MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers didn't hit the ball particularly hard during their go-ahead rally Tuesday night.
It didn't matter.
The Brewers benefited from good fortune on soft contact as they scored five runs off Dylan Floro in the sixth inning of a 7-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins in an interleague matchup of division leaders.
“We caught some breaks that inning, no question about it,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “Some softly hit balls found holes. But we kept putting it in play, and once in a while you get rewarded for that.”
Willy Adames of NL Central-leading Milwaukee and Christian Vázquez of AL Central-best Minnesota hit two-run homers early in the game.
But the game was decided in the bottom of the sixth inning as the Brewers capitalized on a Twins pitching change.
Twins starter Bailey Ober retired the last eight men he faced before departing with a 3-2 lead after throwing 78 pitches. That's when the Twins brought Floro (4-6) out of the bullpen.
“Bailey was sharper in his last two innings, I would say, than he was in probably the first three innings,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He looked a little better. His command was better. I think he was doing a pretty good job there. I like the way he was throwing the ball. But truthfully, once we get into the sixth, seventh inning, really the pitch count doesn't really matter to me that much. It's a tight ballgame and our bullpen is pretty fresh and ready to go.”
Floro allowed hits to six of the first seven batters he faced, with five of them scoring.
William Contreras and Carlos Santana started the rally with consecutive singles. After Floro struck out Adames, Mark Canha singled home Contreras and advanced to second on right fielder Matt Wallner’s errant throw to third.
Tyrone Taylor then produced a bloop hit to right that brought home Santana with the go-ahead run. Taylor has gone 8 for 16 over his last five games to improve his batting average from .178 to .216.
With the Twins’ infield playing in, Brice Turang hit a liner off shortstop Carlos Correa’s glove for an RBI single. Brian Anderson, who had been 2 of 18 since coming off the injured list earlier this month, drove in two more runs with a single up the middle.
“The last couple of weeks, it’s felt like there’s 15 defenders out there and there’s nowhere that the ball can land,” Anderson said. “Seeing a ball get through the infield, especially in a big spot like that, it was really great.”
Anderson’s two-run single had an exit velocity of just 80.6 mph, while the Turang and Taylor singles had exit velocities below 65 mph.
“It’s frustrating,” Floro said. “Sometimes it’s part of the game right there. I've just got to find a way to minimize it. I didn't do that.”
Milwaukee's Bryse Wilson (5-0), Hoby Milner and Trevor Megill combined for four innings of shutout relief. Wilson struck out three and didn't allow a base runner in two innings.
Twins: RHP Oliver Ortega was removed from the game with an apparent injury in the seventh inning. Baldelli said Ortega was dealing with lower back tightness.
Brewers: OF Sal Frelick was scratched from the starting lineup due to right hamstring soreness. ... LHP Aaron Ashby (labrum) and OF Garrett Mitchell (shoulder) were back in Milwaukee on Tuesday as both players attempt to return before the end of the season. Ashby hasn’t pitched all year as he recovers from arthroscopic surgery, while Mitchell hasn’t played since April 18. Mitchell says he hopes to have a rehabilitation assignment the last week of the Triple-A season. Manager Craig Counsell said the Brewers are targeting an early September rehabilitation assignment for Ashby. ... DH Jesse Winker (back) was sent to Nashville to begin a rehabilitation assignment. Winker has been on the injured list since July 26.
RHP Kenta Maeda (3-7, 4.13 ERA) starts for the Twins and RHP Corbin Burnes (9-6, 3.43) pitches for the Brewers as this two-game series concludes Wednesday afternoon.