Milwaukee: Jimmy Nelson (6.2 IP, W), Carlos Torres (.1 IP), Blaine Boyer (1 IP), Tyler Cravy (1 IP)
Minnesota: Tommy Milone (4.2 IP), Michael Tonkin (.1 IP), Ryan Pressly (1.1 IP, L), Casey Fien (.2 IP), Ryan O'Rourke (1 IP)
HRs: Oswaldo Arcia (2), Eddie Rosario (2), Aaron Hill (1), Chris Carter (4), Domingo Santana (2)
Bob Uecker always says that the ball likes to fly out of Miller Park more when the roof and the windows are open. Well, tonight they were closed, but that didn't dissuade the balls in any way. It would turn into an offense-heavy night, with a combined five home runs and twenty-five hits between the two teams.
After Jimmy Nelson got through a bit of a jam in the top of the first, Domingo Santana led off the Brewers' half with a sharp groundball single to the right of the shortstop. After a Jonathan Villar strikeout, Santana was tagged out for the lone TOOTBLAN in the game. As it turns out, Milone, a lefty, has a very good move to first, and he was able to catch Domingo stealing. Personally, his move seemed a bit balkish, but my experience is as a former high school pitcher, not a major league umpire. Following a Ryan Braun single and a deep fly ball out to center by Jonathan Lucroy, the game moved into the second inning.
Just after Matt Lepay and Bill Schroeder were talking about the lack of offense in Kurt Suzuki's bat, the veteran catcher hit a deep fly ball off the top of the wall in left for a stand-up double. Two batters later, the Brewers' shift worked against them as Eduardo Nunez punched a single right into the gaping hole at second, and the Twins were on the board. The third out came on a comebacker to the pitcher, but Jimmy made it interesting by tossing the ball over Chris Carter's head at first. Carter used all of his 6'4" as he snagged the ball out of the air and returned it to the bag for the out.
After several uneventful half innings, Carter and Braun teamed up to get the Brewers on the board. Braun hit a one out single, and two batters later, Carter hit a screaming double to left center. With the aid of a bobble by the elder Arcia brother, Oswaldo, Braun's 32-year-old legs carried him all the way from first to score. The inning ended shortly thereafter with the ballgame in a 1-1 tie.
In the bottom half of the fifth, a two out single by Ramon Flores and back-to-back walks to Santana and Villar spelled the end of Milone's night. Braun got into the scoring action again as he drew a walk on a full count, driving in Flores to take the lead. Six pitches later, Lucroy, not to be outdone, ripped a line drive double off the base of the wall in left, driving in two runs. The inning ended with a strikeout from Carter. But the damage was done, and the Brewers went into the 6th up 4-1.
After an effective first 5 innings by Nelson, back-to-back homers to Arcia and Eddie Rosario evened up the score at 4-4. He got a bit of a pick-me-up in the next half as Aaron Hill launched a 95 mph fastball into the left field bleachers to take a one run lead.
Jimmy Nelson pitched into the 7th inning, but a two-out inadvertent-check-swing-double down the first baseline by Brian Dozier brought Carlos Torres into the game. The next eight straight pitches were balls, loading the bases, but Torres was able to punch out Arcia to get out of the jam. In the bottom half of the inning, Lucroy knocked a single out to left following another Ryan Braun walk. In a little league-esque attempt at fielding the ball, Arcia let the ball get past him and to the wall. Braun scored from first on the error. Just a few seconds later, Chris Carter muscled a line drive home run to center field, lengthening the lead to 8-4. Moments later, following Hill's second hit of the game, Flores collected his second hit as well, knocking in Hill for the second RBI of his young career, making the score 9-4.
It would have been remiss for Domingo not to get in on the home run fun, so that's how he decided to open up the bottom of the 8th inning. With a bomb to right, Santana opened up a 10-4 lead. Braun thought he'd try to join the club, but to his and everyone else's surprise, Arcia caught what looked like a surefire home run against the wall right in front of the left field foul pole. With that miraculous catch, he made up for a couple of fielding gaffes he had earlier in the game. Tyler Cravy came in for the 9th, and except for a garbage time run scored by Max Kepler, the game ended uneventfully. Awesome. Final: 10-5.
Bits and Pieces:
- After a one strikeout performance against the Pirates in his last start, Nelson's Sinker-Slider-Curveball combo was working against the Twins. He was able to strikeout 6 before leaving the game. 10 hits and 2 homers threw some cold water on his start, but he had a generally effective 6.2 IP.
- The owner of four career hits coming into the game, Milone was able to tack on two more hits against Jimmy. Conversely, Nelson looked all of Ben Sheets with the bat tonight, going 0-3. Funny that the guy that hits every fifth day was completely outdone at the plate by a guy who's had 8 plate appearances in 3 years.
- Brauny continued his hot stretch with two hits and two walks tonight, scoring twice and driving in one. It's been really nice to see Ryan hit so well lately, especially after he submitted a concerning .254/.293/.423 April in 2015.
- All told, it was a good night at the plate for the Crew. Six different batters had multi-hit games tonight, with Yadiel Rivera being the only starting position player without a hit.
- The Brewers continued to accept free passes in this one, walking six times through eight innings. It was really enjoyable to see men on base most of the time. All told we had 19 guys on the basepaths.
- It was a good win in which the Crew's offense clicked, and there was no need to tire out the back end of the bullpen. Hopefully they can add another win tomorrow night and win the series.
Thursday April 21, 12:40 pm CT - Taylor Jungmann v. Ricky Nolasco