MILWAUKEE (AP) - Twins reliever Jose Mijares saw catcher Joe Mauer call for another fastball in a full count to Prince Fielder.
The left-hander couldn't believe he'd throw the pitch again, Mauer couldn't believe Mijares would throw it down the middle. Meanwhile, Fielder couldn't believe his luck.
The Brewers' slugger doubled in the go-ahead runs with two outs in seventh inning off Mijares to raise his NL-leading RBI total to 65 and rally Milwaukee over the Minnesota Twins 4-3 on Friday night.
``I don't know what's going on with Mauer. He didn't put a sign down for a breaking ball. It was fastball, fastball, fastball,' Mijares said. ``The last pitch I wanted to throw a breaking ball, but he called for a fastball.'
Mauer said it was easy to second guess his decision in hindsight.
``I thought it was his best chance. He threw a couple of good fastballs before that, but obviously he didn't mean to throw it right down the middle,' Mauer said. ``You throw that slider and he misses and bases are loaded. It means runners in scoring position, too. There's a lot of things you can think about and it's pretty easy to say that after the fact.'
The Twins are tumbling again, losers of three straight after a season-best eight-game winning streak, and everyone was frustrated with the seventh-inning sequence that saddled Twins starter Scott Baker (5-5) with a loss.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he believed a different pitch should've been called to Fielder.
``I am disappointed because we threw six straight fastballs to a left-handed hitter. We were looking for a breaking ball, even 3-2, and we never threw one,' Gardenhire said. ``It was disappointing to me because we have to execute better than that. When you make a move like that and it doesn't work, it really irritates you as a manager.'
Danny Valencia hit a three-run homer off Randy Wolf (6-4) to give Minnesota a 3-2 lead in the sixth, but Fielder answered the next inning off Mijares. Mijares said he didn't want to shake off Mauer's decision on the pitch.
``I called for a fastball. I didn't call for it down the middle. If he would have thrown the same one he threw 3-1, I think it would have been a roller to second,' Mauer said.
Milwaukee is the only team in the majors not to lose consecutive home games this year, and the Brewers appeared to be in complete control of this one leading 2-0 until it unraveled over three batters in the sixth.
Michael Cuddyer walked, Delmon Young singled and Valencia snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a towering shot that landed in the restaurant in left field to put the Twins ahead 3-2.
In the seventh, Rickie Weeks and Nyjer Morgan singled with one out. Ryan Braun popped out to shallow right field and was the last batter Baker faced. Mijares battled back from a 3-0 count on Fielder, but the slugger laced a full-count fastball to right for his 64th and 65th RBIs.
``I didn't know what they were going to do,' Fielder said. ``I'm fortunate enough I got a mistake to hit and I hit it good.'
The Twins learned before the game that first baseman Justin Morneau needs neck surgery to remove a herniated disk fragment and will miss six weeks. It's just another setback for the Twins, who are 10 games under .500 and in fourth place in the AL Central.
``Very disappointing loss for our ballclub,' Gardenhire said. ``It was a very good atmosphere here. We ended up making a bad pitch to Fielder and he got us. We tried not to let him beat us. That's tough to take right now. Baker pitched his tail off for us and we played very well.'
NOTES: The Twins will activate Jim Thome before Saturday's game and will option OF Rene Tosoni to Triple-A Rochester. ... Young threw out Casey McGehee at the plate in the fifth. It was Young's 50th career outfield assist. ... Cuddyer had his 12-game hitting streak snapped. ... Minnesota is 4-6 in interleague play this season.
The Associated Press News Service
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