Brewers win on Kendall’s adventure around the bases
Kendall’s two-out double in the eighth inning tied the game and the Milwaukee catcher hustled on two throwing errors to score, giving the Brewers an unlikely 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.
“That’s a long run,” Kendall said.
Twins starter Nick Blackburn (6-3) scattered nine hits through 7 2-3 innings and had a 3-2 lead when he allowed a soft single to J.J. Hardy, who said he was jammed and bruised his thumb on the swing. Kendall hit a ball off the wall in left-center and Brendan Harris’ relay throw to the plate skipped past catcher Joe Mauer.
Blackburn, backing up the play, threw to third trying to get Kendall, but the ball sailed away from Joe Crede, allowing Kendall to score easily for Milwaukee’s first lead.
“I knew I could get to third, and when you get to third anything can happen,” Kendall said.
Blackburn slumped his shoulders in frustration as soon as he threw the ball.
“I should’ve just held onto it,” he said. “All kinds of things went through my mind right there. It was an annoying play all the way around.”
And just that quickly, the Brewers, who had lost 10 of 14, snapped a season-high four-game losing streak and beat the Twins for the first time this year in this border rivalry.
“I’d say the intensity level tonight was way up there,” said Brewers manager Ken Macha, who wasn’t pleased with his team’s effort in a 7-3 loss Tuesday night. “You make your own breaks. If you’re satisfied with a double and you’re standing on second, they don’t have to make that throw.”
Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio, who had the best vantage point in the first row of seats, said his team finally got a much needed break.
“It was like a Little League play,” he said. “The great thing about baseball … is a play like that, you can’t believe it.”
Attanasio is in town for his first home game since opening day and got his first look at the significant damage in Miller Park’s lower level from weekend flooding that has left players without amenities like batting cages and fully functional kitchens in the clubhouses.
“Everybody around here did a phenomenal job getting this ready to go,” he said.
Reliever Todd Coffey (3-1) pitched the eighth and Trevor Hoffman, who had been warming up when Kendall’s big hit deflected just off the wall in front of the Brewers bullpen, converted his 17th save in 18 chances. He walked Mauer with two outs but got Justin Morneau to ground out to end it.
“Kind of unbelievable,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I don’t know if there’s a way to describe how tough that ended up.”
Minnesota took a 3-1 lead in the sixth on Jason Kubel’s home run and an RBI double by Crede off Brewers starter Braden Looper. Kendall drove in a run in the bottom of the inning with a single to cut Minnesota’s lead to 3-2.
Cubs fall to Tigers
Some people count sheep when they have trouble getting to sleep.
But after watching the Cubs’ sleepwalking offense the last two months, Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella are counting the days until Aramis Ramirez returns from his shoulder injury.
Whether Ramirez single-handedly can revive the slumbering Cubs lineup is unknown, but his prolonged absence has removed any doubts about who’s the most valuable player on the team.
The Cubs put on another display of offensive ineptitude in a 5-3 loss to Detroit.
They stranded 13 baserunners and went 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position after going 0-for-14 their last two games. The Cubs are the worst clutch-hitting team in the majors with a .219 average with runners in scoring position.
“Maybe we’ll draw the names out of a hat,” Piniella said. “Leave a couple of guys doing the job in their positions and draw some names.”
and see where they fall. We can’t do any worse.”
-- Brewers RHP Seth McClung will come out of the bullpen to start Saturday against San Francisco. Milwaukee has been without a fifth starter since LHP Manny Parra was demoted to Triple-A Nashville on June 14.
-- Mauer singled in the seventh after going hitless in his previous 12 at-bats, a season high. He finished 1 for 3 with two walks, dropping his average to .394.
-- Twins INF Nick Punto (ribs) will have an MRI in Minneapolis on Thursday. His ribs have been bothering him since he left Saturday’s 6-5 loss to Houston.
-- Twins RF Denard Span (ear infection) returned after two rehab appearances at Triple-A Rochester. Span can come off the DL on Thursday.
Last updated: 10:35 am Thursday, December 13, 2012