Matt Garza had his best start in two months, holding the Minnesota Twins scoreless for 6.1 innings, and the Milwaukee Brewers thumped the Twins 6-2 Monday night to open their four-game home-and-home rivalry series at Miller Park.
Mark Reynolds and Jonathan Lucroy went deep for the Brewers (35-23), who won for the fifth time in six games and improved to 5-2 on their current homestand. Garza (3-4) struck out eight and allowed six hits and two walks in 6.1 innings to get his first win since May 5.
It was the free-agent right-hander’s best outing since his first start as a Brewer on April 2, when he held the Braves to a run on two hits over eight innings.
Four relievers combined to get the final eight outs. Will Smith got the final two outs in the seventh, Brandon Kintzler got the first two outs in the eighth but allowed three hits and was charged with a run, Rob Wooten worked an inning and allowed a run on three hits with a strikeout and Zach Duke came on to strike out Joe Mauer to end it.
Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson (4-5) was perfect through three innings, but things went awry in the fourth.
Jonathan Lucroy singled to center to score Lucroy and Danny Santana’s throw home was off target enough to allow Lucroy to reach second.
That would be significant, because Carlos Gomez grounded a single up the middle that scored Lucroy for a 2-0 Milwaukee lead.
The Brewers struck quickly in the fifth. Scooter Gennett led off with his third double in two days and Reynolds followed with an opposite-field liner that cleared the wall for his team-high 13th homer of the season.
Plouffe came up with Segura’s grounder cleanly, but his throw was off target for his second error in as many hitters, with Davis scoring on the play.
Josh Willingham finally got the Twins on the board with an RBI single off Kintzler in the eighth, but Milwaukee answered with Lucroy’s homer to right-center field to lead off the bottom of the inning.
Brian Dozier closed the scoring for Minnesota with an RBI single in the ninth off Wooten.
Lucroy was 3-for-4 on the night and Davis, whose nine-game hitting streak was snapped on Sunday, went 2-for-4. Mauer was 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles for the Twins.
The homestand concludes Tuesday at 7:10 p.m., with Yovani Gallardo (3-3, 3.56 ERA) taking on right-hander Samuel Deduno (1-3, 3.86 ERA) at Miller Park before the teams head to Target Field in Minneapolis for games on Wednesday and Thursday.