Jesus Aguilar homered in all three games against the Twins, including Sunday's tying shot in the sixth, but the Twins struck for a pair of runs against relievers Taylor Williams and Boone Logan in the eighth inning to avoid a sweep and send the Brewers to a 3-1 loss at Target Field.
The Brewers settled for seven wins in 10 games on a journey through Colorado, Arizona and Minnesota, marking only the fifth time in 50 years as a franchise, and the first time since an 8-2 road run in 1988, that they'd won at least seven times on a trip of 10 or more games. Somehow, a 1973 Brewers team that finished 14 games under .500 had an 11-1 road trip that June.
"That's a hell of a road trip for a 10-dayer, and a couple of those losses are thanks to me," said Logan. "We could possibly have done a little better than that. But 7-3 is good."
"I don't analyze 7-3 other than we had a good trip. We won three series," he said. "If you win three series in a row on the road, you feel like you're doing your job. You move on to the next one."
Twice on this trip, a leadoff walk issued by the rookie Williams led to the game's decisive run scoring against the veteran Logan. Williams walked Brian Dozier leading off the eighth inning after being ahead in the count, 0-2, and four batters later with the bases loaded and one out, Logan Morrison connected against Logan for a two-run single off the wall in right field.
"It really hurts when you give them free bases like that," said Williams, who has 23 strikeouts in 15 innings this season, but also 11 walks. "That's what's hurt me the last two situations, and it's something I've got to get over the hump on if I want to pitch in those situations."
With the go-ahead runner aboard, on came Logan, who joined the Brewers' active roster at the start of the road trip after recovering from a triceps injury. He has had a lot of career success against left-handed hitters but not so far with the Brewers -- they are 5-for-9 against him with three walks (one intentional), including Morrison's tiebreaking hit.
"He's struggled so far, there's no question," Counsell said. "It's only been 10 days, but we haven't seen the swing and miss on the slider from left-handers. That's the thing you're waiting to see."
Said Logan: "At the end of the day I need to get those outs. I've got one job to do and I haven't really been doing it against lefties at all. It's a small sample size. I'm confident I'll turn it around. But trying to figure it out in a tight ballgame in the eighth isn't ideal. I've just got to find a way to get outs."
Twins starter Jake Odorizzi struck out 10 batters in 5 2/3 innings to help prevent the Brewers from moving 11 games over .500 for the first time this season.
Milwaukee will open a 10-game homestand Monday atop the National League Central at 28-19 with a reawakened offense that averaged 5.3 runs per game on the trip. When they hit the road, the Brewers were 28th in the Majors at 3.7 runs per game.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Twins strike first:Jett Bandy started behind the plate for the Brewers and had a bad fifth inning. He struck out to end the top of the frame with a pair of runners on base, then bounced a throw into center field when Byron Buxton stole second base on Dozier's swinging strike three in the bottom of the inning to push Buxton to third. The Brewers called for lefty reliever Dan Jennings and pulled the infield in against Max Kepler, who capitalized by grounding a single through second base for a 1-0 lead.
"When you're bringing him in there, that's what you're thinking: a ground ball," Counsell said. "If anything, I thought we got a tough break on the strikeout. The ball's in the dirt, it's a tough ball to throw for Jett, and then [second baseman Jonathan Villar] couldn't stop it. You'd kind of like to have that one back and have him on second base, and maybe something different happens there."
Aguilar ties it: Aguilar hit four home runs in three games against the Twins, giving the first baseman five homers on the trip while he went 12-for-39 (.308) with nine RBIs. Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich had just struck out against Odorizzi when Aguilar connected with an 0-2 pitch for a home run that tied the game at 1.
"He was brilliant this weekend," Counsell said. "Four homers. Three straight days of it. He's swinging a really nice bat, and he's pretty locked in."
UP NEXT Chase Anderson will come off the 10-day disabled list to start Monday's 6:40 p.m. CT game against the D-backs, the opener of a 10-game Brewers homestand. Anderson was scratched from a start in Denver at the beginning of the Brewers' just-completed road trip when he fell ill the night before, and with another starter, Zach Davies, down with a shoulder injury, the Brewers made the decision to place Anderson on the DL. He was feeling better by the following day, and spent the rest of the week working out and keeping his arm in shape. Zack Greinke will start for the D-backs.