Perhaps the players-only meeting the Minnesota Twins held before starting interleague play woke up their bats.
The Twins hope to put on another display of offense on Sunday as they seek to complete their first three-game sweep at Miller Park against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Minnesota (19-24) entered this series on a five-game losing streak, including three losses in Detroit in which it scored a total of seven runs. Center fielder Torii Hunter called a special meeting prior to Friday’s series opener in an effort to keep the team’s attitude positive.
The Twins have responded by opening a series with two wins for the first time since April 14-15. They’ve done it by scoring 23 runs and amassing 23 hits against Milwaukee pitching after a 16-10 victory on Saturday.
Catcher Joe Mauer is 7-for-10 with four runs scored in the series after he had four hits on Saturday.
“He’s really on the ball,” said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Mauer, who’s hitting .336. “He’s been swinging well. He had a great night tonight.”
Minnesota batted around in the first and fourth innings. Michael Cuddyer drove in a career-high five runs to bring his season total to 17.
“It was a great offensive night, we beat the ball around,” Gardenhire said. “We had some good performances.”
Minnesota expects to again be without leadoff hitter Shannon Stewart, who missed Saturday’s game with a sore left heel. The injury has plagued Stewart since spring training and the Twins have decided to rest him for a few days to see if it will help him recover.
The Twins are seeking their first three-game sweep in Milwaukee since winning three at County Stadium from July 22-24, 1994. The Brewers have not been swept at home by any opponent since Aug. 10-12 against St. Louis.
Minnesota right-hander Boof Bonser (NR) will make his major league debut on Sunday. Bonser is taking the place of Kyle Lohse, who was demoted to Triple-A Rochester on Wednesday after going 2-4 with an 8.92 ERA in eight starts.
Bonser went 3-2 with a 2.01 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 49 1-3 innings over eight starts for Rochester this season.
Milwaukee (22-21) wasted four homers in Saturday’s loss, including Corey Koskie’s third in the last seven games. Starter Ben Hendrickson failed to retire any of the six batters he faced as he put the Brewers into an early six-run hole.
Milwaukee starter Chris Capuano (4-3, 2.80 ERA) will try to add to his total of 56 strikeouts—the fourth-most in the NL. Capuano struck out seven and allowed two runs and six hits over seven innings, but did not figure in the decision in a 3-2 victory over Philadelphia on Tuesday.
The left-hander is facing the Twins for the second time in his career. He outdueled Brad Radke by scattering five hits over 6 2-3 scoreless innings in a 3-1 victory on June 24 of last season.