Brewers 6, Twins 5
MILWAUKEE (AP)—Geoff Jenkins waited until his teammates pushed him out for a curtain call in the fifth. After all, he’d only tied the game, and the Brewers were still struggling on offense.
So, the 10-year veteran drove in the go-ahead run in his next at-bat for good measure.
Jenkins hit his 200th homer, all for the Brewers, and had five RBIs to help Milwaukee rally from a four-run deficit to beat the Minnesota Twins 6-5 on Sunday.
“It was Geoff Jenkins’ day here,” manager Ned Yost said. “That was as huge as it gets right there to pick us up, the game that he had offensively for us. A big three-run homer, but the hit off the lefty to score the winning run was every bit as big.”
Jenkins, a career .241 hitter against lefties that forced Milwaukee to platoon him in left field with Kevin Mench, helped Milwaukee break out of its offensive funk by tying it in the fifth inning at 5. Then he hit the go-ahead single in the seventh off reliever Dennys Reyes (0-1).
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was agitated and fidgeting with his sunglasses after the game because he learned that Reyes’ throwing shoulder had been bothering him since late April.
“Those are the kinds of things that a manager has to know before the ballgame. I found out after the ballgame,” Gardenhire said. “I don’t know if that’s affecting his throwing, supposedly he’s fine to pitch … (but) all I know is a manager should know about things like that.”
“Carlos, Wise, Turnbow and Coco did a great job,” said Brewers starter Claudio Vargas, roughed up for five runs off six hits and six walks. “It was only one base hit after I left, and we came back and won the game. It’s a big win for us.”
Cordero has been stunned by his performance so far.
“I haven’t been as good as I’ve been right now,” said Cordero, who had 49 saves and was an All-Star three years ago. “In 2004, I got a great season, but what I’m doing right now is just unbelievable.”
Despite the victory, the Brewers are just 3-7 in their last 10 and play the next six against the Dodgers and Padres on the road. They managed to snap Minnesota’s streak of 12 straight interleague victories, which included five in a row against them.
Jenkins, who last had as many as five RBIs when he had six on April 29, 2001, against Montreal, hit a three-run homer off Twins starter Ramon Ortiz in the fifth to join Robin Yount (251), Gorman Thomas (208) and Cecil Cooper (201) as the fourth Brewer with 200 home runs. He needed a little push from teammates to acknowledge his curtain call.
“They told me to go out there and enjoy it,” Jenkins said. “It would be hard to enjoy it if we didn’t win the ballgame. It was a big hit at the time and it’s obviously nice to pitch in and help out. We definitely needed kind of a jolt of energy.”
Jenkins also drove in a run in the third and is 8-for-15 with four homers and 12 RBIs in his career against Ortiz. Prince Fielder said the young Brewers look to his leadership.
“He’s been here forever, his whole career,” Fielder said. “He’s the man here.”
The Twins, 18-3 against the NL since 2006, took a 4-0 lead with a two-out rally in the third. After Vargas retired the first two batters, it took him 29 pitches to record the final out. Michael Cuddyer hit a two-run homer and Vargas loaded the bases off an infield hit by Justin Morneau and two walks.
Vargas was gone after laboring through a 21-pitch fourth inning that featured a wild pitch and another walk that set up Morneau’s sacrifice fly to make it 5-2.
The runs appeared to be enough for the Twins, but Ortiz, who last won on April 17, couldn’t get out of the fifth after allowing 10 hits, the biggest by Jenkins and Hardy.
“This month is crazy, nothing works for me,” Ortiz said. “I know I can pitch. All you can do is keep going, and you know you’re going to be fine.”
Twins C Joe Mauer was eligible to return from the DL on Sunday, but Gardenhire said he hasn’t done any squatting or catching yet. “His leg is doing fine, swelling is all gone,” Gardenhire said. “He’s taken some swings in the cages, just his running has been very limited.” … Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks plans to return to the lineup Monday after missing the last four games with a sore right wrist. … Hardy, LHP Chris Capuano, RHP Jeff Suppan and CF Bill Hall will tape an episode of the soap opera “The Young and the Restless” on Tuesday in Los Angeles. The episode is expected to air June 20.
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