Five homers propel Twins past Brewers
MINNEAPOLIS — As the Minnesota Twins try to stay in the playoff picture, they are having to rally from behind in recent days.
Five home runs did the trick for the Twins’ latest comeback.
Minnesota hit five homers to power its way to an 11-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night, and the Twins climbed to within 1 1/2 games of a wild-card position in the process.
Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario each hit two homers, and Brian Dozier had the biggest blast of the night, a go-ahead grand slam in the fourth inning.
Dozier also drove in a run later in the game to cap his season-high five-RBI night.
“We’re never out of it, and I think that’s kind of been our mentality we’ve been sticking to,” Dozier said.
Minnesota’s offense gave plenty of support to the bullpen, which had to put in extra work after starter Adalberto Mejia exited in the fourth inning with an injury. Mejia experienced left lateral upper arm pain, the Twins announced, and he left with no outs in the inning.
Twins manager Paul Molitor said after the game that Mejia would be placed on the 10-day disabled list. Minnesota will make a corresponding roster move before the home-and-home series continues Wednesday in Milwaukee.
“I felt a little bothersome in my arm,” Mejia said through a translator. “I couldn’t help my team anymore.”
Milwaukee starter Matt Garza’s outing was abbreviated, too, though not due to injury. Garza lasted only 3 1/3 innings, during which he let a 4-2 lead slip away. The right-hander surrendered eight runs and eight hits, including four home runs. It was the shortest start of the year for Garza, who has reached seven innings just once this season.
“I made a mistake, and they took advantage every time,” Garza said. “I couldn’t miss a spot, and if I did, they took advantage of it. It was a (lousy) night. I don’t know what else to say.”
The Brewers took an early 1-0 lead and led 4-2 in the top of the fourth inning before Minnesota’s lineup came alive.
Rosario jumped on a 1-0 offering from Garza to cut the deficit to 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth. Four batters later, Dozier delivered his first career grand slam — his 138th career home run — to put Minnesota on top. Dozier, normally a pull hitter, took Garza to the opposite field to give Minnesota a 7-4 lead.
“I was just hoping that (Dozier) didn’t try to pull a pitch that was un-pullable,” Molitor said. “Thankfully, he let it get deep. A couple home runs he’s hit to right field this week haven’t been cheap.”
Kepler kept the home run streak going. He followed Dozier’s grand slam with a solo homer — his second in as many innings.
The Twins entered with the second-fewest homers in the American League this year. Their five-homer output was just the third time this year they hit more than three homers in a game.
Kepler and Rosario became the first Twins teammates to each have multi-homer games since Michael Cuddyer and Delmon Young did so in 2011.
Ryan Braun had a single, a double and a triple. Domingo Santana and Orlando Arcia added three hits apiece for the Brewers, who dropped their third straight game.
The victory gave Minnesota a sweep of the two games at Target Field. The same two teams face off in Milwaukee on Wednesday and Thursday. Twins veteran Bartolo Colon starts Wednesday against the Brewers’ Brandon Woodruff, who will be making his second career start.
NOTES: Twins 3B Miguel Sano returned to the lineup after missing three games with a hand injury. Sano was hit on the hand with a pitch in the Friday game against Texas. He wore a padded batting glove in his first game back since the injury, and he went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts. ... 1B Joe Mauer moved into third place on the Twins’ career hit list. Mauer’s first-inning single, the 1,918th hit of his career, took him past Tony Oliva on that list. ... Brewers manager Craig Counsell said C Stephen Vogt continues to work his way back from a knee injury and is getting closer to taking swings again in the batter’s box. Vogt strained his left MCL in mid-July and hasn’t played since July 17. “We’ve got to be very careful with that,” Counsell said.