Brewers alter rotation at start of series with Twins

MLB

Right-hander Corbin Burnes moves back into the rotation for the Milwaukee Brewers when they open a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night in Minneapolis.

Burnes (0-0, 3.38 ERA, one save) is taking the spot that had been held by Eric Lauer, a left-hander. Lauer was optioned to the team’s alternate training site following a pair of poor starts, including one against the Twins last Wednesday when he allowed seven runs on nine hits over 3 2/3 innings in a 12-2 loss at Miller Park.

Burnes, 8-5 in 66 games and five starts in his career, began the season in the rotation. He allowed a run on two hits with six strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings in an 8-3 victory over the Cubs in Wrigley Field on July 25 before moving to the bullpen, where he formed the second half of a tandem with left-hander Brett Anderson for three straight games.

“You know, it’s going to be just another outing for me,” Burnes said. “I’ve gone multiple innings every outing I’ve been out there, so the thing for this one is now it’s going to be a little more of a set routine, a little more consistency. I was already on the five-day routine. Now I know I’m going in for the first inning.”

Burnes won his only career appearance against Minnesota with an inning of hitless relief in 2019 at Target Field.

Minnesota will counter with right-hander Kenta Maeda (3-0, 2.66), who is 3-2 with a 2.94 ERA in six career starters against the Brewers. He picked up the win in the 12-2 victory at Milwaukee in his last start when he allowed two runs on five hits over 6 2/3 innings.

After dropping two of three to the Twins last week in Milwaukee, the Brewers bounced back to win the final three games of their four-game series with the Cubs in Chicago.

Minnesota, meanwhile, won three of four over Kansas City at Target Field, including a 4-1 victory on Monday night as Nelson Cruz hit his seventh and eighth home runs of the season.

At 40 years, 47 days, Cruz became the oldest player with a multi-home run game since Boston’s David Ortiz did it against the New York Yankees in a May 2016 contest at the age of 40 years and 172 days.

Cruz has now hit 409 home runs in his career, moving him into a tie for 55th place on the all-time list with former Texas teammate Mark Teixeira.

“Nelson is getting to a lot of different pitches in the zone and finding the barrel,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “When you’re watching at ground level and you’re getting to see the actual adjustments he’s making during the at-bats — he’s not just up there swinging, he’s not a power hitter who goes up there looking to hit home runs. He puts good, under-control swings on the ball, and he knows what he’s up there looking for. He knows who he’s facing.”

Baldelli added, “It’s not happening by accident. The guy is very talented, but he also makes fantastic adjustments.”

–Field Level Media

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