After six straight starts giving up at least three earned runs, Brewers starter Matt Garza (2-4, 5.34) got it going against the Minnesota Twins Monday night and earned the win in Milwaukee’s 6-2 win in the first game of the club’s two-and-two series split between Milwaukee and Minnesota.
Garza was coming off a no-decision in his last start when he pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed six runs, three earned, including a couple of home runs against the Orioles in a Brewers extra-innings win.
Garza worked around a Joe Mauer double in the first inning. Kyle Gibson started for the Twins and put the Brewers down in order in the bottom of the first.
Lyle Overbay and Jean Segura turned a beautiful double play on a ball hit to Overbay to end the second inning, the only damage being a Josh Willingham single. Again in the second the Brewers offense didn’t register a base runner.
Garza, who didn’t record a strike out in either of the first two innings, struck out the side in the top of the third. Gibson set the Crew down in order again in the third, to complete one-third of a perfect game.
Much like the first inning, Garza worked around a Mauer double in the fourth inning. After the Mauer double, Trevor Plouffe flew out to Carlos Gomez, and Arcia struck out before a Josh Willingham walk. The inning ended on a Kurt Suzuki strike out.
Segura broke up Gibson’s perfect game in the fourth inning with a bunt that died in the Miller Park grass and earned him a single. Segura moved to second on a Ryan Braun ground-out back to the mound. He came around to score on a Jonathan Lucroy single. Lucroy moved to second on the play at the plate and scored on a Gomez single to give Milwaukee a two-run lead.
The Twins threatened in the top of the fifth. After quick outs to Eduardo Escobar and Danny Santana, Gibson singled and reached third on a Brian Dozier double, but Garza escaped the inning unscathed on a strike out of Mauer.
The Twins went down quietly in the top of the sixth, netting only a Josh Willingham walk.
Braun led off the Brewer sixth by a sharp grounder down the first base line but Joe Mauer robbed him of extra bases, and tossed to Gibson for the put out. Lucroy followed with a single off Gibson that deflected to third, but he was erased on a Gomez double play grounder to short.
Escobar flew out to center to start the seventh, but a single by Santana ended Garza’s night. Chris Parmelee came in to pinch-hit for Kyle Gibson, ending his night, so Ron Roenicke called for Will Smith. Parmelee didn’t get a chance to swing the bat and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire went to Eduardo Nunez, who grounded into a double play.
Anthony Swarzak came in to pitch the seventh for the Twins. Khris Davis promptly led off with a single to the outfield. Gennett popped out before a Reynolds walk to put two on. Overbay lined out to right, before Rickie Weeks, pinch-hitting for Smith, reached on an error by Plouffe at third to load the bases. Segura reached on another Plouffe error, this time the throwing variety, to bring in Davis. Braun lined out to second to end the inning with the Brewers up five.
Brandon Kintzler came on to pitch the eighth for Milwaukee. After a Dozier line out to Davis, Mauer singled to right. Plouffe flew out to center on a ball hit very deep but run down by Gomez. Arcia followed with a single of his own to put Mauer at third for Josh Willingham. Willingham singled to drive in Mauer, and knock Kintzler out of the game after three hits.
Rob Wooten relieved Kintzler, and struck out Suzuki to end the inning.
Lucroy put the lead back at five with a lead-off home run (3) in the bottom half of the eighth off Swarzak. Gomez followed with a lineout before a Davis single chased Swarzak.
Brian Duensing replaced Swarzak and induced a double play grounder out of Gennett.
Wooten came back out for the ninth for the Crew and gave up a lead-off single to Escobar. Santana followed with a single of his own on a slow chopper to second. Gennett charged it but couldn’t set his feet and make a play on either runner. With Josmil Pinto pinch-hitting for Duensing, Jean Segura ranged up the middle to field a grounder and tossed to Gennett who made a quick turn to double up Pinto a first.
Dozier followed with a soft single to Reynolds at third. Like Gennett earlier in the inning Reynolds couldn’t field and throw it cleanly, and Escobar came in to score the Twins second run.
This meant the end of the night for Wooten, as Zach Duke came on for Milwaukee to face Joe Mauer who already had three hits in the game. In typical Mauer fashion, he fouled off a couple of pitches, but in the end Duke got the strike out he was looking for and the Brewers picked up the 6-2 win.
Garza picked up his third win of the season going six and a third, allowing no runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out eight. Smith, Kintzler, Wooten and Duke worked in relief for Milwaukee, with Kintzler and Wooten each allowing three hits and a run.
Gibson picked up the loss for the Twins, going six innings and allowing four runs on six hits. He had one strikeout.
The clubs will continue tomorrow when Samuel Deduno takes on Yovani Gallardo.
Brewers’ Three Stars
- Matt Garza – 6 1/3, 0 R, 6 H, 2 BB, 8 K
- Jonathan Lucroy – 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
- Carlos Gomez – 1-for-4, 1 RBI