The Brewers and Twins continued their border battle this evening in Minneapolis. Zach Davies faced off against Devin Smeltzer in his MLB debut. Smeltzer is not only a major league pitcher, but also a cancer survivor, and he started his MLB career by striking out Lorenzo Cain.
He would go on to pitch six shut out innings. Zach Davies would match him with six shut out innings of his own. On this evening, we would have a pitchers’ duel at least for six innings. Things would change after the starters left the game.
The Brewers threatened in the second inning. Yasmani Grandal drove a ball deep towards the centerfield wall. As Byron Buxton tracked the ball and leaped for it, he hit the wall hard and awkwardly. As Grandal scampered to third base for a triple, Buxton laid in a heap at the foot of the centerfield wall. He was able to get up and walk off the field under his own power, but he did leave the game.
Unfortunately as has seemingly been the case a bit too much of late, the Brewers were unable to score Grandal from third with no one out. Milwaukee was also not able to score Ryan Braun from second after a lead off double in the fourth. There was some justification for that one, however, as Max Kepler seemed as if he might have dropped a deep fly ball by Mike Moustakas. In fact, Kepler dropped the ball on the transfer to throw, and that was reinforced by replay. The result was a double play and the end of the inning.
The Brewers would do it again in the seventh. Braun would lead off the inning with a double AGAIN. He would fail to score AGAIN.
The pitching duel would end with the entrance of Alex Claudio to the game, To begin the inning, he had some bad luck. Juan Castro led off the inning with a flare to left for a single. Willians Astudillo followed with a ground ball to Keston Hiura, who made a throw to Orlando Arcia in attempt for a double play. The ball got by Arcia, and the end result was runners on second and third with no one out. An error was charged to Hiura.
Unlike the Brewers, the Twins took advantage of their runners on and no out situation. Max Kepler doubled both runners in, and what would become a big inning was on. C.J. Cron would double off new pitcher, Junior Guerra to score Kepler. Eddie Rosario next lined a home run to right to take a 5-0 lead.
Keston Hiura did redeem himself a bit. After a single by Hernan Perez to lead off the eighth, Hiura launched a home run over the right field wall to make the score 5-2. The Brewers were unable to add on in the eighth.
They would add on in the ninth. Yasmani Grandal crushed a solo shot to left to get within two. Unfortunately that would be as close as Milwaukee would get.
The Brewers have an off day on Wednesday and return to action on Thursday in Pittsburgh. Chase Anderson is scheduled to make the the start against the Pirates. First pitch is slated for 6:05 CT, and the game can be heard on WTMJ and seen on Fox Sports Wisconsin.