Brewers rally for first Interleague win
Capuano strong through seven innings to earn victory
MILWAUKEE -- One day after the Brewers used seven pitchers in a loss to the Twins, Brewers starter Chris Capuano needed to help his team with a deep start. He did.
By the time Capuano's day ended after seven innings, he needed his team to return the favor. It did.
A strong outing from Capuano did not go to waste and the Brewers avoided an Interleague sweep by defeating the Twins, 5-3, in front of 35,180 fans at Miller Park on Sunday.
"We felt really good about the way Cappy's been throwing and that he would be able to give us seven or eight strong innings and keep us in the ballgame," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "That's exactly what he did."
Capuano (5-3) showed why he's been the Brewers' most consistent starting pitcher by surrendering three runs -- one was unearned -- and struck out four in seven innings. He's 10-for-10 in quality starts this season.
"I felt pretty consistent with my delivery and I expect to hit about 95 percent of my spots out there," Capuano said.
But after Capuano finished the seventh, it appeared his quality start would end in a loss. The Brewers' bats struggled against Twins starter Boof Bonser, who made his Major League debut. In six innings, Bonser only gave up one run and struck out eight.
Bonser was pulled in the seventh in favor of reliever Jessie Crain (0-2). That's when the Brewers hitters, as they've done so often at Miller Park this season, started another comeback.
Rickie Weeks pinch-hit for Capuano and led off the inning with a triple off Crain, a hit Capuano was thrilled to see just after finishing his day.
"We were blessed this year to get some quality people off the bench," Capuano said. "Rickie got a chance to do it today and came through. It's a huge lift when you get taken out and the guy that pinch-hits for you does something like that."
Weeks scored on Brady Clark's RBI single. Two batters later, Carlos Lee hit a go-ahead two-run double off reliever Juan Rincon. Lee entered the game in a 2-for-21 slump, but had three RBIs on Sunday.
"It was a big day for Carlos," Yost said. "He's been struggling a little bit and that was a huge hit in the seventh inning. We didn't really do much to that point, and Rickie's triple really got us going."
Lee said he got a good pitch to hit off Rincon. But he was also encouraged by what he saw in the Twins' bullpen at the end of Saturday's 16-10 loss.
"I was really happy that at the end of the night that they had to get the closer (Joe Nathan) up," Lee said. "They were blowing us away and they had to get the closer up because it wasn't over yet."
Lee had good reason to believe Saturday's game wasn't over, just like it wasn't over on Sunday. The Brewers have had to come from behind for 15 of their 17 wins this season at Miller Park, including all six of their wins on the just-completed homestand.
"They don't panic when they fall behind," Yost said. "Over the course of the game they know they're going to put something together. We knew at any time we could break through."
Bill Hall, who scored two of the winning runs in walk-off fashion last week, finished the scoring in the seventh when he drove in Lee with an RBI single. Hall now has a career-high 10-game hitting streak.
A two-run homer by Tony Batista gave the Twins a 3-1 lead that stood until the seventh. It was Batista's second home run in as many games.
"One glaring mistake, and that was the pitch that Batista hit out," Capuano said. "But when I threw it to the spots I was trying to get to, things worked out."
It was a start the Brewers desperately needed to replenish their depleted bullpen. Over the last 14 games, Dave Bush was the only starter besides Capuano to make a quality start. Bush did it once on May 12 against the Mets.
Matt Wise worked out of a jam in a scoreless eighth inning and Derrick Turnbow pitched the ninth for his 14th save of the season.
John Sahly is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.