MILWAUKEE -- For the Minnesota Twins, their 6-3 interleague victory over the Brewers Monday was the perfect roadmap to climbing back into the AL Central race.
Minnesota took advantage of early scoring chances by making an opposing pitcher pay for walks; added on runs late in the game; got just enough from its starting pitcher and found a way to bridge the gap to its late-inning relievers.
"That was a good performance," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, whose team won for just the third time in the last 13 games. "We got some early ones, they got close to us and we added on a couple of big ones late. Nice win for us."
Given a 1-0 lead in the first, Minnesota starter Kevin Correia got himself into trouble right off the bat, loading the bases with nobody out by hitting Carlos Gomez with a pitch.
But with usual No. 3 hitter Ryan Braun -- nursing an injured thumb -- and cleanup man Aramis Ramirez (recovering from a knee injury) out of the lineup, Yuniesky Betancourt came next and lined into a double play at short for the first two outs while Jeff Bianchi ended the inning with a strikeout.
"We're not getting many breaks," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "But I keep saying we're not playing well enough to get a lot of breaks. That certainly was one. You get bases loaded in the first inning and Yuni hits a bullet and you end up double play and you don't score at all. It's tough. You think you are going to have a decent first inning and you come away with nothing."
With disaster avoided, it was smooth sailing for Correia, who retired Milwaukee in order the next two innings before Gomez led off the fourth with a home run to make it 2-1 Minnesota.
He sat down five of the next seven -- and benefited from an inning-ending double play in the fourth -- before running into trouble in the sixth, when Jean Segura led off with a homer to center and Gomez followed with his second of the game, a 397-foot shot to left.
But after walking Betancourt, the Twins turned their third double play of the day and Alex Gonzalez flew out to end the inning.
"It looked like he was starting getting the ball up and they got a couple of homers," Gardenhire said. "He said he hung a couple of sliders so we were debating whether or not to send him back out for the seventh. He said he felt great but made a couple of bad pitches. Once the inning went longer, we decided for sure we'd go to Roenicke."
Aside from the home runs, Correia was otherwise clean, allowing seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts to pick up his fifth victory of the season.
"I was kind of off in the first," Correia said. "To get out of that with no runs was huge. You feel so much better about going back out there in the second inning. It changes your mindset. I felt great the rest of the game."
Brewers' starter Wily Peralta (3-6) lasted just five innings, allowing four runs -- three earned -- on five hits and five walks with three strikeouts. Peralta has lost four in a row and five of six during the month of May, posting a 9.00 ERA during those five losses.
"We all have a hard time right now," Peralta said. "I just want to go out there for me and for the team, too. We are really struggling right now and you get frustrated. Too many walks today."
After Peralta retired his first two batters of the game, Mauer drew a walk and scored on Justin Morneau's base hit to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead in the first inning. The Twins went ahead by two in the fourth when Pedro Florimon's double drove in Aaron Hicks.
Gomez got one back in the bottom of the inning with his first homer of the game, a 436-foot shot to left field on an 1-1 change-up from Correia. But the Twins restored their two-run lead in the fifth on Ryan Doumit's two-run single up the middle.
Jean Segura led off the Brewers' sixth with his eighth homer of the season, and Gomez followed with his second of the game to cut the deficit to 4-3. But after Yuniesky Betancourt drew a walk, Jeff Bianchi hit into a double play and Alex Gonzalez flew out to right, ending the inning.
Mauer led off the seventh with a home run to left which gave the Twins a 5-3 lead. Originally, ruled a double, the umpires reviewed the play and awarded Mauer his fourth home run of the season.
"I was in (the clubhouse) talking with Correia at the time about what we were going to do," said Gardenhire, whose team is 3-for-3 on replays this season. "I was looking at the TV and took off running - sprinting right out of the clubhouse. I had to push a couple of guys out of the way to get out on the field.
Glen Perkins tossed a perfect ninth inning to earn his 10th save of the season.
NOTES: Braun was not in the lineup Monday due to a thumb injury that has been bothering the Brewers' left fielder for the last two weeks. Though a stint on the disabled list is unlikely for Braun, Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke suggested Braun could miss a few games while recovering. He pinch hit in the ninth, lining out to third to end the game. ... Minnesota leads all of baseball with 53 runs allowed in the first inning this season. ... Gomez second two-home run game in the last three games moved him ahead of Braun for the team lead with 10 homers this season. ... Milwaukee signed RHP Clay Hensley to a minor league contract Monday and assigned him to Triple-A Nashville.