Grossman scores on grand slam

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Littell sent down after walking in winning run on Monday in Milwaukee

Grossman grand slam wasted; loss is sixth in seven games on road trip

July 03, 2018 - 4:16 am

    MILWAUKEE (AP) - Brad Miller drew a bases-loaded walk off Zach Littell with one out in the 10th inning and the Milwaukee Brewers rallied past the Minnesota Twins 6-5 on Monday night.

    On Tuesday, the Twins sent Littell back to Class Triple-A Rochester and brought up lefthanded pitcher Gabriel Moya. 

    Littell has appeared in two games in two different stints with the Twins this season. He was the losing pitcher in both outings, the first coming in his major league debut on June 5 against the White Sox.

    The setback at Miller Park in the opening of the three-game Border Battle series was the Twins' ninth walk-off loss of the season, and dropped their record to 4-15 in one-run games.

   "I think you can imagine the frustration of  fighting, and playing a good game for the most part, and having a chance there," said Twins manager Paul Molitor.

   "It is what it is, we just couldn't hold on in the end, " he said.  "It's just kind of familiar storyline, but, you know, it's reality."

   Nate Orf, playing in his first major league game, was hit by a pitch from Zack Littell (0-2) leading off the 10th. Manny Pina followed with a single and Keon Broxton walked.

   Pinch-hitter Hernan Perez, hitting against five infielders, hit a grounder to the left side that shortstop Jorge Polanco fielded and fired to the plate to force Orf before Miller got his chance.

   Corey Knebel (2-0) pitched a scoreless 10th for the Brewers, who trailed 5-1 after Robbie Grossman blasted his first career grand slam with two outs in the fifth off Milwaukee starter Brent Suter.

   The Brewers rallied against Twins closer Fernando Rodney in the ninth to tie it. After retiring pinch-hitter Eric Sogard, Rodney gave up three consecutive singles to load the bases for Travis Shaw, who tied it with a sacrifice fly. Rodney blew his fifth save opportunity this season.

    "Sometimes results are not always parallel to how a guy is throwing the ball, " said Molitor of Rodney's performance. "Sometimes, it's tough to throw a zero when you need it."

   The Brewers took a 1-0 lead in the first on Jesus Aguilar's run-scoring fielder's choice.

   The Twins tied it in the third on a one-out RBI groundout by Brian Dozier, one pitch after Dozier appeared to have struck out swinging. Plate umpire Doug Eddings ruled that Dozier had fouled off the pitch, a call argued by Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell.

   Suter gave up five runs and nine hits in five innings.

   Pina led off the Brewers' fifth with a homer off Kyle Gibson to cut the Twins' lead to three. Milwaukee added another run on Miller's bloop single and pulled to 5-4 when Twins third baseman Willians Astudillo failed to cleanly field Ryan Braun's grounder near the bag.

   Gibson gave up eight hits and three earned runs over five innings. He was also 2-for-2 and scored twice in his first plate appearances of the season.

   The Twins made a ton of roster moves before the game.

    Most notable was the reinstatement of Polanco, who made his season debut following an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. "He had to pay a price for something that happened. He took it head on, took accountability," manager Paul Molitor said.

   Polanco batted fifth on Monday and went 0-for-4, not committing an error in the field. That included the key throw to the plate in the 10th inning to temporarily preventing the game-winning run.

   To make room for Polanco, OF Ryan LaMarre was designated for release or assignment.

   The Twins also recalled righthander Zack Littell from Triple-A Rochester and sent lefty starter Adalberto Mejia to Rochester. Infielder Ehire Adrianza was placed on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, while center fielder Byron Buxton was officially taken off the disabled list and sent to Rochester.

   Starting Tuesday afternoon for the Twins is Jake Odorizzi (3-5, 4.62 ERA), who allowed one run and five hits with 10 strikeouts in a May 20 start against the Brewers but didn't factor into the decision.

   The Brewers send Junior Guerra (4-5, 3.05) to the mound. He also pitched in that May 20 game.

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