So far this season, the Milwaukee Brewers’ bullpen has largely seemed indestructible. Against the Twins Wednesday night, though, they faltered and allowed Minnesota to walk away with a 6-4 victory at Target Field.
Marco Estrada battled some fastball control issues and an incredibly tight strike zone to last six innings, but he allowed four runs (all earned) on six hits. He walked three, struck out one, and allowed a three-run homer.
The Twins’ Ricky Nolasco largely cruised through his seven innings of work to his fourth victory of the year. He made only one mistake the entire night, a fastball to Aramis Ramirez in the seventh inning for a three-run bomb to center field that tied things up at four.
Other than that pitch down the middle, Nolasco nailed his spots, His curve and slider were nasty, and his fastballs were well-located and stymied the Milwaukee Brewers’ offense.
Ramirez’s swing was a welcome sign for Brewers fans, and not just because it tied the game. Wednesday was Ramirez’s first game back from the disabled list, and his home run was a very encouraging sight.
The moonshot in the seventh gave the Brewers only short-lived excitement, as the bullpen gave the Twins the lead back in the bottom of the frame.
Rob Wooten first came on to record the first two outs of the inning, but then ran into trouble in the form of a double by Josh Willingham, prompting normally lights-out reliever Will Smith to enter. Smith made good pitches, but the Twins’ hitters were better. Oswaldo Arcia, who had previously hit the three-run shot off Estrada, singled home Willingham on the liner to right and advanced on the throw home by Ryan Braun. Trevor Plouffe brought him home on a grounder to right to make it 6-4.
The Twins’ bullpen never looked back, as Casey Fien and Glen Perkins allowed only one walk and no hits in the final two frames to end things at 6-4.
The Brewers play again at Target Field on Thursday to try and even up the four-game set against the Twins. Wily Peralta will take the mound for the Milwaukee Brewers.