Smeltzer throws 6 shutout innings in debut, Twins top Brews

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Devin Smeltzer took the mound for his first game in the majors, his wife and parents among a sizable crowd at Target Field, set to face NL MVP Christian Yelich and the hard-hitting Milwaukee Brewers.

Nervous?

After fighting to get this far, no way.

Diagnosed with cancer when he was just 9 years old, Smeltzer added another chapter to his inspiring comeback story, pitching six shutout innings in his debut to help the Minnesota Twins beat the Brewers 5-3 Tuesday night.

''It's everything I've dreamed of. I've worked for this my whole life, been through a lot and it all came true today,'' he said after tearful hugs from 21 family members outside the clubhouse, including an extended embrace with his wife, Brianne.

''I joked with my wife after the game, `I think that's the most calm I've ever been.' I'm usually very high energy,'' he said. ''Tonight, I felt like I'd done it a million times.''

Smeltzer probably had that many dreams, or more, about baseball success while building to this moment. It was a long way from the day doctors found a grapefruit-sized cancerous tumor against his bladder.

''I know that tomorrow, between the lines, may not happen. It's been told to me before, and I don't take a day for granted out there,'' he said.

''So I put a lot into that, and my family goes with that, and pretty much everything I've been through has turned into hard work and determination and putting my nose down and working a lot and just keep pushing,'' he said.

The 23-year-old Smeltzer allowed three hits, walked none and struck out seven. Showing a funky, three-quarter style delivery, the lanky left-hander threw 69 pitches, 53 for strikes.

He exited with the game scoreless and got a no-decision. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Smeltzer will get another chance at his first win.

''It was really fun experience just watching him keep rolling out there inning after inning and getting the job done,'' he said ''He did exactly what he's been doing in the minor leagues.''

In nine combined starts at Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Rochester, Smeltzer was 3-2 with a 1.15 ERA. He got called up this week when the Twins put pitcher Michael Pineda on the injured list with right knee tendinitis.

Smeltzer retired his final eight batters, striking out Lorenzo Cain and Yelich to end the sixth.

Smeltzer danced around damage in the second, third and fourth innings when, with a runner on base, the final out each inning was a catch on the warning track.

The Twins got Smeltzer last July in a trade that sent second baseman Brian Dozier to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Eddie Rosario homered and Max Kepler added a two-run double for Minnesota, which has won 12 of 14 and has the best record in the majors.

Keston Hiura and Yasmani Grandal homered late for the Brewers.

Rosario capped a five-run seventh inning with a two-run drive off Junior Guerra. It was the Twins' 56th home run in May, setting a franchise record for a month.

That homer came after C.J. Cron doubled off Guerra to make it 3-0. Kepler, chosen the AL Player of the Week, doubled in two runs earlier in the inning against Alex Claudio (1-2).

Matt Magill (1-0) tossed a scoreless inning and Ryne Harper got the final out for his first career save.

In the fourth, Kepler made a leaping grab at the wall, lost the ball in the transfer and doubled up Ryan Braun at second base. Milwaukee unsuccessfully challenged the catch and is 1-6 in replay challenges this season.

Milwaukee starter Zach Davies allowed five hits and struck out four in six shutout innings. He allowed six earned runs in three innings last Wednesday against Cincinnati.

''I felt like I stuck to my game plan in my last outing but the execution of pitches wasn't there,'' he said. ''Coming into this game, just making sure I'm free and easy, and throwing to my game plan. I ended up executing better and the results followed.''

SUCCESSFUL STARTERS

Smeltzer is the fourth Twins starter in team history to throw at least six shutout innings in his major league debut. Andrew Albers, Anthony Swarzak and Eric Milton are the others.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Brewers: RHP Jeremy Jeffress who was nearly hit in the head by a line drive Monday and fell back at an awkward angle, said he feels fine. ... Entering Tuesday, 3B Travis Shaw (right wrist) was 2 for 19 in his first five games on a Triple-A rehab assignment with six strikeouts. Manager Craig Counsell said there is no timetable for his return.

Twins: CF Byron Buxton left in the second inning with a bruised right knee after crashing hard into the fence in front of the bullpens as he tried to catch a second-inning triple by Grandal. ''I feel fine. It's just one of those things where I come out to get looked at. Just to be precautionary,'' he said.

UP NEXT

Brewers: Send RHP Chase Anderson (2-0, 3.25) to the hill Thursday for the start of a four-game series in Pittsburgh. The Pirates plan to go with RHP Joe Musgrove (3-5. 4.27).

Twins: Open a 10-game road trip Thursday with the first of four games in Tampa Bay. LHP Martin Perez (7-1, 2.95), who has won six of eight starts since joining the rotation, is scheduled to face the Rays' Charlie Morton (5-0, 2.54).

