Mistakes cost Brewers in 5-4 loss to Twins

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By Tom Haudricourt
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS--The Milwaukee Brewers finally scored more than a couple of runs in a game but made too many mistakes to take advantage of the modest breakthrough.

Watching a 4-3 lead slip away in the seventh inning with a misplayed liner to right and a run-scoring balk, the Brewers fell to the Minnesota Twins, 5-4, Monday night at Target Field in the first of four games in the home-and-home interleague series.

The frustrating outcome dropped the Brewers a game behind first-place Chicago, and three in the loss column, in the NL Central pending the Cubs' late game in San Francisco.

The Brewers, who have had trouble scoring runs since the all-star break, pushed three across the plate in the third, with a huge helping hand from the Twins. It started with Keon Broxton mashing a one-out homer off Ervin Santana, a 435-foot drive into the second deck in left.

With two down, Domingo Santana got hit on the hand by a pitch, one day after being drilled on the wrist. Shortstop Jorge Polanco then booted Ryan Braun’s grounder, keeping the inning alive.

Travis Shaw dumped a RBI single into center field, and when Byron Buxton muffed the ball for an error, Braun also came around to score for a 3-0 lead.

Brewers starter Brent Suter gave one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning, but he averted further damage from a second-and-third, no-out situation. But the Brewers came right back with a run in the fourth on Broxton’s two-out double to make it 4-1.

Suter retired the first two hitters in the bottom of the inning before the wheels came off. Buxton and Ehire Adrianza singled, and Jason Castro walked, setting the stage for No. 9 hitter Jorge Polanco’s two-run double down the left-field line.

Suter popped up Brian Dozier to finally end the inning and keep the Brewers on top, 4-3, but that would be his final batter.

Rookie lefty Josh Hader took over in the fifth inning and battled with his command, walking three batters before striking out Adrianza to escape. Hader hit Castro with a pitch to open the sixth and Polanco continued to torment the Brewers with his third hit, ending Hader’s night.

Jeremy Jeffress came on for his second appearance since being reacquired and retired Dozier on a foul pop. Oliver Drake, who has fared better against left-handed hitters because of his split-finger fastball, came on to retire Joe Mauer and Robbie Grossman to keep the Brewers on top.

Drake did not fare well against left-handed hitters in the seventh, however. Eduardo Escobar led off with a walk and scored when Eddie Rosario hit a deep liner to right that Santana misjudged and allowed to go over his head for a game-tying double.

After Buxton bunted Rosario to third, Adrianza popped out, giving the Brewers a chance to escape the inning with the game tied. But Rosario bluffed coming down the line, Drake stepped off the rubber and he was called for a balk that allowed the go-ahead run to score.

Manager Craig Counsell vehemently argued with home plate umpire Bill Welke about the call but to no avail.

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