Aramis Ramirez homered in his return from the disabled list Wednesday night, but the Minnesota Twins did the nearly impossible—scoring off left-handed reliever Will Smith—and came back to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-4 at Target Field in Minneapolis.
It was Minnesota’s second straight 6-4 win in the third of four games between the border-state rivals.
Ramirez, playing for the first time since May 10, got the Brewers back in the game when he took Twins starter Ricky Nolasco (4-5) deep with two men on in the top of the seventh to tie the score 4-4.
But the Milwaukee bullpen gave it right back.
Rob Wooten (1-3) took over for starter Marco Estrada to start the bottom of the seventh and got the first two outs without incident. But Josh Willingham doubled to center and with Oswaldo Arcia due up, manager Ron Roenicke went to the ‘pen again, this time for Smith, who hadn’t given up an earned run in more than a month.
But Arcia laced a single to right and Willingham beat Ryan Braun’s throw home to put Minnesota (28-29) back on top 5-4, with Arcia moving to second on the throw. That would prove costly as Trevor Plouffe followed with another base hit to right to score Arcia and give the Twins a 6-4 lead.
The Brewers (35-25) never mounted a threat afterward; Lucroy’s eighth-inning walk was Milwaukee’s only baserunner over the final two innings.
Arcia was a problem for the Brewers all night—he had four RBI after giving Minnesota its first lead with a three-run homer off Estrada in the fourth inning.
After Arcia’s blast in the fourth put the Twins on top, Minnesota padded its lead in the fifth when Estrada took a walk on the wild side.
Estrada wasn’t great, surrendering four runs on six hits while walking three and striking out four in six innings. Wooten was charged with a run on a hit in two-thirds of an inning and Smith was tagged with one run on two hits while retiring just one batter—the first earned run he was charged with since April 29.
Zach Duke worked around a hit and a walk, fanning two in the eighth.
The Brewers were held to six hits, all off Nolasco, with Reynolds going 2-for-4.
In his return, Ramirez had the home run in the seventh to go with a groundout in the second and fly outs in the fourth and ninth. He batted fifth Wednesday, just the fourth start in his three seasons in Milwaukee he hadn’t occupied the cleanup spot.
The four-game, two-city set with the Twins concludes Thursday at 7:10 p.m. from Target Field, with Wily Peralta (4-5, 2.73 ERA) looking to turn things around after losing four of his last five starts. His last win was on May 2. Minnesota counters with right-hander Kevin Correia (2-6, 5.87 ERA).
Tags: Milwaukee Brewers