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123456789RHE
MIL31-25
000000021381
MIN37-17
00000050X5100
  • W: M. Magill (1-0)L: A. Claudio (1-2)S: R. Harper (1)
  • HR: MIL - Y. Grandal (11), K. Hiura (3), MIN - E. Rosario (17)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
L. Cain CF40100031.257.313.385.698-0.5
C. Yelich DH40000022.314.425.7141.139-1.0
R. Braun LF40200011.279.340.488.8293.5
Y. Grandal C41211012.268.373.512.8858.5
M. Moustakas 3B40000023.256.322.523.846-1.0
J. Aguilar 1B40000022.189.299.288.587-1.0
H. Perez RF41100001.255.290.441.7312.0
K. Hiura 2B31121000.261.306.457.7637.0
O. Arcia SS30100000.261.327.408.7341.0
Z. Davies P0000-000.150.190.200.000-
A. Claudio P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
J. Guerra P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
A. Houser P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    M. Kepler RF-CF41120011.280.349.545.8944.5
    J. Polanco SS40200001.335.405.583.9882.0
    C. Cron DH31110113.271.337.536.8734.5
    E. Rosario LF-RF41121003.282.312.565.8777.0
    M. Sano 3B30100100.237.348.7111.0583.0
    M. Gonzalez 1B-LF40100012.240.317.365.6820.5
    J. Schoop 2B40000013.260.314.503.817-0.5
    J. Castro C30100012.241.348.570.9170.5
    E. Adrianza PR-1B11100000.241.340.405.7452.0
    B. Buxton CF0000-000.258.316.491.000-
    W. Astudillo 1B-C41100002.263.275.389.6642.0
    D. Smeltzer P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    M. Magill P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    B. Parker P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    T. Rogers P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    R. Harper P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      BATTING
      • 2B - R. Braun 2 (9)
      • 3B - Y. Grandal (2)
      • HR - Y. Grandal (11), K. Hiura (3)
      • RBI - Y. Grandal (29), K. Hiura 2 (4)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - C. Yelich, R. Braun, J. Aguilar, H. Perez
      BATTING
      • 2B - M. Kepler (14), C. Cron (9), M. Sano (3)
      • HR - E. Rosario (17)
      • RBI - M. Kepler 2 (35), C. Cron (35), E. Rosario 2 (47)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - C. Cron, E. Rosario 3 (3), J. Schoop, J. Castro 2 (2)
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Moustakas-Hiura-Aguilar)
      • E - K. Hiura (2)
      FIELDING
      • Outfield Assist - M. Kepler (2)
      • DP - (Kepler-Polanco)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      Z. Davies6.05002402.191.2316.0
      A. Claudio (L, 1-2)0.12320006.331.36-9.0
      J. Guerra0.22220012.790.97-4.0
      A. Houser1.01000103.631.382.5
      PITCHERSIP
      Z. Davies6.0
      A. Claudio (L, 1-2)0.1
      J. Guerra0.2
      A. Houser1.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      D. Smeltzer6.03000700.000.5021.5
      M. Magill (W, 1-0)1.01000101.421.119.5
      B. Parker1.03220111.961.04-1.5
      T. Rogers (H, 9)0.21110212.381.41-1.0
      R. Harper (S, 1)0.10000001.610.857.0
      PITCHERSIP
      D. Smeltzer6.0
      M. Magill (W, 1-0)1.0
      B. Parker1.0
      T. Rogers (H, 9)0.2
      R. Harper (S, 1)0.1
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - Z. Davies 87-56, A. Claudio 7-5, J. Guerra 8-5, A. Houser 12-9
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Z. Davies 6-8, A. Claudio 1-1, A. Houser 1-0
      • Batters Faced - Z. Davies 25, A. Claudio 4, J. Guerra 4, A. Houser 3
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - D. Smeltzer 69-53, M. Magill 18-14, B. Parker 20-16, T. Rogers 12-8, R. Harper 6-4
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - D. Smeltzer 5-5, B. Parker 2-0
      • Batters Faced - D. Smeltzer 20, M. Magill 4, B. Parker 6, T. Rogers 3, R. Harper
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      MIL31-25
      000000021381
      MIN37-17
      00000050X5100
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      L. Cain CF40100031.257.313.385.698-0.5
      C. Yelich DH40000022.314.425.7141.139-1.0
      R. Braun LF40200011.279.340.488.8293.5
      Y. Grandal C41211012.268.373.512.8858.5
      M. Moustakas 3B40000023.256.322.523.846-1.0
      J. Aguilar 1B40000022.189.299.288.587-1.0
      H. Perez RF41100001.255.290.441.7312.0
      K. Hiura 2B31121000.261.306.457.7637.0
      O. Arcia SS30100000.261.327.408.7341.0
      Z. Davies P0000-000.150.190.200.000-
      A. Claudio P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      J. Guerra P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      A. Houser P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      Total34383201112-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        M. Kepler RF-CF41120011.280.349.545.8944.5
        J. Polanco SS40200001.335.405.583.9882.0
        C. Cron DH31110113.271.337.536.8734.5
        E. Rosario LF-RF41121003.282.312.565.8777.0
        M. Sano 3B30100100.237.348.7111.0583.0
        M. Gonzalez 1B-LF40100012.240.317.365.6820.5
        J. Schoop 2B40000013.260.314.503.817-0.5
        J. Castro C30100012.241.348.570.9170.5
        E. Adrianza PR-1B11100000.241.340.405.7452.0
        B. Buxton CF0000-000.258.316.491.000-
        W. Astudillo 1B-C41100002.263.275.389.6642.0
        D. Smeltzer P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
        M. Magill P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
        B. Parker P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
