MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Carlos Gomez hit a three-run homer against his former team to spark Milwaukee’s comeback, and the Brewers hung on to beat the Minnesota Twins 8-5 on Thursday.
Khris Davis hit a two-run homer off Kevin Correia (2-7) for the lead in the sixth inning to pull Brewers starter Wily Peralta (5-5) out of an early deficit built by Oswaldo Arcia’s grand slam. Jonathan Lucroy tacked on a two-run shot in the ninth, and Francisco Rodriguez finished up for his 18th save in 20 attempts.
Arcia gave the Twins a 4-0 lead in the third inning, but the young slugger left the game after spraining his right ankle while being picked off second base in the sixth.
Peralta was in trouble every other inning, but Arcia was the only one who actually made him pay for it — and in a big way.
After two walks sandwiched around a single, all with two outs, Brewers pitching coach Rick Kranitz visited the mount for a talk with Peralta. Then, the burly 23-year-old Arcia clobbered a 2-2 slider onto the open concourse behind the right field seats, the first grand slam of the season by the Twins.
Arcia responded to his curtain call, emerging from the dugout, flipping his helmet off to reveal his intimidating faux-hawk haircut and thrusting both arms in the air to acknowledge the crowd.
Peralta (5-5) finished five innings, needing 101 pitches, after Brian Dozier tried to tag up for second on a fly out to center but was thrown out by the cutoff man, shortstop Jean Segura.
Arcia led off the sixth with a double.
When Trevor Plouffe tried to bunt, whiffing on his attempt, Arcia hurt himself trying to pivot and retreat to second and was picked off. He gingerly left the field, not putting his full weight on his right leg. Plouffe wound up doubling.
Peralta was 0-4 in his previous five starts despite a couple of strong performances. Naturally, as he matched his shortest turn this season he picked up the win. He gave up five hits and three walks while striking out four.
Gomez gave him a boost in the second inning with a sprinting, leaping grab of Plouffe’s drive to right-center field. Gomez crashed against the wall, crow-hopped away from it as he flashed his glove and chopped his arms below his chest in celebration.
Then came the bigger play by Gomez, whose all-around potential showed in two seasons with the Twins but was too raw at the time for them to trust him. He tapped his helmet and pumped his arm at each base as he sprinted around the diamond following his three-run drive that brought the Brewers roaring back in the fourth.
Gomez batted cleanup for the 13th straight game, hitting .333 with two homers and 12 RBIs in that span.
Coincidentally, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire praised in his news briefing before the game the flair that Arcia and Gomez carry, which can irk some players.
“I think that’s part of the game, man. You’re supposed to have fun,” Gardenhire said.
Correia hasn’t had much fun lately. He was the most reliable starter for the Twins last year, but he gave up a season-high 10 hits while striking out three. His ERA spiked to 6.11, putting his spot in the rotation in question.
NOTES: Segura added a two-out RBI single in the sixth for the Brewers after a fielding error by 3B Eduardo Nunez. … Josmil Pinto pulled the Twins to 6-5 in the eighth on an RBI double. … Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Aramis Ramirez, used as the DH to ease him back in will return to 3B on Friday. … Gardenhire, asked if he gives the scouting staff his opinion of prospects for the draft, quipped, “The closest guy to the big leagues.”
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