Pelfrey keeps Brewers off the board
MINNEAPOLIS—Mike Pelfrey pitched eight strong innings, his longest outing in three years, and the Minnesota Twins avoided a series sweep by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 2-0 on Sunday.
Eddie Rosario and Eduardo Escobar had RBI for the Twins, who otherwise struggled with runners on base. Glen Perkins worked a scoreless ninth for his major league-leading 21st save in as many chances.
Pelfrey (5-2) allowed eight hits and struck out seven. He has yielded only three earned runs over his last four starts, spanning 28 innings. This was his longest performance since April 21, 2012—his last outing before Tommy John surgery.
Minnesota, which entered fourth in the majors with a .298 batting average with runners in scoring position, finished 2 for 12 in those situations after going 1 for 6 on Saturday.
Milwaukee put a runner on first with no more than one out in each of the first five innings. Each time the runner advanced no farther. The Brewers hit into two of their three double plays during that stretch.
The Brewers had one on with two outs for Ryan Braun in the eighth, but the Milwaukee slugger lined out to third on a leaping grab by Eduardo Nunez.
Mike Fiers (2-6) allowed two runs in 4 1-3 innings and struck out three. He threw 91 pitches on a muggy day, 54 for strikes. He has not given up more than two runs in any of his past six starts.
Rosario doubled in Torii Hunter in the second, and Escobar's triple made it 2-0. Three straight groundouts—two to the pitcher—left Escobar stranded.
READY OR NOT
Taylor Jungmann is scheduled to make his major league debut Tuesday when he starts for Milwaukee in Pittsburgh. Manager Craig Counsell said the right-hander will join the team Monday and be activated before Tuesday's game.
A first-round pick (12th overall) in the 2011 draft, Jungmann is 2-3 with a 6.37 ERA in 11 games—nine starts at Triple-A Colorado Springs. “He's kind of gone on a little bit of a roll in May, the last three or four starts, so we're going to give him a shot,” Counsell said. “I think he'll do well.”
Twins: 3B Trevor Plouffe, in a 1-for-25 slump, was given the day off “to clear his head a little bit,” manager Paul Molitor said. … Reliever J.R. Graham, who pitched four innings in a spot start Saturday, was not available.
Brewers: Milwaukee opens a three-game series Monday night in Pittsburgh. Jimmy Nelson (2-6, 4.41 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Brewers against A.J. Burnett (6-1, 2.20). Nelson has two losses and a no-decision in his last three starts, allowing 12 earned runs in 16 2-3 innings.
Twins: Minnesota opens a three-game home series against Kansas City on Monday night, with Phil Hughes (4-5, 4.96) scheduled to face Jason Vargas (4-2, 4.79). Hughes looks to rebound after allowing five runs and a career high-tying 11 hits over 4 1-3 innings Wednesday in Boston.