MILWAUKEE -- Once the Twins started scoring on Wednesday, they did not stop.
That's a nice change of pace for an offense that has had a strong tendency to drive in runs early in games and then ease up on opponents. Or so it has appeared to.
There were a couple crooked number innings on Wednesday as the Twins routed the Brewers, 12-2, in the rubber game of the three-game series. Byron Buxton hit two home runs, all nine starters had a hit by the fourth inning and right-hander Kenta Maeda breezed to his 50th career win.
A few scuffling Twins used Brewers pitching to right themselves. Mitch Garver, batting .111 entering the game, had three hits, one shy of his season total entering the game. Miguel Sano, batting .125 entering the game, belted a 442-foot home run. Luis Arraez, the contact expert who had struck out twice in each of his two previous games, had two hits and a walk in his first three plate appearance.
Community slump-busting can do wonders for an offense that hasn't been operating at full throttle.
The engine was purring perfectly when the Twins embarked on the eight-game road trip. They were 7-3 and getting things done in all areas. But by the time Wednesday came, that engine wasn't fit for a hooptie. The failure to sustain offense led to blown leads to Kansas City and Pittsburgh, a pair of last-place teams a year ago, then to Milwaukee on Tuesday. They have scored 53 runs in the first three innings of games, but just 13 after six.
They entered Wednesday 2-5 on their road trip, with a much-needed off day after playing on 16 consecutive days.
The Twins made sure they entered the off-day on a high.
They jumped on Brewers left-hander Eric Lauer for five runs on five hits and a walk in the second inning as they sent nine men to the plate. Sano hit his bomba in the third inning and Eddie Rosario scored on Marwin Gonzalez's double in the fourth.
It made things easy for Maeda as he improved to 3-0. He held Milwaukee hitless until Christian Yelich's single in the fourth and scoreless until the Brewers scored twice in the sixth. At 68 pitches through six innings, Maeda took the mound for the seventh, the first time a Twins starter had done so this season.