MILWAUKEE – The Twins benefited from having a stopper and a starter Monday.
They needed a good outing from one of their starters, so Randy Dobnak played the stopper’s role with five innings of one-run ball.
And they needed a position player to start doing something at the plate. That was Eddie Rosario, who blasted his fourth career grand slam.
The pair provided enough to lead the Twins to a 4-2 victory over Milwaukee, ending a four-game losing streak. The Twins sputtered into town after a weekend sweep at Kansas City. This victory was step toward ending the eight-game road trip with some momentum.
“Obviously a little worried there,” Rosario said, “because we had a bad series in Kansas City.
“Me personally, I’ve been hitting the ball well lately, without luck. But we’re the same team. We’re the same team, same chemistry. Today we showed that, what we’re capable of.”
The Twins bullpen threw four innings of one-run ball; Trevor May and Tyler Duffey threw scoreless innings, but Keston Hiura hit a Sergio Romo slider headed toward the opposite batter’s box for an eighth-inning home run. Taylor Rogers, making his first appearance since blowing a save opportunity on Thursday at Pittsburgh, then shook off a two-out double in the ninth to pick up his fourth save.
“It’s a very strong feeling, knowing you have those guys to rely on,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.
Dobnak entered with a 0.60 ERA but began the game with a four-pitch walk and needed 21 pitches in each of the first two innings as he searched for the plate. In the second inning, Orlando Arcia hit an RBI double to left — just out of the grasp of a leaping Rosario — to open the scoring.
“One thing from the get-go that I noticed was that his sinker was as nasty as it has been,” Twins catcher Alex Avila said. “He was throwing bowling balls up there. The problem was that he was having a hard time commanding it.”
Avila and Dobnak worked on GPS for the plate. After Arcia’s double, Dobnak retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced, needing only nine pitches to get through the fourth.
“Baseball’s just kind of a game of adjustments,” said Dobnak (3-1), “and I kind of talked with Alex in between innings to try and figure it out.”
Despite falling behind, there was no here-we-go-again replay from the horrid weekend vs. the Royals, thanks to a big swing in the third.
With Avila on third, Max Kepler on second and Nelson Cruz on first, Milwaukee righthander Adam Houser — who came in 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA — threw a first-pitch changeup to Rosario. Rosario drove it 402 feet over the right-field wall for the fourth homer of the season. The Twins dugout whooped it up as they took a 4-1 lead.
Dobnak gave up one run on four hits and one walk with three strikeouts, needing 79 pitches to complete five innings. The bullpen took over from there, and the Twins eventually remembered what it’s like to win a game again.
“You’re looking for that guy to come in and do something,” Baldelli said, “and today that was Rosie and that was Dobnak and our bullpen that really came up huge in a game where I’m sure a lot of the guys feel like we needed it.”