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Twins drop series finale to Brewers

MINNEAPOLIS — The Milwaukee Brewers, powered by the long ball and two three-run rallies in the middle innings, defeated the Minnesota Twins 8-5 Thursday at Target Field.

The victory earned the Brewers a split in the two-game series against the Twins in Minnesota and in the four-game, home-and-home set that began Monday at Miller Park.

Trailing 4-3 in the sixth inning, Milwaukee took its first lead on a two-run shot by left fielder Khris Davis, his 10th home run of the season. The Brewers pushed the lead to 6-4 after third baseman Mark Reynolds reached on an error, stole second and scored on a single to left by Jean Segura.

From there, Milwaukee’s bullpen was just good enough to hold the lead. The Twins got a runner to third base in the sixth and seventh innings but did not score. After catcher Josmil Pinto drove in one with a double in the eighth, shortstop Eduardo Escobar flied out to right with two runners in scoring position to end the inning.

Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy blasted a two-run homer to the opposite field in right to make it 8-5, providing closer Francisco Rodriguez with plenty of insurance. Rodriguez worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning for his 18th save.

Brewers starter Wily Peralta (5-5) labored for much of his outing, but he was the winner thanks to Milwaukee’s three-run sixth. He tossed five innings, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out four.

Twins right-hander Kevin Correia (2-7) couldn’t hold onto a four-run lead. He allowed five runs on 10 hits in five-plus innings.

The long ball was the source of offense for both teams in the early going. With two outs in the bottom of the third, the Twins sandwiched two walks around a single to load the bases for right fielder Oswaldo Arcia, who blasted a 2-2 slider from Peralta deep over the wall in right field for his first career grand slam.

However, Milwaukee answered quickly in the next half inning, getting back-to-back singles from right fielder Ryan Braun and Lucroy in front of center fielder Carlos Gomez, who hammered a Correia pitch over the center field fence for his 12th homer of the season, trimming the Twins’ lead to 4-3.

The Twins threatened to extend their lead in the bottom half of the fifth, getting two infield singles to lead off the inning. But after first baseman Joe Mauer lined out to center, second baseman Brian Dozier was thrown out trying to advance to second base on a flyout by Josh Willingham.