Baseball / Sports

The Minnesota Twins' Danny Santana slides in safely to second base under the tag of the Milwaukee Brewers' Scooter Gennett to steal a base in the first inningat Target Field in Minneapolis on Thursday, June 5, 2014. (Carlos Gonzalez/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)

Gomez, Davis and Lucroy provide the power as Brewers avoid 3-game skid

MINNEAPOLIS -- Sometimes, you have to give your pitchers some help.

The Milwaukee Brewers' pitching, which carried the team through a blazing-hot start, was fraying around the edges a bit during a four-game, two-city interleague confrontation with the Minnesota Twins.

Not to worry. With Carlos Gomez, Khris Davis and Jonathan Lucroy blasting timely home runs to account for seven runs, the Brewers pulled out an 8-5 victory Thursday night over the Twins to avoid a three-game skid.

Brewers starter Wily Peralta made it through only five innings, the victim of a pitch count that rose to 101 before he departed. Peralta allowed five hits, three walks and four runs -- all coming on a grand slam by Oswaldo Arcia.

Peralta's pitch count soared from the outset, reaching 79 after three innings. He retired the first two batters in the third but issued walks to Brian Dozier and Josh Willingham sandwiched around a single by Joe Mauer, setting the stage for the grand slam by Arcia.

Arcia drove in four runs the previous evening, including a three-run homer, and didn't miss a hanging 2-2 slider from Peralta, crushing it out to right.

Gomez got three of those runs back with one swing of the bat. Ryan Braun and Lucroy singled with no outs, and Gomez blasted a three-run homer to center off Twins starter Kevin Correia. The 412-foot shot was Gomez's 12th homer of the year.

The Brewers were in position to draw even in the fifth when Lyle Overbay led off with a single and moved to third on Braun's one-out hit. But Lucroy grounded into an out at the plate and Gomez bounced out to short, ending that threat.

Davis put his opposite-field power on display in the sixth inning after Aramis Ramirez led off with a single and moved up on a wild pitch by Correia. In a 10-pitch battle, Davis smacked a 3-2 slider to right and onto a balcony for his 10th home run and a 5-4 Brewers lead.

The Brewers added another run that inning when Mark Reynolds reached on an error and eventually scored on a two-out single by Jean Segura.

The Brewers caught a break after Arcia led off the sixth with a double off reliever Rob Wooten. Arcia went down with a sprained ankle breaking off the bag and was caught in a rundown, a play that proved huge when Trevor Plouffe followed with another double.

Brandon Kintzler took over in the seventh for the Brewers and he, too, was greeted by a double, this time from Eduardo Escobar. He moved up to third on a groundout but had to stay there as Dozier hit a comebacker to Kintzler.

Lefty Will Smith came in to retire Mauer on a fly to left and the Brewers got out of the inning with a 6-4 lead.

Smith found trouble in the eighth, beginning with a walk to Willingham. With one down, Smith hit Plouffe with a pitch before popping up Eduardo Nunez. But Josmil Pinto yanked a double into the left-field corner, scoring a run and leaving runners on second and third.

Smith retired Escobar on a fly to right to keep the Brewers on top, 6-5.

Lucroy then added two big tack-on runs with an opposite-field homer in the ninth, the 500th hit of his career. Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth to record his 18th save and first since May 16 in Chicago.

(c)2014 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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