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Milwaukee at Minnesota

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Milwaukee (16-26)000000030381
Minnesota (25-17) «70051020x15170

Twins score seven runs in first en route to dismantling of Brewers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Milwaukee Brewers were a mess, from their starting pitcher's meltdown at the beginning to their center fielder's taboo act at the end.

The Minnesota Twins took full advantage -- and tried not to be too upset at their old teammate.

Jason Kubel and the Twins battered a frustrated Dave Bush for seven first-inning runs in a 15-3 victory on Friday night, the Brewers' 10th loss in the last 11 games.

"Score a touchdown, and it goes from there," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Kubel drove in four runs and drew one of eight walks handed out by the Brewers. Bush was in strong disagreement about the second one, yelling at home plate umpire Ed Rapuano for calling ball four on a close pitch to Michael Cuddyer with the bases loaded to force in the first run.

"I thought it might have been a strike. He didn't. He's the one who makes the calls," Bush said.

Rapuano actually approached the mound to angrily confront Bush, who was held back by teammate Prince Fielder.

"I was pretty heated about it, and so was he," Bush said. "I probably shouldn't have reacted quite that way."

After a pep talk from pitching coach Rick Peterson, Bush promptly served up a sharp two-run single to Kubel. He shrugged off the significance of his tiff with Rapuano.

"I was already going bad by that point," Bush said.

Bush then was called for a balk after losing his balance and halting his delivery at the edge of the mound, and Delmon Young followed with an RBI single.

Trevor Plouffe, facing his first pitch as a major leaguer, was next to knock in a run with a single to stretch the lead to five. Bush (1-5) lasted two more batters, recording only one out in the shortest start of his career before Jeff Suppan was summoned.

The Twins put up five more runs in the fourth inning against Suppan, and Nick Blackburn (5-1) breezed through a Brewers lineup that had the free-swinging, free-spirited Carlos Gomez back from the disabled list to face his old team but little else to be happy about.

Blackburn only allowed four hits over the first seven innings before Gomez's soaring three-run homer in the eighth.

With his team trailing 15-0, Gomez flipped his bat dangerously close to Twins catcher and AL MVP Joe Mauer -- and stood and watched the ball reach the second deck above left field.

"Some things never change," said Gardenhire, who grew weary of Gomez's inconsistent, undisciplined style over the last two seasons despite his array of natural talent. "That irritated a few people."

Blackburn was more diplomatic.

"That's the guy he is. He gets so caught up in the moment," Blackburn said, adding: "I don't have too bad feelings. I don't want to fight the guy or anything."

As for Gomez?

He was extra apologetic.

"I don't want to try to show him up," Gomez said. "If they're going to do something tomorrow, I'll take it like a man. I know I did it bad."

Since elbow soreness pushed back a start in late April, Blackburn has been by far Minnesota's best starter. He's 4-0 in May, completing 30 1/3 innings and giving up only nine runs and five walks.

He was on the mound last Sunday in New York when the Twins ended their losing streak to the Yankees, and this was another fine time for the right-hander to take the ball following completion of a 2-5 road trip against AL East teams.

The Twins, who have baseball's best interleague record since 2006 at 54-19, are 18-7 against the Brewers during that time. They've outscored them 173-102 in that span, too.

Notes
  • Plouffe had two hits and two RBI in his debut at SS for the Twins. He got a groundball hit to him on the first pitch of the game and was nearly flawless in the field. "I think this is about as good as it gets," he said.
  • Plenty of Brewers fans snagged tickets to the 17th official sellout in 19 games at Target Field, and one of them went home with an engagement ring. Her fiancee, wearing a Twins hat, proposed in the middle of the sixth inning.
  • The Twins are 7-1 in Blackburn's starts.
  • Jonathan Lucroy singled in his major league debut in the eighth for the Brewers. He was brought up to fill in while C Gregg Zaun is on the DL.
  • Brewers manager Ken Macha was noncommittal about the role for slumped closer Trevor Hoffman . Macha, Hoffman and Peterson had a "very constructive conversation" before the game. "He's open to anything that will help the club," Macha said.
 
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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Nick Punto smacks an RBI double in the first as the Twins tee off against Dave Bush and the Brewers. (AP)
Nick Punto smacks an RBI double in the first as the Twins tee off against Dave Bush and the Brewers. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

J. Morneau
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 3
Minnesota

D. Young
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Milwaukee Brewers
Joe Inglett, 2B3110100 .342
Carlos Gomez, CF4123011 .288
Ryan Braun, LF4020000 .338
Prince Fielder, 1B4000003 .265
Casey McGehee, DH4000000 .316
Corey Hart, RF4000020 .261
Craig Counsell, 3B4020000 .294
George Kottaras, C2000001 .233
   a- Jonathan Lucroy, PH-C2010001 .500
Alcides Escobar, SS3100002 .236
Totals3438313  
a-singled for Kottaras in the 8th
Batting
2B - Joe Inglett (3, Blackburn), Ryan Braun (12, Blackburn)
HR - Carlos Gomez (3, Blackburn)
RBI - Carlos Gomez 3 (9)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Ryan Braun 1
DP - Escobar-Fielder, Braun-Inglett-Fielder, Inglett-Escobar-Fielder
E - Craig Counsell (3, Throwing)
Milwaukee Brewers
Dave Bush (L,1-5) 0.1677200 5.59
Jeff Suppan 3.2655210 6.84
Claudio Vargas 2311200 7.64
Mitch Stetter 0.1222200 14.73
Todd Coffey 1.2000020 4.43
Pitches-Strikes - Dave Bush 36-17, Jeff Suppan 59-32, Claudio Vargas 38-20, Mitch Stetter 26-13, Todd Coffey 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dave Bush 1-1, Jeff Suppan 4-4, Claudio Vargas 1-4, Todd Coffey 2-1
Batters Faced - Dave Bush 10, Jeff Suppan 17, Claudio Vargas 10, Mitch Stetter 5, Todd Coffey 5
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF6331001 .279
Orlando Hudson, 2B4330200 .293
Joe Mauer, C3200203 .336
Justin Morneau, 1B5233003 .370
Michael Cuddyer, RF2112300 .268
Jason Kubel, DH3114103 .220
Delmon Young, LF4232000 .267
Trevor Plouffe, SS5122013 .400
Nick Punto, 3B5011022 .232
Totals3715171583  
Batting
2B - Denard Span (8, Suppan), Justin Morneau (11, Suppan), Trevor Plouffe (1, Suppan), Nick Punto (4, Bush)
SF - Jason Kubel (1), Delmon Young (4)
RBI - Denard Span (18), Justin Morneau 3 (32), Michael Cuddyer 2 (25), Jason Kubel 4 (20), Delmon Young 2 (18), Trevor Plouffe 2 (2), Nick Punto (10)
2-OUT RBI - Justin Morneau (14), Trevor Plouffe (1)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Plouffe-Hudson-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
Nick Blackburn (W,5-1) 7.1733121 4.50
Jose Mijares 1.2100010 3.38
Pitches-Strikes - Nick Blackburn 91-58, Jose Mijares 19-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Blackburn 12-7, Jose Mijares 2-2
Batters Faced - Nick Blackburn 29, Jose Mijares 6
Game Information
Attendance - 38737
Game Time - 2:51
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Ed Rapuano, First Base - Tom Hallion, Second Base - Ron Kulpa, Third Base - Lance Barksdale