MILWAUKEE -- Jose Berrios' most recent start -- six earned runs over 4 1/3 innings versus the Cubs last Friday -- was one of the worst of his young career. Yet the trying outing didn't discourage manager Paul Molitor, who said the 24-year-old is still trending upward and has "been
MILWAUKEE -- Jose Berrios' most recent start -- six earned runs over 4 1/3 innings versus the Cubs last Friday -- was one of the worst of his young career. Yet the trying outing didn't discourage manager Paul Molitor, who said the 24-year-old is still trending upward and has "been able to respond and come back the next outing and get back on track."
Berrios made Molitor's words a reality, and he delivered a stellar outing Wednesday, but Minnesota's offense was relatively silent for the second straight game, as the Brewers completed the sweep of the Twins with a 3-2 win at Miller Park. The Twins finished their nine-game road trip 1-8, and they fell to 15-28 away from Target Field this season with the defeat.
"I think we're all frustrated," Molitor said. "You win one game, and you're on the road for 10 days, playing good teams. Better game today, as far as we got a really nice effort from Jose. Just frustrating."
Except for a trio of fireworks, Berrios was nearly unhittable -- even though he only tallied three strikeouts over seven frames. He surrendered all three runs via solo homers: Travis Shaw in the second, and Brad Miller and Nate Orf -- his first career hit -- in the seventh.
"As a pitcher, you never want to lose, and we had the chance to win the game, and they hit the two homers." Berrios said, in regards to the seventh-inning blasts. "But after that, I tried to keep it together and keep pushing."
Aside from the homers, the Brewers tallied just two singles off Berrios.
"I didn't have all my best stuff," Berrios said. "You could see that with the strikeouts. But now, I know how to pitch and get the hitter out. Fastballs down, and believe in my curveball and changeup."
The Twins' offense couldn't make up for its pitcher's three mistakes, running into Brewers starter Chase Anderson, who allowed one run or fewer for the fourth time in his last five starts. Minnesota stalled for the second straight day, unable to capitalize on runners on second with no outs in both the fourth and fifth innings.
"[Anderson] settled in pretty well, did a nice job of riding that fastball just above where we could handle it," Molitor said. "He kind of rode that pitch pretty heavily."
Jorge Polanco tied the game at 1 with his first RBI of the season in the seventh inning, driving in James Dozier on a single.
Minnesota tried to mount a comeback against closer Corey Knebel in the ninth. Dozier took the righty deep to center with one out, but Keon Broxton robbed him of a home run. Broxton's catch was a game-saver, especially after Eduardo Escobar followed Dozier by blasting his 13th homer of the season. The Twins got the tying run on base with a Polanco single, but Max Kepler finished the game by flying out to left.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Dozier gets robbed: When Broxton robbed Dozier of a home run with one out in the ninth inning, it was an electric play by the Brewers' athletic center fielder. After Escobar took Knebel deep two pitches later, Broxton's catch became a game-saving grab -- one that the Twins just had to tip their cap to.
"You've just got to give credit to [Broxton]," Escobar said. "I thought it was a home run. [Dozier] had two really good hits to center field today, and the last one [was a homer that was robbed], but it was just a great play. We'll continue to fight until the last out of the game."
Joe Mauer tied Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett atop the Twins' all-time doubles list with his third-inning two-bagger Wednesday, the 414th of his career. He passed Puckett on Minnesota's all-time games played list Friday night with his 1,784th career game.
HE SAID IT
"I thought [Polanco] looked like the same guy, as far as his at-bats. Pretty much a quality at-bat every time up there. Crowd was on their feet there with two outs [in the seventh]. He battled, and took some tough pitches, and still got a hit. And he looked good at shortstop, too. I thought he settled in very nicely for his first series back." -- Molitor, on Polanco's first series of the season after serving an 80-game suspension
Twins recall Slegers
The Twins recalled right-hander Aaron Slegers from Triple-A Rochester after the game. To make room for Slegers, Minnesota optioned Gabriel Moya, who was recalled on Tuesday after Zack Littell pitched in Monday's series opener.
Slegers will start for the Twins in their series opener with the Orioles on Thursday. In 14 starts with Rochester, Slegers has gone 5-6 with a 3.55 ERA, while striking out 55 in 83 2/3 innings. Moya appeared in Tuesday's loss to the Brewers, hurling two scoreless innings with four strikeouts.
"Moya did a nice job," Molitor said. "He's on a good track. He's pitching well. We just need to keep him going down there."
The Twins start an 11-game homestand to close the first half of the season against the Orioles on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Slegers (0-0, 3.38) will take the mound for his first start of the season. He allowed two runs over 5 1/3 innings in relief on May 30 versus the Royals. Right-hander Andrew Cashner (2-8, 4.48) starts for the Orioles in the opener of the four-game series.
** Stephen Cohn ** is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee.