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Minnesota at Milwaukee

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Minnesota (37-37) «0002112006100
Milwaukee (38-34)000003010450

Span comes up huge in return as Twins continue mastery of Brewers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- The Minnesota Twins probably wouldn't mind hanging around Milwaukee for a few more games. As interleague rivalries go, this one was pretty one-sided.

Denard Span tripled, walked three times and scored three runs in his first game back from the disabled list, and the Twins extended their dominance over the Brewers with a 6-4 victory Thursday.

"I was just pumped up to finally get back on the field," said Span, who had been on the disabled list with an inner ear infection. "My teammates were riding me for the last 2½ weeks for being dizzy."

Joe Crede hit his 11th home run and Scott Baker turned in another strong outing for the Twins, who took two out of three from the Brewers in this week's interleague series and won five out of six for the season.

The Brewers are 5-10 in interleague play, a string of games that highlighted the team's recent pitching problems.

"Facing the American League lineups was a test for our pitching staff," Brewers manager Ken Macha said.

Baker (5-6) went six innings, holding the Brewers scoreless until Casey McGehee and Prince Fielder homered in the sixth. After losing his first four starts of the season, Baker has won his last three decisions and hasn't given up more than three runs in his last five outings.

Baker gave up only two hits in the first five innings before allowing a leadoff walk to Craig Counsell and giving up a two-run homer to McGehee. Fielder hit his 18th homer later in the inning, a solo shot that cut the Twins' lead to 4-3.

What kind of pitch did he hit?

"I have no idea, because I couldn't see," Fielder said.

Brewers batters previously have complained about the shadows at Miller Park during day games -- then again, it didn't really seem to hurt the Twins on Thursday.

  Twins: Punto to have MRI on sore ribs

Brewers reliever Chris Narveson walked Span to start the seventh, who had been on the disabled list with an ear infection, and gave up a single to Brendan Harris. He was removed in favor of another left-hander, Mitch Stetter.

Span then scored on a passed ball by catcher Jason Kendall, and Mauer bashed a ground-rule double to score Harris, putting the Twins up 6-3.

Ryan Braun hit his 16th home run off Matt Guerrier in the eighth, cutting Minnesota's lead to 2. But Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless ninth for his 17th save.

Milwaukee's Mike Burns (0-1) made his first career start, giving up four runs and six hits over 5 2/3 innings. Burns was called up from Triple-A Nashville to replace Dave Bush, who went on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a micro tear of the right triceps.

Burns walked Span to lead off the game but recovered to retire eight straight.

He got in trouble in the fourth, again walking Span and then allowing an infield hit to Brendan Harris. Had Burns been able to field Harris' tapper up the middle and turn a double play, the game would have looked very different.

"I should have that," Burns said. "The play should have been made."

Instead, Joe Mauer flew out and Justin Morneau hit an RBI single to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead. Jason Kubel singled to load the bases with one out, and Burns ran the count full on Michael Cuddyer before walking in a run to put the Twins up 2-0.

Minnesota added a run in the fifth when Span tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Harris.

"On the triple, I almost died because I hadn't played in 2½ weeks," Span said. "So I'm a little out of shape."

Crede then hit a solo home run deep to left-center field in the sixth, giving the Twins a 4-0 lead and chasing Burns from the game.

Notes

  • Brewers RHP Braden Looper has a contusion on his right triceps after being hit by a line drive Wednesday night, but is not expected to miss his next start.
  • Twins INF Nick Punto returned to Minneapolis and was scheduled to have an MRI on his sore ribs Thursday afternoon.
  • Fielder tumbled to the ground in the on-deck circle to avoid a sharp foul ball by Braun in the first. "Good thing I was paying attention halfway," Fielder joked.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Catcher Joe Mauer gives credit to pitcher Joe Nathan, who picks up his 17th save. (AP)
Catcher Joe Mauer gives credit to pitcher Joe Nathan, who picks up his 17th save. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

B. Harris
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Milwaukee

P. Fielder
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF-LF2310301 .293
Brendan Harris, SS4221002 .292
Joe Mauer, C5021022 .395
Justin Morneau, 1B4011112 .315
Jason Kubel, LF4010001 .310
    R.A. Dickey, P0000000 .000
    Matt Guerrier, P0000000 .000
   a- Brian Buscher, PH1000011 .205
    Joe Nathan, P0000000 .000
Michael Cuddyer, RF3001221 .278
Joe Crede, 3B4111015 .232
Matt Tolbert, 2B4020003 .176
Scott Baker, P3000001 .000
    Carlos Gomez, CF1000001 .230
Totals35610567  
a-struck out for Guerrier in the 9th
Batting
2B - Joe Mauer (12, Stetter)
3B - Denard Span (3, Burns)
HR - Joe Crede (11, Burns)
SF - Brendan Harris (3)
RBI - Brendan Harris (16), Joe Mauer (43), Justin Morneau (58), Michael Cuddyer (38), Joe Crede (35)
2-OUT RBI - Joe Crede (18)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Harris-Tolbert-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
Scott Baker (W,5-6) 6433352 5.17
R.A. Dickey (H,1) 1000000 2.38
Matt Guerrier (H,13) 1111011 2.94
Joe Nathan (S,17) 1000020 1.57
IBB - Fielder by Scott Baker
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 91-60, R.A. Dickey 10-7, Matt Guerrier 14-11, Joe Nathan 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 8-4, R.A. Dickey 2-1
Batters Faced - Scott Baker 24, R.A. Dickey 3, Matt Guerrier 4, Joe Nathan 3
Milwaukee Brewers
Craig Counsell, 2B3110100 .299
Casey McGehee, 3B4112011 .344
Ryan Braun, LF4111011 .318
Prince Fielder, 1B3121110 .301
Corey Hart, RF4000013 .251
Mike Cameron, CF3000111 .249
J.J. Hardy, SS4000011 .215
Jason Kendall, C3000010 .230
Mike Burns, P2000010 .000
    Chris Narveson, P0000000 .000
    Mitch Stetter, P0000000 .000
    Mark DiFelice, P0000000 .000
   a- Jody Gerut, PH1000000 .197
    Chris Smith, P0000000 .000
Totals3145438  
a-grounded out for DiFelice in the 7th
Batting
2B - Craig Counsell (10, Baker), Prince Fielder (17, Baker)
HR - Casey McGehee (3, Baker), Ryan Braun (16, Guerrier), Prince Fielder (18, Baker)
RBI - Casey McGehee 2 (15), Ryan Braun (51), Prince Fielder (68)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Braun (15)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Hardy-Counsell-Fielder
PB - Jason Kendall (3)
Milwaukee Brewers
Mike Burns (L,0-1) 5.2644331 3.72
Chris Narveson 0.1222100 12.71
Mitch Stetter 0.2100110 2.63
Mark DiFelice 0.1000010 1.59
Chris Smith 2100120 0.79
IBB - Cuddyer by Mitch Stetter
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Burns 90-57, Chris Narveson 11-5, Mitch Stetter 14-9, Mark DiFelice 3-3, Chris Smith 29-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Burns 2-11, Chris Smith 1-3
Batters Faced - Mike Burns 25, Chris Narveson 4, Mitch Stetter 4, Mark DiFelice 1, Chris Smith 8
Game Information
Attendance - 40524
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Hunter Wendelstedt, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Doug Eddings, Third Base - Jim Joyce