MILWAUKEE -- The Twins have won five consecutive series against the Brewers, but they'll need to win the next two games to keep that streak alive.
The Brewers have their best pitcher, righthander Yovani Gallardo, ready for Thursday's finale, so this is a big one tonight.
Francisco Liriano returns to the mound for the Twins. He is 11-for-13 in quality starts. It'll be a battle of lefthanders, as the Brewers counter with Manny Parra. He is coming off back-to-back losses to Texas and Colorado, but those of those efforts were quality starts.
Carlos Gomez returns to the starting lineup for the Brewers. He's in a 4-for-39 (.103) slump.
Notes: The Twins have agreed to terms with second-round draft pick Niko Goodrum, a high school shortstop from Fayetteville, Ga. They have now signed seven of their top 10 picks and have until mid-August to seal the deal with the others, including first rounder Alex Wimmers.
The Brewers will be without their top lefthanded setup man, as Zack Braddock has returned home because of a death in the family. No word on if they plan to put him on the bereavement list. Brewers manager Ken Macha hinted that he might give Trevor Hoffman another save chance after using John Axford for two innings Tuesday.
Update: You can follow me on Twitter @JoeCStrib. Reeled off a few Cuddyer tweets earlier that I'll cobble together here:
Gardy said Cuddyer is open to more 3B duty when Twins return to AL sked next week. ... This would mean more ABs for Thome, though Gardy noted that Thome's body isn't up to handling an everyday DH role. ... However you slice it, Cuddyer's willingness to return to 3B (a position he hated in 2005) has given the Twins another option. ... Cuddy was quick to note he's had one chance at 3B: "Anybody can feel comfortable just standing there, so we’ll see."
Update: Jeff Manship reminded the Twins on Saturday why they'd love to be able to keep him in a long role, but it sounds like he'll be going back to Class AAA Rochester when Jose Mijares returns from the bereavement list. Gardy said that's really the only option.
Update: Some interesting splits for the lefthanded Parra. Lefties are batting .377 against him and righties .235. That factored into Gardy's decision to start Jason Kubel in RF with Cuddyer at 3B.
Update: Uh, looks like Braddock is back. He's on to face Jim Thome in the sixth.
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Orlando Hudson, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Michael Cuddyer, 3B
6. Jason Kubel, RF
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. Nick Punto, SS
9. Francisco Liriano, P
Starting pitcher: LH Francisco Liriano (6-4, 2.98 ERA)
1. Rickie Weeks, 2B
2. Corey Hart, RF
3. Prince Fielder, 1B
4. Ryan Braun, LF
5. Casey McGehee, 3B
6. Carlos Gomez, CF
7. Jonathan Lucroy, C
8. Alcides Escobar, SS
9. Manny Parra, P
Starting pitcher: LH Manny Parra (1-5, 3.91 ERA)
Miller Park. First pitch: 7:10 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network