        T. Rogers P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
        R. Harper P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
        Total34510512517-----
          BATTING
          • 2B - R. Braun 2 (9)
          • 3B - Y. Grandal (2)
          • HR - Y. Grandal (11), K. Hiura (3)
          • RBI - Y. Grandal (29), K. Hiura 2 (4)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - C. Yelich, R. Braun, J. Aguilar, H. Perez
          BATTING
          • 2B - M. Kepler (14), C. Cron (9), M. Sano (3)
          • HR - E. Rosario (17)
          • RBI - M. Kepler 2 (35), C. Cron (35), E. Rosario 2 (47)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - C. Cron, E. Rosario 3 (3), J. Schoop, J. Castro 2 (2)
          FIELDING
          • DP - (Moustakas-Hiura-Aguilar)
          • E - K. Hiura (2)
          FIELDING
          • Outfield Assist - M. Kepler (2)
          • DP - (Kepler-Polanco)
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          Z. Davies6.05002402.191.2316.0
          A. Claudio (L, 1-2)0.12320006.331.36-9.0
          J. Guerra0.22220012.790.97-4.0
          A. Houser1.01000103.631.382.5
          Total8.01054251---
          PITCHERSIP
          Z. Davies6.0
          A. Claudio (L, 1-2)0.1
          J. Guerra0.2
          A. Houser1.0
          Total8.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          D. Smeltzer6.03000700.000.5021.5
          M. Magill (W, 1-0)1.01000101.421.119.5
          B. Parker1.03220111.961.04-1.5
          T. Rogers (H, 9)0.21110212.381.41-1.0
          R. Harper (S, 1)0.10000001.610.857.0
          Total9.08330112---
          PITCHERSIP
          D. Smeltzer6.0
          M. Magill (W, 1-0)1.0
          B. Parker1.0
          T. Rogers (H, 9)0.2
          R. Harper (S, 1)0.1
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - Z. Davies 87-56, A. Claudio 7-5, J. Guerra 8-5, A. Houser 12-9
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Z. Davies 6-8, A. Claudio 1-1, A. Houser 1-0
          • Batters Faced - Z. Davies 25, A. Claudio 4, J. Guerra 4, A. Houser 3
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - D. Smeltzer 69-53, M. Magill 18-14, B. Parker 20-16, T. Rogers 12-8, R. Harper 6-4
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - D. Smeltzer 5-5, B. Parker 2-0
          • Batters Faced - D. Smeltzer 20, M. Magill 4, B. Parker 6, T. Rogers 3, R. Harper
          • 9TH INNING
            Grandal homered to left35
          • 8TH INNING
            Hiura homered to center, Perez scored25
          • 7TH INNING
            Rosario homered to right, Cron scored05
            Cron doubled to deep center, Kepler scored03
            Kepler doubled to deep right, Adrianza and Astudillo scored02
          • 9TH INNING
            • Taylor Rogers relieved Blake Parker
            • Y. Grandal: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Grandal homered to left
            • M. Moustakas: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Moustakas struck out swinging
            • J. Aguilar: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Aguilar struck out swinging
            • Ryne Harper relieved Taylor Rogers
            • H. Perez: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Perez popped out to shortstop
            • Middle of the 9th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • Blake Parker relieved Matt Magill
            • H. Perez: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Perez singled to left
            • K. Hiura: Foul, Hiura homered to center, Perez scored
            • O. Arcia: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Arcia grounded out to third
            • L. Cain: Cain singled to right
            • C. Yelich: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Yelich struck out swinging
            • R. Braun: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Braun grounded out to third
            • Middle of the 8th (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Adrian Houser relieved Junior Guerra
            • J. Schoop: Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Schoop struck out swinging
            • E. Adrianza: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Adrianza singled to center
            • W. Astudillo: Ball, Ball, Astudillo grounded into double play third to second to first, Adrianza out at second
            • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • Matt Magill relieved Devin Smeltzer
            • R. Braun: Foul, Braun doubled to deep center
            • Y. Grandal: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Grandal lined out to left
            • M. Moustakas: Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Moustakas fouled out to third
            • J. Aguilar: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Aguilar struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • Alex Claudio relieved Zach Davies
            • J. Castro: Ball, Castro singled to left
            • W. Astudillo: Astudillo reached on fielder's choice to second, Castro to third, Astudillo to second on 2nd baseman Hiura throwing error
            • Ehire Adrianza ran for Jason Castro
            • M. Kepler: Strike looking, Kepler doubled to deep right, Adrianza and Astudillo scored
            • J. Polanco: Foul, Polanco popped out to shortstop
            • Junior Guerra relieved Alex Claudio
