MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Brian Dozier hit his first career grand slam and Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario each homered twice, powering the Minnesota Twins past the Milwaukee Brewers 11-4 on Tuesday night for a two-game sweep.
Matt Garza (5-6) turned in his shortest and worst start of the season with eight hits and eight runs allowed in 3 1/3 innings for the Brewers, who fell to 4-11 in their last 15 road games. They entered the night 1 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.
Garza took a 4-2 lead into the fourth inning, when Rosario went deep with one out. The Twins then loaded the bases with a single and two walks before Dozier drove a first-pitch fastball to the flag pole behind right field for his 138th major league home run, including 21 this year. Dozier has only homered the opposite way seven times in his career.
Kepler, who hit a two-run homer in the third, followed Dozier with a solo drive that brought Brewers manager Craig Counsell out of the dugout and Jeremy Jeffress in from the bullpen. Jeffress gave up a solo shot to Rosario.
Dozier, Kepler and Rosario went a combined 9 for 13, with seven runs and 10 RBIs. The last time the Twins had multiple players hit multiple homers in one game was Aug. 3, 2011, when Delmon Young and Michael Cuddyer each went deep twice.
The Twins, who began the night 2 1/2 games out of the second AL wild card spot, had the second-fewest home runs in the league entering the game.
MEJIA EXITS EARLY
Twins starter Adalberto Mejia was pulled with one out in the fourth inning with pain in his upper left arm, after allowing seven hits and three runs. Tyler Duffey (1-3) relieved with two innings for his first victory of the season, and Dillon Gee struck out five over four scoreless innings for his first career save.
BEEN A LONG TIME
Garza was drafted in the first round out of Fresno State with the 25th overall selection in 2005 by the Twins and made his major league debut just 14 months later. He was promising but erratic during a time when the Twins had a deep, though not dominant, collection of starting pitchers. So they sent him with shortstop Jason Bartlett to Tampa Bay in a six-player trade that made Young the headliner acquisition.
Joe Mauer’s single in the first inning pushed him past Tony Oliva into third place with 1,918 career hits for the Twins. Kirby Puckett (2,304) and Rod Carew (2,085) are ahead of him. Mauer also passed Puckett with 2,810 times on base, now trailing only Harmon Killebrew (3,072) in the club’s history in Minnesota since 1961.
Brewers: C Stephen Vogt, who’s been out for three weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee, has begun squatting but won’t be rushed back. “That’s a hard job and that’s a lot to put on your knee,” Counsell said, “so we’ve got to be careful.”
Twins: All-Star 3B Miguel Sano returned to the lineup, having missed three games after being hit by a pitch on the left hand. He wore a protective pad.
The Brewers and Twins will travel east to repeat their two-game interleague series in Milwaukee starting Wednesday, with a 20-year age gap between the scheduled pitchers. RHP Brandon Woodruff will take the mound for the Brewers after throwing 6 1/3 scoreless innings in his major league debut last week.
Minnesota RHP Bartolo Colon, who’s 44, will make his 518th career start. He’s coming off his first victory for the Twins, a complete game.
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)