A jubilant Twins dugout congratulated Trevor Plouffe after the third baseman, who subbed in on a double switch earlier in the game, hit his go-ahead homer in the 11th inning, his third homer in four games.
Morry Gash, ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP
TWINS 5, MILWAUKEE 4 (11)
Up next: 1:10 p.m. today at Milwaukee TV: FSN (1500-AM)
Plouffe's 11th-inning blast extends Twins streak to four
- Article by: LA VELLE E. NEAL III
- Star Tribune
- May 20, 2012 - 8:49 AM
MILWAUKEE — If anyone is wondering, Josh Willingham would have been the emergency catcher.
Saturday's game reached a point where Ron Gardenhire had to consider contingencies. He was running out of relievers and down to one available position player. That's what a manager does, wonder about backups to the backups.
Maybe that's why Gardenhire was with the rest of the Twins bench as they rooted for Trevor Plouffe to get them out of the mess.
"He got up there, and you could see everyone jump up and say, 'Catch one,' " Gardenhire said. "Sometimes that gets in the way, trying to hit a home run and not keeping your same swing.
"At that point, we were all yelling. We had been there long enough."
Plouffe crushed a 2-0 fastball from lefthander Manny Parra over the left-center field wall, sending the Twins to a 5-4, 11-inning victory over the Brewers at Miller Park. Plouffe suddenly has three homers in his past four games, and the Twins suddenly have a four-game winning streak, their first since last June.
They have a chance on Sunday to sweep the Brewers, the defending National League Central champions who have lost four in a row and six of seven.
Twins outfielder Ben Revere, who was 2-for-4 with two doubles and a RBI, said the bench was thrilled to see Plouffe connect, setting up his team to win its first extra-inning game of the year, one that lasted 3 hours, 45 minutes.
"I knew when it got to 2-0 that [Parra] is going to throw him a cookie and Trevor is going to drive it," Revere said, "and he drove it over the fence and there was a sigh of relief."
The Twins led 1-0, 2-1 and 4-2 but watched Milwaukee come back each time. The Twins broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh when Revere was hit in the right arm by a pitch with the bases loaded, and Jamey Carroll added a run-scoring single in the eighth. But their bullpen had a letdown, as Aramis Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Jared Burton to tie the score 4-4 in front of an announced crowd of 42,398.
It appeared all the Twins' earlier missed opportunities might be their demise. They loaded the bases three times, getting two sacrifice flies from Brian Dozier and the hit batsman to Revere to score three runs but failed to add on. But Plouffe, who left the clubhouse without speaking with reporters, prevailed.
Matt Capps pitched a 1-2-3 11th to earn his ninth save in as many chances, making a winner out of Jeff Gray (3-0), who worked out of trouble in a scoreless 10th.
There are several Twins with reasons to feel good about their games lately -- and the team is in a better mood after its longest winning streak of the season.
"It's about picking each other up and weathering the storm," starter Carl Pavano said after six effective innings. "There's going to be storms throughout the season and we hit a pretty bad one there. I wouldn't even say that we're out of the woods, but we're playing better baseball and it is translating to wins."
© 2013 Star Tribune