Left-hander Tommy Milone delivered, giving up just one run on five hits and no walks over seven innings to help carry Minnesota to a 3-1 win over the Cardinals. Milone picked up his first win since April 16, but has posted a 2.37 ERA in three starts since rejoining the rotation after a stint at Triple-A Rochester.
"From the first pitch to the last, I felt like I was in control the whole time," Milone said. "I was able to throw strikes with all my pitches. Getting ahead was key, and even when I wasn't, I was able to get back into counts with good pitches."
Milone's curveball was a difference-maker, as he kept hitters off-balance and also used it to finish hitters, as he struck out five batters. The lone run he gave up came in the second on an RBI single from Jason Heyward, but he settled down after that.
Milone's performance impressed closer Glen Perkins, who turned in a strong showing of his own, recording his third four-out save of the season to preserve the victory and improve to 23-for-23 in save opportunities.
"Just in general, not even from what we've done the last week or week and a half, that was an awesome start," Perkins said. "We got him enough runs tonight. He was impressive. He moved the ball around. His offspeed stuff down in the zone, guys couldn't stay back on that curveball. He commanded the ball so much better the second time around."
Milone didn't need much run support, but Eddie Rosario and Eduardo Nunez carried the offense. Rosario with 2-for-4 with a triple and two runs, while Nunez went 2-for-2 with a walk and two RBIs. Rosario also made a nice play in left to rob Yadier Molina of a double to end the seventh, cutting off a ball in the gap and making a strong throw to get him at second base.
"We've had a tough June to this point, and everything backs that up, but we're hanging in there," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Rosario has been one guy who has been pretty steady, even when we're having trouble winning games. He's been good on both sides of the ball."
Perkins also came up big in the ninth, as he worked himself out of a jam with two runners on and nobody out. It was a win the Twins are hoping to build on after struggling so far in June after going 20-7 in May.
"I feel like our mentality hasn't changed," Milone said. "Good teams go through stretches like this like we've had. We had one like this at the beginning of the year. So we know it's just a matter of time before we snap out of it, and we'll be a better team for it."