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Brewers eye sweep of two-game set at Minnesota

Sportsnaut
Jul 12, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Josh Hader (71) throws to the Minnesota Twins in the ninth inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins will try to salvage a series split when they host the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday afternoon to complete a two-game set in Minneapolis.

The Brewers won the series opener 6-3 on Tuesday night in a game that featured three rain delays. Andrew McCutchen and Willy Adames homered as Milwaukee won for only the second time in its past six games.

Josh Hader closed the door for the Brewers by striking out the side for his major-league-leading 27th save. The left-hander is on pace for 50 saves this season.

“Honestly, I feel like I’m in the best spot I’ve been in my career,” the 28-year-old said. “I think there’s a lot that I’ve learned to keep my body in shape and in tune and just the recovery aspect of things. I’ve been able to expand my knowledge on the recovery aspect of things, which has helped me out throughout the daily grind and trying to be ready each and every day.”

The Twins hope to avoid facing the Brewers’ All-Star closer on back-to-back days.

Minnesota will turn to right-hander Joe Ryan (6-3, 3.09 ERA) as it tries to snap a skid that has included four losses in the past five games. Ryan leads the team in victories and strikeouts (63) and ranks second in innings pitched (70).

Ryan, 26, is coming off a disappointing outing against the Chicago White Sox on July 6. He lasted only four innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits. He walked two while striking out three.

The Wednesday outing will be Ryan’s first career appearance against the Brewers. In three career interleague starts, he is 2-1 with a 4.80 ERA.

Milwaukee will counter with left-hander Aaron Ashby (2-6, 4.52 ERA), who is set to make his 17th appearance and 11th start of the season. The 24-year-old is the nephew of longtime big-league hurler Andy Ashby, who won 98 games in a career that spanned from 1991-2004.

The younger Ashby is looking to earn back-to-back victories for the first time this season. He is coming off a win against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday, when he allowed two runs on three hits in five innings. He fanned three and walked two.

This will be Ashby’s second career start against the Twins. He faced Minnesota once in 2021, earning the victory while giving up two runs on three hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out four.

Royce Lewis has rejoined his teammates in the Twins’ clubhouse for the series. He is out for the remainder of the season because of a torn ACL in his right knee but hopes to be playing next April.

“I like the aggressive approach, because we can always dial back if we need to, if I’m not ready for something or something like that,” said Lewis, who hit .300 with two homers and five RBIs in 12 games for Minnesota this year. “But if we are ready, which I usually feel like I am, then we get going. So I like it.”

Minnesota is 25-19 at home this season. Milwaukee is 28-20 on the road.

–Field Level Media