Defense, bats struggle in loss to Twins

Defense, bats struggles in loss

MILWAUKEE -- Kevin Slowey and the Twins got a lot of support from the visiting fans, and Dave Bush didn't get much support from the home offense.

Slowey stalled the Brewers' offense for eight strong innings and Bush was tagged for four runs as Milwaukee was downed by Minnesota in a 10-2 rout. Brewers second baseman Bill Hall, a replacement for injured starter Rickie Weeks, committed two errors that led to six unearned runs.

"Sometimes you've got to get four outs, sometimes you've got to get five," Bush said. "It's not always three up, three down. Sometimes there is an error, or a guy gets a bloop single or an ump misses a call -- there are many situations where you have to get more than three outs.

"It goes both ways, but in games like this, it gets magnified."

Bush (2-7) gave up an unearned run in the first after Hall's first error, then gave up another three runs in the fifth when the Twins snuck two bunt singles into the right side of the Brewers' infield to start a rally. The Twins collected five hits and sent eight men to the plate in the inning.

According to infield coach Dale Sveum, while the Brewers defense didn't play either bunt perfectly, the speed of the Twins' Carlos Gomez and Alexi Casilla would have made the two plays hits anyway.

To put the game out of reach, the Twins added five more unearned runs after another Hall error in the seventh inning. Hall was replaced by Joe Dillon as part of a double switch in the eighth inning.

For the first time in his career, Hall declined to speak to the media after a game.

"Billy has been playing third and it's tough to move around like that when you haven't done it much," Yost said. "Should [those plays] be made? Yes, absolutely.

"When you move around like that and get thrown into a position where you really don't have a chance to get comfortable at all, it's difficult."

Hall, who was playing his fourth game at second base this season, was thrust into the new position after Weeks went to the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left knee earlier in the week.

Slowey (3-6) allowed just two runs on five hits while striking out five and walking none. The righty, who allowed eight runs and 10 hits in three innings against the White Sox in his last start, allowed only two hits through the first six innings and didn't allow a run until the seventh.

The Brewers' offense had been heating up, hitting 11 home runs in the last three games, but was stymied by Slowey on Friday night.

"[Slowey] kept the ball down," Yost said. "Consistently kept the ball down, changed speeds, and didn't make a lot of mistakes out over the plate.

"[Home plate umpire Charlie Reliford] was calling the ball down and was consistent with it and [Slowey] stayed with it and kept the ball down, down, down"

Slowey also added to the Twins' run total with his bat, notching his first two career hits and first two career RBIs. Six Twins hitters, including Slowey, had more than one hit, and three drove in more than one run.

"It's neat to get a chance to hit because growing up, I think you always envision yourself as a hitter in the Major Leagues," Slowey said. "So when you finally get a chance to get hits, on the off chance you make contact with the ball, it's good."

Bush still felt like his effort was a step forward after a rough time in Colorado his last time out. He allowed three earned runs over six innings as he gave up 10 hits, struck out three and walked one.

"All in all, I wasn't displeased with the way I threw." Bush said. "I tried to pitch my game and keep us in the game. There are some positives I can take out of it, mixing my pitches and throwing strikes."

The Brewers' offense, while quiet, didn't stay silent for the entire game.

In the seventh inning, shortstop Craig Counsell tripled to lead off the inning and later scored on a Ryan Braun sacrifice fly. Prince Fielder and Russell Branyan, the next two Brewers to come to the plate, then had back-to-back hits to tack on the Brewers' final run.

Fielder had two hits in the game and reached base three times, as he drew a walk in the bottom of the ninth.

"[Slowey] was just hitting his spots," Fielder said. "He was making good pitches; we really weren't able to get too many things started off of him. We did score a couple of times and had guys in scoring position, but unfortunately if wasn't enough.

"Even the ball I hit to right was up and in. It wasn't a great pitch to hit, he didn't make many mistakes."

Dave Fultz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.