The Minnesota Twins came to Milwaukee this weekend hoping to salvage the last leg of what had been a miserable road trip. They may wind up returning home with plenty of positive momentum.
The Twins go for a three-game sweep of the Brewers on Sunday at Miller Park as their 10-game, three-city trek comes to an end.
Not much had gone right for Minnesota (34-35) in its previous stops at Chicago and Cleveland. The Twins dropped six of seven, while allowing 10 or more runs in four of those games and being outscored 58-25.
The Twins, though, followed a well-played 10-2 win Friday with a little bit of good fortune in Saturday’s 9-4, 12-inning victory that ensured them their first series win since sweeping Kansas City in a three-game set May 27-29.
Minnesota caught its break Saturday in the bottom of the 10th, when a potential game-winning home run hit by Prince Fielder that hit the yellow line on the center field fence came back into the field of play. Fielder settled for a triple, and Twins reliever Matt Guerrier escaped further trouble to extend the game.
“It doesn’t matter, it hit the yellow line, it didn’t hit over the fence,” said Brewers manager Ned Yost, who appreciated that the umpiring crew got together to agree on the call. “It hit the yellow line and bounced back.”
Two innings later, Brian Buscher had a go-ahead, two-run single and Michael Cuddyer added a two-run triple and scored on an error by center fielder Mike Cameron - Milwaukee’s fourth of the series - as the Twins pulled away.
“It was wild,” said Buscher, who went 3-for-5 with three RBIs. “Everybody wants to be in that situation, luckily I came through.”
Scott Baker (2-1, 3.60) will try to give the Twins their first sweep of the Brewers since June 30-July 2, 2006. The right-hander finally ended a stretch of five starts without a decision, but was a tough-luck loser at Cleveland on Tuesday, when he limited the Indians to one run in seven innings of a 1-0 defeat.
Baker is winless since April 15, but the Twins have provided him just nine runs of support during his six-start drought. He has won both of his previous starts at Miller Park, but the Brewers defeated him at the Metrodome exactly one year ago to the day Sunday - tagging him for six runs in 4 2-3 innings.
Milwaukee (35-33) turns to Seth McClung (3-3, 4.07) to avoid being swept at home for the first time since dropping three games to St. Louis last Aug. 14-16. McClung has alternated wins and losses in four starts since joining the rotation, but has pitched well in his last two outings.
The right-hander lost at Houston on Tuesday despite limiting the Astros to two runs in six innings of a 6-1 defeat, and has yielded just three runs in 12 innings in his last two starts.
McClung is 0-2 with a save and 10.80 ERA in three lifetime appearances versus the Twins, giving up 10 runs in 8 1-3 innings.
Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun, who hit a solo homer Saturday, has a six-game streak with at least one RBI.