After a slow start, the Milwaukee Brewers seem to be getting the hang of interleague play.
The Brewers (37-30) look for their fourth straight win when they continue their three-game series against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night at the Metrodome.
After a 1-4 start in interleague play, Milwaukee has won four of its last five against AL opponents - all on the road. The Brewers took two of three against the defending AL champion Detroit Tigers earlier this week, then opened their series against the Twins (33-32) on Friday with an 11-3 victory.
Geoff Jenkins hit a grand slam in the fourth inning and Prince Fielder added a two-run shot in the seventh to help the Brewers snap Minnesota’s four-game winning streak. Milwaukee tallied 15 hits and scored its most runs since a 12-3 win over the New York Mets on May 12.
Following that May 12 contest, however, the Brewers entered an 8-18 stretch, from which Milwaukee seems to have finally bounced back.
The current three-game winning streak is the Brewers’ longest since winning six in a row from May 4-9. Despite the recent rough stretch, Milwaukee still has a comfortable 5 1/2 game lead over the Chicago Cubs for first place in an NL Central where no team besides the Brewers owns a winning record.
“We’re starting to turn it around. It’s a long season,” center fielder Bill Hall said. “We’ve got a number of guys that can pick it up on any given day and that’s what we’re doing.”
Minnesota was coming off a three-game sweep of the New York Mets, but the Twins were unable to carry over the momentum, looking lethargic as they managed just five hits - none after the sixth inning.
Minnesota looks to bounce back on Saturday against struggling Milwaukee starter Dave Bush (3-6, 5.70 ERA).
Since his last win on May 8 against Washington, the right-hander has gone 0-3 with a 5.66 ERA in six starts - five of them Brewers losses. Milwaukee’s lone win in those outings came Sunday against the Texas Rangers, when Bush allowed four runs - three earned - and six hits in 4 1-3 innings, but the Brewers rallied to win the game 9-6 in 12 innings.
Bush is 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA in three career starts against the Twins. The right-hander pitched 7 1-3 innings against them on May 19, allowing five runs and eight hits in a 5-2 loss.
Bonser, who has won five of his last six starts, defeated the Brewers on May 18, when he limited Milwaukee to one run and three hits in seven innings of a 8-1 win.