Twins' streaking bullpen hits speedbump
Boyer, Fien falter as Brewers notch 5 runs in 7th, 8th
MILWAUKEE -- Handing a 1-0 lead to his bullpen in the seventh inning hasn't caused Twins' manager Paul Molitor to worry of late. That changed on Sunday as both Blaine Boyer and Casey Fien weren't able to lock down the win for Minnesota, ultimately losing 5-3 to the Brewers at Miller Park.
Twins starter Tommy Milone fired six scoreless innings and surrendered just two hits, but was lifted from the game for a pinch hitter when Minnesota was threatening in the sixth.
Boyer entered in the seventh inning and immediately allowed a blistering line-drive double to Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez. After a sacrifice bunt from Hernan Perez moved Ramirez to third, pinch-hitter Gerardo Parra hit a sacrifice fly to left field to tie the game.
"Off the bat, I saw it up," Boyer said of Ramirez's double. "Then I looked and saw it was more on a line. I thought he got under it. I got behind him. That's it. When you get behind in the count, they become more aggressive."
Fien relieved Boyer in the eighth looking to keep the game square at 1. However, Fien walked Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy to lead off the inning and in the next at-bat, Ryan Braun crushed a cutter into the left-center-field bleachers for a two-run home run. It was the first homer Fien had allowed in 12 appearances since April 29.
"There's strikes and there's quality strikes, and I didn't throw enough quality strikes," Fien said. "I made a bad pitch and [Braun] hit it. Threw a cutter that didn't quite get to where I wanted it to."
Fien wouldn't record an out in the inning, as a Carlos Gomez single and Adam Lind's two-run shot would end his day.
"I got Gomez 0-2 and failed to get him out," Fien said. "Lind came up, 3-2, I wanted to throw a strike and he hit it. It sounded good. Here when the ball sounds good [off the bat], it usually goes pretty far."
Combined, Boyer and Fien entered Sunday having not allowed a single run in each of their last three appearances. In fact, since Fien returned from the disabled list on May 29, he had given up just one run in 11.2 innings.
"You can't overreact to a game where guys had been doing their job," Molitor said afterward. "The margin of error was really small. They've been throwing well and today they both kind of got bit. That's how it goes sometimes."
"As a reliever, you know you're going to get your time out again," Fien added. "My next time out, I've got to bounce back and get outs that we needed [today]."