            • C. Cron: Ball, Cron doubled to deep center, Kepler scored
            • E. Rosario: Ball, Ball, Foul, Rosario homered to right, Cron scored
            • M. Sano: Sano popped out to shortstop
            • M. Gonzalez: Gonzalez flied out to center
            • End of the 7th (5 Runs, 4 Hits, 1 Error)
          • 6TH INNING
            • D. Smeltzer Pitching:
            • O. Arcia: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Arcia grounded out to shortstop
            • L. Cain: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Cain struck out swinging
            • C. Yelich: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Yelich struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Z. Davies Pitching:
            • E. Rosario: Ball, Rosario grounded out to first
            • M. Sano: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Sano walked
            • M. Gonzalez: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Gonzalez flied out to center
            • J. Schoop: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Schoop grounded out to pitcher
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 5TH INNING
            • D. Smeltzer Pitching:
            • J. Aguilar: Aguilar flied out to right
            • H. Perez: Strike looking, Perez lined out to second
            • K. Hiura: Strike looking, Ball, Hiura grounded out to shortstop
            • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Z. Davies Pitching:
            • W. Astudillo: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Astudillo grounded out to third
            • M. Kepler: Ball, Kepler flied out to center
            • J. Polanco: Ball, Strike looking, Polanco singled to shallow left center
            • C. Cron: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Cron struck out swinging
            • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • D. Smeltzer Pitching:
            • R. Braun: Braun doubled to left
            • Y. Grandal: Foul, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Grandal struck out looking
            • M. Moustakas: Moustakas flied into double play center to shortstop, Braun out at second
            • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • Z. Davies Pitching:
            • M. Sano: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Sano flied out to left
            • M. Gonzalez: Gonzalez singled to center
            • J. Schoop: Schoop reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Gonzalez out at second
            • J. Castro: Castro lined out to right
            • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • D. Smeltzer Pitching:
            • K. Hiura: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Hiura grounded out to pitcher
            • O. Arcia: Strike looking, Arcia singled to center
            • L. Cain: Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Cain struck out swinging
            • C. Yelich: Ball, Strike looking, Yelich flied out to deep right
            • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • Z. Davies Pitching:
            • W. Astudillo: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Astudillo reached on an infield single to shortstop
            • M. Kepler: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Kepler struck out looking
            • J. Polanco: Strike looking, Polanco singled to right, Astudillo to second
            • C. Cron: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Cron lined out to right
            • E. Rosario: Ball, Rosario flied out to deep left
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • D. Smeltzer Pitching:
            • Y. Grandal: Strike looking, Grandal tripled to deep center
            • Willians Astudillo at first base
            • M. Moustakas: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul tip, Moustakas struck out on foul tip
            • J. Aguilar: Strike looking, Ball, Aguilar grounded out to third
            • H. Perez: Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Perez flied out to deep center
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • Z. Davies Pitching:
            • M. Sano: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Sano doubled to deep right
            • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Gonzalez struck out swinging
            • J. Schoop: Schoop flied out to deep left
            • J. Castro: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Castro struck out looking
            • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • D. Smeltzer Pitching:
            • L. Cain: Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Cain struck out swinging
            • C. Yelich: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Yelich grounded out to shortstop
            • R. Braun: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Braun struck out looking
            • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Z. Davies Pitching:
            • M. Kepler: Ball, Kepler popped out to shortstop
            • J. Polanco: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Polanco grounded out to first
            • C. Cron: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Cron walked
            • E. Rosario: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul, Rosario grounded out to second
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)