Trevor Plouffe's home run gives Twins fourth straight victory
Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Trevor Plouffe hit a solo home run in the top of the 11th inning to lift the Minnesota Twins to a 5-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday.
Plouffe's fourth homer of the season came off Manny Parra (0-1) with two outs. Parra had retired the first two batters before Plouffe connected on a 2-0 pitch that landed in the Brewers' bullpen.
Matt Capps, the fifth Twins reliever, got three outs for his ninth save while wrapping up the Twins' fourth straight win.
The Brewers threatened to win it in the 10th when Corey Hart singled with one out off reliever Jeff Gray (3-0). After Nyjer Morgan struck out, Ryan Braun looped the ball over second baseman Jamey Carroll and Hart raced to third on the play. But Aramis Ramirez, whose two-run homer in the eighth tied the game, popped out to center to end the inning.
It was the fourth straight loss for the Brewers, and sixth in seven games, dropping Milwaukee a season-worst eight games below .500.
The game turned into a battle between relievers after strong starts by the Twins' Carl Pavano and Milwaukee's Yovanni Gallardo.
Ramirez's two-run homer off reliever Jared Burton in the bottom of the eighth tied it at 4. His third home run of the season came with Morgan aboard with his third single in the game.
The Twins went ahead 3-2 in the seventh when reliever Juan Perez, who just had his contract selected from Triple-A Nashville, hit Ben Revere with the bases-loaded and the scored tied at 2. Jamey Carroll gave Minnesota an insurance run in the eighth with a run-scoring single.
Kameron Loe, on in relief of Gallardo, gave up a single to Drew Butera to start the seventh. He advanced to second on a sacrifice. Ryan Doumit pinch hit for Pavano and was walked intentionally. Erik Komatsu pinch ran for Doumit. Perez relieved Loe and walked Denard Span to load the bases. Perez hit Revere in the left elbow to force in a run. Jose Veras relieved Perez and got out of the inning by striking out Josh Willingham and getting Justin Morneau to fly out.
Brian Dozier hit two bases-loaded sacrifice flies off Gallardo, one in the fourth and the other in the sixth. However, Milwaukee answered each time off Pavano with RBI singles by Jonathan Lucroy in the fourth and Braun in the sixth.
Pavano, the 36-year-old right-hander, made his 300th career major league appearance and went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Gallardo went six innings, allowing two runs - one earned - on three hits. He walked three and struck out three.
The Brewers made it 2-2 in the sixth when Morgan singled, stole second and scored on Braun's sacrifice fly.
The Twins scored an unearned run off Gallardo in the sixth. Span reached on second baseman Rickie Weeks' throwing error and then took third when Revere slapped an opposite-field double to left. Gallardo intentionally walked Morneau to load the bases for Dozier.
The Brewers answered in their half of the fourth. Morgan reached on an infield single, stole second, took third on Braun's groundout. Ramirez popped up the first pitch, prompting boos from the crowd which then turned to cheers when Lucroy laced a 1-0 pitch into center to score Morgan.
Gallardo faced the minimum through 3 1-3 innings, but then lost his command with two outs in the fourth. Revere doubled, Gallardo walked the next two batters. Dozier lofted a 3-2 pitch to left which scored Revere as left-fielder Braun threw to third. Alex Casilla grounded out to short to end the threat.
Notes: The Brewers selected the contract of left-handed reliever Juan Perez, 33, from Triple-A Nashville before the game. Right-handed reliever Vinnie Chulk was designated for assignment to make room for Perez who went 1-0 with a 0.84 ERA in 10 relief appearances for the Sounds this season. ... Twins manager Ron Gardenhire intended to give Joe Mauer the day off because his catcher was sore, but ended up using Mauer, who stayed in the game after pinch hitting in the eighth. He stayed in the game. ... Twins C Ryan Doumit pinch hit in the seventh despite a sore calf. ... Umpire Bob Davidson was back and behind the plate after serving his one-game suspension for repeated violations of MLB's standards for situation handling.© The Associated Press