MILWAUKEE – With the dangerous part of the Brewers lineup due up in the eighth inning, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli went with his closer Taylor Rogers. Putting your best reliever in the most dangerous part of the game is a strategy employed more frequently in the game.
But Rogers was not at his best, giving up a two-run home run to Jedd Gyorko as the Twins fell 6-4 to the Brewers.
Rogers threw 21 pitches on Monday before while earning the save against Milwaukee. Last season, Rogers had a 7.20 ERA when pitching on no days' rest, with five of the eight home runs hit off him coming in that situation.
After Rogers struck out Keston Hiura for the first out, Christian Yelich beat the shift with a double down the left field line, and Gyorko blasted a two-run home run to center on a belt-high 94 miles per hour fastball.
That capped a run of five unanswered runs by Milwaukee after falling behind 4-1.
The Twins usually like their chances with a three-run lead in the middle innings with their bullpen any time. This time, Brewers catcher Manny Pina got in the way.
Pina first smacked a home run to center in the fifth off of reliever Matt Wisler, who was trying to get through a third inning of relief unscathed. That got the Brewers within 4-2.
The gut punch came an inning later with Trevor May on the mound, a runner on and two outs. May fell behind 3-0 to Pina and pumped in a fastball. Pina, who had a green light to swing, pummeled the pitch over the center field wall for a two-run homer to tie game. Pina stopped as he rounded first base to look at his dugout and scream.
The Twins had done most of the screaming to that point.
When Jorge Polanco launched a fastball from Josh Lindblom down the left field line for a home run in the first inning, it was hardly surprising.