Twins hot, Brewers not going into weekend seriesRegional Sports
-- Major League Baseball begins its first round of Interleague play for the 2012 season today. Fourteen matchups between the National and American Leagues are on tap, including several traditional rivalries. Among those are the Twins and Brewers.
MILWAUKEE - Major League Baseball begins its first round of Interleague play for the 2012 season today. Fourteen matchups between the National and American Leagues are on tap, including several traditional rivalries. Among those are the Twins and Brewers.
The Milwaukee Brewers have lost four-of-their-last-five – and they hope to turn things around with some home cookin’ and a visit from the Minnesota Twins. The Brewers just returned from a 1-3 road trip. And they’ll open Interleague play tonight against a Twins’ team which has Majors’ worst record at 12-26. But despite their record, the Twins are fired up after sweeping Detroit for two games. Manager Ron Gardenhire said his team made some good things happen against the defending American League Central champion Tigers – and it’s something they hope to build on. Meanwhile, Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke says he’s looking to prop up all aspects of Milwaukee’s game. That’s after the Brewers lost a pair in Houston by a combined score of 12-3. The Crew was shut out last night for the fourth time this year. The Brewers are 99-115 all-time against Interleague opponents – but they went 4-2 against Minnesota in each of the last two years. Right-hander Marco Estrada will start for the Brew Crew this evening against Twins’ rookie left-hander Scott Diamond.
The Milwaukee Brewers were shut out for the fourth time this season, falling at Houston 4-0 last night. Starter Shaun Marcum suffered a cramp in his upper abdomen while playing long-toss before the game. But he pitched anyway and went five innings, giving up four runs – three earned – on nine hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Marcum took the loss, and is now 2-2. J-A Happ evened his record to 3-and-3 with the win. He gave up seven hits in six scoreless innings with a walk and four strikeouts. Houston scored all its runs in the fourth, highlighted by a two-run homer from Jed Lowrie. Milwaukee’s biggest threat came in the third inning, when they loaded the bases with one out and left all three runners stranded. Norichika Aoki went 3-for-4 with a double, as Milwaukee was out-hit 13-to-8. The Astros swept only their second series of the year with their two wins – and it was the first time they swept the Brewers since July-and-August of 2010. Milwaukee is back home after a 1-3 road trip. They’ll open Interleague play tonight against the Minnesota Twins. Right-hander Marco Estrada will face Twins’ left-hander Scott Diamond.
Meanwhile, the Twins are on a winning streak after Justin Morneau clubbed a two-run homer in the third inning and Trevor Plouffe followed with a solo shot as the Twins topped the Tigers 4-3 yesterday in Detroit. Morneau added an RBI groundout in the fifth as Minnesota swept the brief two-game set at Comerica Park. P.J. Walters tossed six-and-a-third innings of three-run ball to get his first win of the season. Matt Capps worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save. Brennan Boesch, Andy Dirks and Prince Fielder hit solo homers for Detroit. Doug Fister took the loss. This was only the second time all season the Twins have won back-to-back games. Minnesota is in Milwaukee for a three-game interleague series beginning tonight.
The Twins have placed pitcher Nick Blackburn on the 15-day DL because of a left quad strain. Ben Revere has been called up to take Blackburn's spot on the roster. Meantime, the Twins decided to keep catcher Ryan Doumit on the 25-man roster. He is suffering from a right calf strain.
Major League Baseball begins its first round of Interleague play for the 2012 season today. Fourteen matchups between the National and American Leagues are on tap, including several traditional rivalries. Among those are the Twins and Brewers. The White Sox and Cubs open a three-game set at Wrigley Field this afternoon. Tonight, the Orioles and Nationals meet in Washington, DC, the Rangers and Astros square off in an all-Texas matchup in Houston, and the Athletics and Giants begin a Bay Area series in San Francisco. More Interleague series will be played next month. The American League has won 166 more games than the National League since Interleague play first began in 1997.