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Brewers hang on to sweep Twins, 3-2

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Again: Homers (3) and pitching key victory

Minnesota Twins v Milwaukee Brewers
Happy 4th!
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

WP: Jeremy Jeffress (6-1); LP: Jose Berrios (8-7); Save: Corey Knebel (10); Homeruns: Min - Eduardo Escobar (13; Mil - Travis Shaw (15), Brad Miller (7), Nate Orf (1)

Orf should copy and paste this Box Score

The Milwaukee Brewers (51-35) moved to 16 games over .500 with another tight win over the Minnesota Twins (35-48), completing a three game sweep with a 3-2 win in the sweltering heat of Miller Park today.

The Brewers once again used the combination of good pitching and the long ball, this time three solo shots and three pitchers. Chase Anderson battled the heat and lots of at bats with runners in scoring position to give Milwaukee 6.1 innings of shutout ball, leaving with a runner at third and one out in the top of the seventh. That runner scored when Jorge Polanco fought off a fastball by Jeremy Jeffress for an opposite field bloop to push across the Twins first run since the fifth inning Monday. Anderson’s line was 6.1 innings, three hits, the one run (earned), a walk, and five strikeouts.

JJ returned for a perfect eighth with a strikeout, and Corey Knebel came out for the third straight game, posting his second save of the series after getting the win in the ten inning first game. It didn’t come without drama: after retiring Eddie Rosario on a foul fly down the left field line to Ryan Braun, Keon Broxton made yet another snatch-em-back catch over the wall in center off the bat of Brian Dozier for the second out.

That was huge when Eduardo Escobar homered deep into right off of a curve, and Jorge Polanco singled on a 3-2 pitch to bring up the go-ahead run. Max Kepler jumped on a first pitch fastball but hit a routine flyball to Braun to end the game.

Minnesota starter Jose Berrios lived up to his reputation, with just five hits allowed in his seven innings of work with two walks. Three of the five hits were homeruns, though, with the decisive blows coming in the bottom of the seventh.

The Brewers’ three homeruns came from Travis Shaw, who homered for the first time since June 5th leading off the bottom of the second. After the Twins tied it in the seventh, Brad Miller clubbed his second homer since joining Milwaukee - this one a no-doubter to center to quickly retake the lead. One out later Nate Orf collected his first Major League hit, and first Major League homer, on a line drive down the left field line.

That blast provided the insurance needed, even though Miller gets the game winning hit. It’s Miller Time!

Game Notes

  • As mentioned above, Anderson pitched out of trouble a lot despite only allowing three hits in his 6.1 innings. The Twins had lead-off base runners in the second, fourth, fifth, and seventh, and ended up with nine at bats against Chase with runners in scoring position without being able to plate any until the Polanco single off of JJ.
  • Jake Cave, the Twins’ centerfielder, struck out in his first at bat today, giving him five in a row going back to yesterday. Jake recovered to ground out to second in his other two at bats.
  • This game was played in an amazing 2:35, but I think we got our money’s worth.

Now the surprising Atlanta Braves (49-36), who lead the NL East by 2 games over the Phillies, come to town for a four game set against the Crew. Be sure and read Brad’s series preview tomorrow to see how they’ve gotten there. The ex-Milwaukee franchise sends out Max Fried (1-2, 2.55 in 17.2 innings) in game one tomorrow night, and Jhoulys Chacin (6-3, 3.71) will attempt to keep Milwaukee’s string of good starts going. The Braves and Brewers have been battling for the NL’s best record over the past few weeks.