The Twins became the second team this season to get an earned run
off Milwaukee Brewers lefty Will Smith, and their two-out,
seventh-inning rally was enough in a 6-4 win at Target Field.
Smith, who hadn't allowed an earned run over 14 consecutive
appearances since April 29, allowed the game-winning single to Twins
right fielder Oswaldo Arcia with Josh Willingham on second base.
Willingham doubled off Brewers reliever Rob Wooten (1-3). After
Arcia singled and advanced to second on the throw home, Minnesota
third baseman Trevor Plouffe singled past Milwaukee first baseman
Lyle Overbay to give the Twins an insurance run.
"Obviously it's frustrating because you give up Woot's run, which
you don't want to do, and in a tie ballgame right there we had the
momentum on our side," Smith said. "It just kind of stinks to give
Trailing 4-1 entering the top of the seveth, Milwaukee tied the game
on a monster home run by designated hitter Aramis Ramirez, a
no-doubter over the center field wall that traveled 413 feet.
Ramirez hit his sixth homer of the season in his first game back
after missing 22 games with a strained left hamstring.
"That's what I'm here for, to drive in runs and help the team,"
Ramirez said. "I hit that ball pretty good. He was throwing the ball
well tonight but left that fastball out over the plate, and I put a
pretty good swing on it."
Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco, who yielded the blast, said,
"Aramis has been in this league a long time, and he made me pay."
"Three hitters in a row, it just looked like he lost it," Minnesota
manager Ron Gardenhire said of Nolasco. "The ball wasn't snapping
like it was for three hitters, and there you have it, they're back
in the ballgame."
With the game tied in the late innings, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke
"I thought we were in real good shape when that happened, and we
just couldn't hold it," Roenicke said.
Milwaukee got on the board first thanks to back-to-back, two-out
doubles from second baseman Rickie Weeks and third baseman Mark
Reynolds in the second inning.
The Twins, who used the long ball to build an insurmountable lead
Tuesday night at Miller Park, used it again in the fourth inning
Wednesday to grab the lead.
After a walk by second baseman Brian Dozier and a single by
Willingham put two on with one out, Arcia hammered a 2-1 fastball
from Brewers righty Marco Estrada off the top of the foul pole in
right field for his third homer of the season.
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Minnesota added to its lead in the fifth after Estrada gave up a
single, hit Dozier with a pitch then walked two batters -- all with
one out. He escaped further damage by forcing Arcia and Plouffe into
two straight groundouts to end the inning down only 4-1.
Arcia's single off Smith in the seventh made a winner of Nolasco
(4-5), who allowed four runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and
no walks in seven innings.
"Just tempo, command of the fastball, breaking stuff was pretty good
and I just tried to use the defense," Nolasco said. "I know they're
a very aggressive team and can do some damage, so I was just trying
to stay out of the middle of the plate. I was able to do that until
one or two pitches in the seventh."
Twins righty Casey Fien worked a scoreless eighth in front of closer
Glen Perkins, who retired the Brewers in order on seven pitches for
his 16th save.
Estrada was on the hook for the loss until Ramirez's homer tied the
game. Estrada tossed six innings and allowed four runs on six hits,
three walks and a hit batter. He struck out four.
NOTES: The loss was Milwaukee's second straight, the first time the
Brewers lost back-to-back games since May 19-20 at Atlanta. ... The
Twins are 7-1 in their past eight games against the Brewers since
June 17, 2012. ... Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez was activated off the
15-day disabled list after missing three weeks of action. With
Milwaukee playing in an American League ballpark, Ramirez was eased
into the lineup as the designated hitter. ... Twins OF Sam Fuld
(concussion) took part in pregame stretching on the field as well as
baseball activities. If there are no setbacks over the next 24
hours, Fuld will fly to the East Coast for a rehab assignment with
Double-A New Britain this weekend. ... Twins RHP Mike Pelfrey will
get a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews on his ailing right
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