Milwaukee (36-30) at Minnesota (33-31)

Cloudy Currently: Minneapolis, MN
Temp: 32° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Fri Jun 15, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Getting no-hit in the opener of their recent series seemed to spark the Milwaukee Brewers, but continuing their strong play won’t be easy against the hot Minnesota Twins.

The teams meet for the second time in a month as they open a three-game interleague set on Friday at the Metrodome.

Milwaukee (36-30) couldn’t muster a hit off Justin Verlander in a 4-0 defeat to Detroit on Tuesday, which was its 20th loss in the previous 30 games. The NL Central-leading Brewers came back strong, winning the next two games in the series each by one run, including a 6-5 victory in Thursday’s finale.

Corey Hart homered and Ben Sheets became the second pitcher in team history with 1,000 career strikeouts for the Brewers, who won a road series for the first time since April 27-29 in Houston.

They are now trying to win three in a row for the first time since a season-high six-game winning streak May 4-9.

“To beat these guys on the road after being no-hit is going to be a great confidence boost,” said Hart, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs to boost his season average to .297. “It isn’t like we did this against one of the worst teams in baseball—they were in the World Series last year.”

They’ll now travel to the Metrodome, where they have lost four straight games, and will face a Minnesota (33-31) squad looking to tie its season-high five-game winning streak set May 27-June 1. The Twins are coming off a three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves, including a 3-2 victory Thursday when they rallied to score all their runs in bottom of the ninth.

Mike Redmond drove in the game-winning run, marking the first time in 28 games this season Minnesota won when trailing after eight innings.

“Every once in a while you hit one on the barrel,” Redmond said, grinning.

The Twins are outscoring opponents 22-8 during their current four-game winning streak and have posted a 1.75 ERA during that stretch.

Scott Baker (1-1, 6.45 ERA) tries to continue that trend and his success against Milwaukee. The right-hander was called up from Triple-A Rochester on May 19 and beat the Brewers 5-2 later that day, holding them to two runs and six hits over 8 1-3 innings.

He didn’t issue a walk and struck out five to improve to 2-0 with a 4.05 ERA in two career starts versus Milwaukee. He helped the Twins, who have won eight of the last 10 games between the teams, win two of three games from May 18-20.

Baker has struggled in his last two overall starts, though, allowing 11 runs and 18 hits through 8 2-3 innings. He gave up five runs and eight hits over 5 2-3 innings in a 5-1 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels on June 5, which was his first loss in four starts.

He will be opposed by Claudio Vargas (4-1, 3.94), who was skipped in the rotation because the Brewers had two days off in a five-day span. The right-hander pitched one inning of relief on Sunday, earning his first career save in a 9-6, 12-inning victory over Texas.

In Vargas’ last start on June 5, he allowed three runs and seven hits over 5 1-3 innings in a 7-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs. The Brewers improved to 9-2 in his 11 starts.

Vargas has struggled against the Twins, however, going 0-1 with a 7.82 ERA in three career games. He did not have a decision in a 6-5 win over them on May 20 after being reached for five runs and six hits over four innings while walking six.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Vargas Col vs. S. Baker Tex
11-6 Record 9-9
5.09 ERA 4.26
107 K 102
54 BB 29
1.54 WHIP 1.33


Friday, Jun 15