MILWAUKEE (AP) — A defensive lapse on a leadoff bunt. That’s what aggravated Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire the most Monday night.
Matt Garza took a shutout into the seventh inning and Mark Reynolds hit a two-run homer, sending the Milwaukee Brewers to a 6-2 victory over Kyle Gibson and the Twins.
The play that really bothered Gardenhire led to Milwaukee’s first two runs. After three perfect innings by Gibson, Jean Segura opened the Brewers fourth by dropping his sixth bunt hit of the season in front of third baseman Trevor Plouffe, who was playing deep.
Segura advanced to second on Ryan Braun’s groundout and scored on Jonathan Lucroy’s single up the middle, with Lucroy going to second on the throw. Carlos Gomez followed with another RBI single back through the box.
“That’s not supposed to happen. We just went over it. You can’t back up there. You can’t lead off an inning and drop the bunt down,” Gardenhire said. “We backed up on him, but we know he bunts. It’s all over and we talked about it. You get two strikes, back up, but until that point you have to stay in there. Trev backed up and he dropped a bunt down. That’s kind of a cardinal sin. You can’t let that guy lead off with a bunt there. That’s the top of their order. He’s got to hit it by you.”
Gibson (4-5) allowed four runs and six hits in six innings. He was more upset about Reynolds’ team-leading 13th homer, an opposite-field shot to right that put the Brewers up 4-0, than the earlier runs.
“I just made the wrong pitch,” said Gibson, who has won just one of his last eight starts after winning his first three. “I had a guy on second with less than two outs and I had gotten Reynolds away his first at-bat. And any good hitter right there is trying to move the runner over to third. And I got beat on not my best pitch. I threw him a four-seamer away and the sinker’s obviously my best pitch. A sinker there, I’d probably feel a whole lot better about it. Should have gone in. He was trying to hit a ball the other way and I gave him the pitch he needed to do it.”
Garza (3-4) scattered six hits over 6 1-3 scoreless innings against the team that brought him to the big leagues in 2006. The right-hander, signed to a $50 million, four-year deal as a free agent in the offseason, struck out eight and walked two for his first win since May 5.
Milwaukee scored an unearned run in the seventh on consecutive two-out errors by Plouffe and added another on Lucroy’s third homer in the eighth.
The Twins got a run in the eighth on an RBI infield single by Josh Willingham and another in the ninth on an RBI infield single by Brian Dozier.
“It took a while and it wasn’t like we killed the ball,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “Luc rolls the ball up the middle; Gomez with a groundball up the middle for the first two runs. And then a real nice job with Reynolds going the other way for the home run. But he (Gibson) did a nice job. He keeps the ball down really well. It’s got late life on it with sink and he mixes up his off-speed pitches well.”
Minnesota, which stranded nine runners, squandered several scoring chances against Garza.
Joe Mauer doubled with one out in the first, but was stranded at third. Mauer doubled again to open the fourth and did not advance. In the fifth, Gibson singled with two outs for his first major league hit and Dozier followed with a double, but Mauer struck out to end the inning.
“We had chances and just couldn’t come up with the big hit,” Gardenhire said. “We missed a few plays, but more than anything else, you still feel like you’ve got a chance. These guys, you always feel like you have a chance even late in the game, so you’ve got to keep playing like that. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
NOTES: Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez, on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring injury, went 2 for 4 as the designated hitter in his second rehab game for Class-A Wisconsin. Ramirez is expected to be activated for Wednesday’s game at Minnesota and could be the DH in the American League ballpark. … It was the first of four consecutive interleague games between the Brewers and Twins, two in Milwaukee followed by two in Minnesota. … Gibson’s soft liner just beyond the reach of 2B Scooter Gennett was his first hit in four major league at-bats. … Mauer’s two doubles gave him 290 for his career, moving him past Justin Morneau for fourth place on the Twins’ all-time list (since 1961).