Twins 5, Brewers 2

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—With a much-needed win, the Minnesota Twins found what they’ve been missing for most of this month—fun.

Torii Hunter and Corey Koskie spoiled Dave Burba’s season debut with solo homers and helped Minnesota beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 Saturday night.

Hunter went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Luis Rivas was 3-for-4 with an RBI for the Twins, who won for just the fourth time in 14 games and the fifth time in their last 15 home games.

“We tried to run around the bases a little bit. We said we were just going to go back to playing the game and having some fun,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “That’s what the guys like to do.”

Scott Podsednik went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs for the Brewers, who lost to Minnesota starter Kenny Rogers for the second time in six days.

J.C. Romero and LaTroy Hawkins each pitched an inning in relief, and Eddie Guardado pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 21 chances—his first in 14 games.

Gardenhire kept the clubhouse doors closed longer than usual on Friday and pleaded with his players to stop putting so much internal pressure and get back to enjoying themselves and the game.

The room was noticeably loose immediately following Friday’s meeting and that carried over to Saturday.

“That’s what wins do,” Koskie said, who turned 30 Saturday and is batting .433 (39-for-90) with 21 RBIs in 24 games in June. “That’s all you can ask for.”

Burba, who turns 37 on July 7, scattered nine hits and three runs over 5 2-3 innings in his first major league outing since last Sept. 28, when he was with Cleveland. Relying heavily on his curveball, Burba walked one and struck out three.

“I’m disappointed about the loss, because you never walk over the white line looking for a loss or a no-decision,” Burba said, “but I got them to the sixth inning, and I’m happy about that.”

The Brewers were, too, since the fourth and fifth spots in their rotation have been huge holes. They’re 27-23 in outings by Ben Sheets, Matt Kinney or Wayne Franklin but just 6-23 when anybody else starts.

“Dave did a great job,” said manager Ned Yost. “When he kept the ball down, he did a really nice job.”

Burba, whose contract was purchased Friday from Triple-A Indianapolis after the Brewers signed him to a minor league contract May 4, fell behind 2-0 in the second on Hunter’s 11th homer and an RBI single by Rivas.

Koskie’s one-out drive, his 12th, into the dark blue folded-up seats above right field made it 3-1 in the fifth.

With Valerio De Los Santos pitching in the seventh, Minnesota took advantage of his high leg kick and stole three stolen bases to help bump the lead up to 5-2.

Cristian Guzman singled, swiped second and third and scored on a two-out single by Hunter, who stole second and scored on a broken-bat single by Doug Mientkiewicz.

The Brewers had a season-high 13 runs and 19 hits on Friday night, but they couldn’t duplicate that success against Rogers (7-3)—who gave up six hits, two walks and a run in six innings while striking out six.

Milwaukee failed to score after putting the leadoff runner on in the second, fourth and sixth innings, barely missing with two on and two outs in the second when Koskie made a lunging stop of Eddie Perez’s grounder and threw him out to end the inning.

The Brewers, though, got two runs off miscues by Twins left fielder Jacque Jones.

He lost Perez’s ball in the ceiling for a fifth-inning double that set up Podsednik’s first RBI, a single that cut the Twins’ lead to 2-1.

Eric Young got an extra base after his double into the corner skipped past Jones on the carom for an error in the seventh. Young scored on a two-outsingle by Podsednik, who is 10-for-20 on this road trip.

Notes

Both the Brewers and Twins have fared better on the road. Milwaukee is 18-19 away from Miller Park and 15-27 at home, and Minnesota is 22-17 away from the Metrodome and 20-20 at home. … Matthew LeCroy gave A.J. Pierzynski, who fouled a pitch off his knee in Friday’s game, a break behind the plate. Gardenhire said Pierzynski, though a little sore, could’ve played. … Brewers 1B Richie Sexson didn’t have to test his sore knee much on the basepaths, atleast. He walked twice, singled softly to left and struck out.

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