MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke emphasized the positive after a grueling game.
Denard Span had an RBI single in the 15th inning, lifting the Minnesota Twins to a 5-4 victory over the Brewers on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.
Despite the loss, Roenicke had plenty to be pleased about.
"I like the fact that we had a lot of baserunners, we had a lot of chances," Roenicke said. "I like the fact our pitching is still throwing the ball great. Our bullpen was really good today."
That hasn't been the case for much of this season for the Brewers, who won the National League Central a year ago. Entering Sunday, only three NL teams had a lower batting average than Milwaukee and the Brewers bullpen has been shaky.
After losing three close games at Kansas City, Milwaukee responded by scoring 15 runs in three games against the Twins. While the Brewers, who still trail NL Central-leading Cincinnati by 8½ games, couldn't get a key hit against the Twins bullpen, they hit the ball hard.
"Their defense took away some runs, Span with a great catch, (Ben) Revere with two great catches," Roenicke said. "We did a lot of things well. It didn't turn out with a win, but we did a lot of things well. Aramis (Ramirez) squares up four balls and they're outs."
Before Span's single on a groundball through the right side of the infield with two outs in the 15th inning, the Brewers bullpen held Minnesota scoreless for 6 2-3 innings.
Minnesota's Trevor Plouffe led off the 15th with a single off Tim Dillard (0-2), and went to second on a single by Brian Dozier, two batters later. Carroll then lined a single to right field. Plouffe ran through a stop sign by third base coach Steve Liddle and was tagged out in a rundown. Dozier advanced to third base during the play.
Left-hander Juan Perez came in to face Span.
"(Perez) throws three good pitches and the last one he gets down and they hit a groundball right through the hole," Roenicke said.
In losing, the Brewers wasted a strong starting performance from Zach Greinke, who was effective for six-plus innings before getting into trouble. After walking the leadoff batter, Greinke got two quick outs. But Minnesota got consecutive hits from Jamey Carroll,Span, Revere and Joe Mauer.
Those hits turned what had been a 4-1 lead into a tie game.