Odorizzi K's 9, but offense (2 hits) stalls in loss
MILWAUKEE -- While the Twins entered Tuesday's game on a four-game losing streak, there was at least a silver lining. Minnesota scored 30 runs over four contests with an average of five per game during the first seven games of its road trip.
But the Twins' losing streak continued Tuesday afternoon as the bats cooled off in a 2-0 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park. Minnesota is 1-7 on its current nine-game road trip.
"You put the right people out there and you know guys can hit," manager Paul Molitor said. "They come in bunches. They can be hot, they can be cold, they can be steady. You've just got to ride the waves and figure it out."
Milwaukee's offense had similar issues early on against Twins right-hander Jake Odorizzi, who had his second strong outing of the season against the Brewers, even with Eric Thames' two-run blast in the fifth inning. Odorizzi allowed one run and fanned a season-high 10 batters over 5 1/3 innings on May 20, and was nearly as good Tuesday. He worked around four walks by stranding six Brewers and striking out nine.
The Twins stranded two runners in the fourth and fifth innings, too, while only recording one hit -- an Eddie Rosario single.
"[Guerra's] a good pitcher," Molitor said. "He's got good numbers. Nice combination, mostly the fastball-split. I think it was just a tough day offensively all around. No excuses, I think the shadows here are a little challenging as far as pitch recognition. But we had a chance right out of the chute there and couldn't capitalize. A lot of times those come back to bite you."
The Brewers' bullpen, which Twins manager Paul Molitor said was "set up really nicely" before the game, shut down Minnesota's lineup over the final four innings, including three shutout frames from Josh Hader.
Hader, who has a 1.21 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings, is among the best relievers in the Major Leagues. The Twins were only able to draw one walk against the left-hander.
"You can ask every team in the league. He's dominating, primarily with one pitch," Molitor said. "I think he's just kind of a combination of being able to hide the ball and good carry on his fastball."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Thames goes deep: Thames' two-run blast in the fifth inning provided all of the scoring Tuesday, and Odorizzi said he just didn't execute on the pitch.
"This is a prime example of when you don't execute, hitters are good," Odorizzi said. "It stinks. Make one better pitch and we could still be playing. It's the reality of it. It's hard to get hung up on one pitch out of the whole outing."
Odorizzi struck out Brad Miller after Nate Orf drew a walk to open the fifth. Then Odorizzi started the left-handed-hitting-Thames' at-bat with an outside fastball that was fouled off to the left side. That's when Odorizzi decided to change it up and use the cutter.
"It was a cutter that didn't get in far enough," Odorizzi said. "Threw it to a few of their lefties, throwing it on their hands. Just didn't execute it, plain and simple. I just stayed behind it too much. Didn't get enough break on it. Right pitch, just bad execution, and turns out to be the deciding factor."
First baseman Joe Mauer said he was bored after the game, and for good reason. The Twins became the first team whose first baseman played the entire game and had zero putouts or assists since Edwin Encarnacion manned first for the Blue Jays in Baltimore on Aug. 25, 2012. It's the sixth time in the past 20 years and the first time in Twins history that feat has been accomplished. More >
HE SAID IT
"As simple as I can state it, it looked like he wasn't going to make the call. Then Jake [Cave] walked away and it looked like he put his arm up after the fact. Jake said he called it right away, and [home-plate umpire Marty Foster] was just choking on his mints or whatever it was." -- Molitor, on Cave walking toward the dugout before Foster signaled strike three in the ninth inning
The Twins send right-hander Jose Berrios (8-6, 3.52) to the mound in the Independence Day series finale vs. the Brewers on Wednesday at 3:10 p.m. CT at Miller Park. Berrios will look to rebound from a rough outing against the Cubs, when he surrendered a season-high six runs in 4 1/3 innings -- just one start after he hurled seven shutout frames and struck out 12 in Texas. Right-hander Chase Anderson (6-6, 4.18) starts for the Brewers.