Twins 5, Brewers 2
MILWAUKEE (AP)—The Minnesota Twins bid a fond farewell to the National League.
Minnesota, 9 1/2 games behind the first-place Chicago White Sox in the AL Central, finished interleague play 8-10 and avoided being swept by the Brewers, who are five games under .500 but went 8-7 against the AL.
“It’s nice to get a win and get out of town and get rid of National League baseball and get back to some American League baseball,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Rodriguez, who turns 25 on Monday, hit a two-run homer in the first that barely cleared the wall in the left-field corner and gave the Twins a 2-0 lead.
“That was a big lift, to kind of get your pitcher started,” Gardenhire said.
Lohse (6-6) snapped a personal three-game losing streak despite allowing at least a hit in each of his six innings. He allowed nine hits, while striking out three and walking none. He and Carlos Silva are the only Twins starters to win in the last 13 games.
Lohse’s work day ended when he got Chad Moeller to ground into a fielders choice with runners on first and second to end the sixth.
“We went to sliders when we got in trouble,” Lohse said. “We had to get that out there. We were not looking to put any runs on the board. It was a big out for me.”
Milwaukee starter Victor Santos (2-8) allowed five runs on 10 hits, only the second time in 15 starts that he’s allowed more than three earned runs. He has one win in his last 12 starts.
“I don’t know what it is when he’s out there,” Brewers outfielder Geoff Jenkins said of Santos. “We don’t seem to get it done.”
Jenkins hit a two-run home run off reliever Joe Nathan in the ninth for Milwaukee, which had a four-game winning streak snapped. Nathan gave up four hits in the inning, but was able to close out the game without further damage.
“He hadn’t pitched in a while,” Gardenhire said. “Right there at the end you can see him light it up with his fastball. Then they chased it a couple times, which was huge.”
The Twins left runners in scoring position in the third, fourth and fifth innings but added to their lead in the sixth with a run-scoring single up the middle by Mike Redmond that scored Jacque Jones.
Santos was chased a batter later when Juan Castro hit a slow roller to third, and Glenn Williams was able to beat the throw home. Shannon Stewart drove in Redmond with a two-out double to left-center off reliever Tommy Phelps to put the Twins up 5-0.
Williams, another Twins rookie pressed into service because of injuries, went 2-for-5 and extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
“I’ve been pretty fortunate to get some at bats and fortunate to get a couple starts in a row,” said Williams, who made his major league debut June 7. “I’m feeling pretty comfortable.”
The Twins got the leadoff batter on base in five of the first six innings.
“The leadoff hitter continued to get on, and that’s going to kill you,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “You can dance around that only so many times. I tell the catchers every time they go out to get the leadoff man, because then its a lot more difficult to score a run.”
The Twins had several chances earlier in the game to open up a larger lead. With nobody out in the fifth, Jenkins caught a fly ball and threw a one-hopper to Moeller, who tagged out Stewart at home to complete a double play. Moeller was positioned a few feet up the line and swiped at Stewart, who slid but was unable to avoid the tag.
The win marked the fifth time this season that the Twins lost the first two games of a three-game series but were able to avoid a sweep.
Brewers 3B Russell Branyan will begin a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Nashville Monday and will serve as the team’s DH. Branyan had been on the DL since June 2 with a fractured left middle finger. … Williams is batting .400 (14-35) during his streak…. Rodriguez was recalled from Triple-A Rochester May 20.