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Yelich's HR, Hader's K's take down Twins

MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

MINNEAPOLIS -- Freddy Peralta's second Major League start lacked the electricity of his first, so Christian Yelich and Josh Hader provided the power instead.

Yelich skied a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning, while Hader dominated Twins hitters for the final seven outs of the game, the last six of which were swinging strikeouts, to seal a 5-4 Brewers win on Saturday at Target Field.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Freddy Peralta's second Major League start lacked the electricity of his first, so Christian Yelich and Josh Hader provided the power instead.

Yelich skied a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning, while Hader dominated Twins hitters for the final seven outs of the game, the last six of which were swinging strikeouts, to seal a 5-4 Brewers win on Saturday at Target Field.

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"You know, we've been rolling," said Hader, "and we're just going to keep this momentum."

Video: MIL@MIN: Hader strikes out 6 in a row to end the game

It was Milwaukee's seventh win in the first nine games of a road trip that concludes Sunday afternoon. In all seven of those victories, the Brewers have scored at least five runs. In their last six wins, they have hit multiple home runs.

They have scored so much that Hader had only pitched twice on the trip before Saturday's overpowering 32-pitch, 22-strike effort.

"It's not really surprising anymore," Yelich said. "He seems to do it every time he comes in the game, but it's special. He's been huge for us.

"It gives us, as an offense, that feeling that if the game is tied late, with our bullpen … we just have to find a way to push one across. If we do, we like our chances."

Yelich provided that one run when he connected with a down-the-middle fastball from Twins reliever Addison Reed with one out in the eighth inning. Yelich has a hit in 16 of his last 18 games, including eight of the nine games on this trip.

Jesus Aguilar also homered for the Brewers, his third in the first two games of this series, and Manny Pina continued a productive trip by driving in one run and scoring another in the Brewers' game-tying two-run fifth inning.

Video: MIL@MIN: Aguilar crushes a homer to center in the 4th

"It seems like it's been somebody different every night," Yelich said. "That's what it takes to go on a run like this."

Peralta, the 21-year-old Brewers right-hander who made a Mother's Day splash by striking out 13 Rockies in 5 2/3 innings of a scoreless Major League debut, set a franchise record by running his strikeout total to 18 through his first two career starts. But Saturday's follow-up outing was not quite the same, as he walked more batters (six) than he struck out (five) and did not record an out beyond the fourth inning. Peralta finished his start allowing four runs on three hits.

"I was feeling good, but it was not the best day for me," Peralta said. "I was trying to keep the game as close as I can."

Video: MIL@MIN: Peralta strikes out Escobar to escape a jam

He did, and Dan Jennings, Jeremy Jeffress and Hader held Minnesota scoreless over the final five innings. Hader recorded the final out of the seventh, struck out the side in the eighth and then after opening the ninth inning with a walk, he struck out the side again in the ninth for the victory.

"I know what it's like to be on the other end of that," said Yelich, who struck out in both of his at-bats against Hader last season when he was with the Marlins. "It's just an uncomfortable at-bat. He really taxes you. I'm glad he's on our side."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Walks will haunt: Aside from a three-batter, three-strikeout third inning, Peralta worked in traffic all night. He walked Minnesota's leadoff hitter in four of the five innings he started, and those free baserunners turned into runs twice, including the fourth, when Twins center fielder Jake Cave hit a go-ahead two-run home run for his first hit in his own Major League debut.

With Chase Anderson (illness) due back from the 10-day disabled list on Monday and Zach Davies (shoulder) not far behind, it is unclear when and where Peralta will next pitch.

"If I have to go back to [Triple-A] Colorado Springs, I know I will be here someday," Peralta said.

Sneak attack: With the game tied at 4, Jennings found trouble after Logan Morrison pulled a double to right field to lead off the sixth inning. Shortstop Orlando Arcia helped erase that runner, sneaking behind Morrison for Jennings' on-target pickoff throw. The Twins didn't move a runner past first base the rest of the game.

"It's something that Orlando is so good at. His sense of timing in those plays is wonderful," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "It's not a fielding play necessarily, but that's a big-time defensive play by a shortstop, and Dan made a nice throw."

Video: MIL@MIN: Jennings nabs Morrison at second on pickoff

SOUND SMART
Including the six strikeouts Saturday, all on fastballs, Hader has whiffed 56 of the 95 batters he's faced this season, a 59-percent rate that is 10 percentage points higher than second-place Adam Ottavino of the Rockies. For pitchers who have faced at least 25 batters in a season, the all-time record is Aroldis Chapman's 52.5-percent strikeout rate for the Reds in 2014.

"It's hard not to be [impressed]," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We've seen him a little bit in the past, and obviously you know that his strikeout ratio is getting a lot of attention. If you're wondering about the new analytics, everything he does shows up in pretty high fashion. … I don't know if anybody has struck out 200 people out of the bullpen before, but…"

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Molitor's successful challenge extended the bottom of the sixth inning for the Twins' first two runs. The Twins skipper asked the umpires to take a second look at both ends of Cave's double-play groundout. Upon review, the lead runner was out, but Cave was safe at first base. Peralta struck out the next batter and worked ahead of No. 9 hitter Bobby Wilson, 0-2, but Wilson stayed alive long enough to sting a two-run double off the wall in left-center field for a 2-1 Twins lead.

Video: MIL@MIN: Cave reaches first safely after review

UP NEXT
The Brewers' long road trip comes to an end at Target Field on Sunday afternoon, when Junior Guerra draws the start opposite Twins right-hander (and former Milwaukee pitching prospect) Jake Odorizzi at 1:10 p.m. CT. Guerra delivered a quality start in Arizona his last time out to snap a three-start losing streak.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Josh Hader, Christian Yelich