mauer drove in a run off Tyler Cravy in the top of the ninth.

Milone allowed four runs on five hits over 4 2/3 innings in his third career start against the Brewers, all of them at Miller Park. He came in 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA with three walks and 11 strikeouts.



Fans welcomed Twins manager Paul Molitor with a nice round of applause during pregame introductions. He played 15 seasons for the Brewers from 1978-1992, hitting .303 with 405 doubles, 86 triples, 160 home runs, 790 RBIs, 1,275 runs scored and 412 stolen bases. The team retired his No. 4 in a ceremony at Milwaukee County Stadium on June 11, 1999.



Miguel Sano has reached base safely in 10 straight games. He also recorded multiple hits in three consecutive games.



Twins: C Kurt Suzuki took a foul ball off his face mask in the fifth. He needed a few minutes to regroup but stayed in the game. … The Twins pitching staff came in 54 for 372 (.145) since interleague play started in 1997. Molitor worries more about his staff getting hurt than hitting. “You’re always a little bit fearful when you’re asking guys to do things they don’t normally do,” he said. “You just hope nobody does anything too crazy, either get carried away with their swings or if they do get a chance to run the bases. You hate to lose somebody because of a rare opportunity to get into the game offensively as a pitcher.”



Twins pitchers aren’t known for hitting during interleague play, but Milone did his part. Looking to improve on the staff’s 3-for-20 performance last season, he went 2 for 2 with two singles. His first at-bat extended the second inning and helped set up a run. He came in with four hits in 25 at bats (.160).



Twins: RHP Ricky Nolasco (0-0, 3.21 ERA) makes his 10th career start against Milwaukee. He is 3-3 with a 7.20 ERA over that stretch.

Brewers: RHP Taylor Jungmann (0-2, 2.90 ERA) makes his fourth start and first career appearance against the Twins.