MILWAUKEE -- When Gabriel Moya struck out Eric Sogard to conclude the eighth inning in the Twins' 2-0 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park on Tuesday, Joe Mauer trotted off the field doing something that hadn't been done in six years.Mauer played all eight innings at first base --
MILWAUKEE -- When Gabriel Moya struck out Eric Sogard to conclude the eighth inning in the Twins' 2-0 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park on Tuesday, Joe Mauer trotted off the field doing something that hadn't been done in six years.
Mauer played all eight innings at first base -- and never recorded a putout or assist, making him the first MLB first baseman to go unused since Edwin Encarnacion for the Blue Jays in Baltimore on Aug. 25, 2012. Furthermore, the Twins didn't record a single assist as a team, the first time that has happened since the Yankees accomplished the feat against the Red Sox on September 2, 2014.
It's the sixth time in the past 20 years and the first time in Twins history that there was an entire game in which one of the first basemen had zero putouts and zero assists.
"It's pretty unbelievable to be a part of something like that," Mauer said.
Jake Odorizzi hurled five innings of two-run ball and struck out nine Brewers. He also induced five flyouts. In relief of Odorizzi, Thomas Pressly (three strikeouts in one inning) and Moya (four strikeouts and two flyouts over two innings) also never gave Mauer a chance for a play.
"I was made known of that fact that there wasn't a ground ball, which is a baseball oddity," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Can't really explain that, other than the Odorizzi we know is a fly ball guy."
Brewers manager Craig Counsell kept his credit for the oddity to Odorizzi's ability to challenge Brewers hitters for the second time this season. He threw 5 1/3 innings and allowed one run when the teams met in May.
"Jake Odorizzi. Strikeouts and a bunch of fly balls," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "There are pitchers in the game right now who have changed where the batted ball is going by where they're pitching in the strike zone. He's challenging hitters up out of the strike zone. We've seen most pitchers [in the past] challenge batters down and below the strike zone. He's a guy who does the opposite and today the results were kind of extreme."
The Brewers are one of the least likely clubs to accomplish the feat. Entering Tuesday's game, the Brewers had the third-lowest fly ball percentage (32.0) in the Majors, the third-highest ground ball percentage (46.9), and the sixth-highest strikeout rate (24.0). Milwaukee usually strikes out or records outs on the ground -- but that wasn't the case against the Twins.
Ironically, Jesus Aguilar didn't have too many opportunities for putouts either at first base for the Brewers. Aguilar's first play was an unassisted putout of Bobby Wilson to end the fourth inning. The Twins only grounded out four more times in the loss.
Stephen Cohn is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. Follow him on Twitter @Stephen__Cohn.