With the bases loaded and the game tied in the 10th inning Drew Stafford Jersey , Brad Miller plotted his approach as he came to the plate.

 

”You just look like you’re going to swing and don’t swing,” Miller said.

Miller drew a bases-loaded walk with one out and the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers rallied past the Minnesota Twins, 6-5 on Monday night.

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Nate Orf, playing in his first major league game, was hit by a pitch from Zack Littell (0-2) leading off the 10th. Manny Pina followed with a single and Keon Broxton walked.

Pinch-hitter Hernan Perez, hitting against five infielders, hit a grounder to the left side that shortstop Jorge Polanco fielded and fired to the plate to force Orf before Miller got his chance against Littell.

”It’s tough right now,” Littell said, trying to explain his lack of command in the 10th.

Corey Knebel (2-0) pitched a scoreless 10th with a pair of strikeouts for the Brewers, who trailed 5-1 after Robbie Grossman blasted his first career grand slam with two outs in the fifth off Milwaukee starter Brent Suter.

Milwaukee has allowed grand slams in three consecutive games.

Four Brewers relievers combined on five shutout innings.

”Corey had a dynamite inning,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. ”It was an outing for the bullpen. They kept us alive in that game.”

The Brewers rallied against Twins closer Fernando Rodney in the ninth to tie it. After retiring pinch-hitter Eric Sogard, Rodney gave up three consecutive singles to load the bases for Travis Shaw, who tied it with a sacrifice fly. Rodney blew his fifth save opportunity this season.

The Twins tied it at 1 in the third on a one-out RBI groundout by Brian Dozier, one pitch after Dozier appeared to have struck out swinging. Plate umpire Doug Eddings ruled that Dozier had fouled off the pitch, a call argued by Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell.

Suter gave up five runs and nine hits in five innings.

Pina led off the Brewers’ fifth with a homer off Kyle Gibson to cut the Twins’ lead to three. Milwaukee added another run on Miller’s bloop single and pulled to 5-4 when Twins third baseman Willians Astudillo failed to cleanly field Ryan Braun’s grounder near the bag.

Gibson gave up eight hits and three earned runs over five innings.

ORF’S LONG JOURNEY

The undrafted Orf, 28, started at second base. He has been one of the top-producing players in the Brewers’ farm system for many years and fans have long been clamoring for him to be called up, even launching a (hash)FreeNateOrf campaign on Twitter.

”He is one of the more respected and revered players in our organization because of the way he treats people and because of the way he goes about his business,” Brewers general manager David Stearns said.

Orf, whose parents traveled from St. Louis for the game, narrowly missed hitting a grand slam in the fifth but Max Kepler hauled in the deep drive at the center-field wall.

”After I hit it 49ers Fred Warner Jersey , I was like this is it. This is the coolest thing I’ve ever done,” Orf said. ”Then he caught it.”

HITTING HURLERS

Gibson, who had singles in his first two at-bats, entered the game with just a pair of career hits in 16 at-bats. His single leading off the third was his first hit since June 2015.

”I’d rather go 0 for 5 and go eight innings,” Gibson said.

Suter singled in his only at-bat and Milwaukee reliever Taylor Williams got his first career hit with a sixth-inning single.

TRAINER’S ROOM:

Twins: Reinstated SS Jorge Polanco following an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. To make room for Polanco, OF Ryan LaMarre was designated for release or assignment. … Recalled RHP Zack Littell from Triple-A Rochester and sent LHP Adalberto Mejia to Rochester.

Brewers: OF Christian Yelich sat out for the fourth consecutive time since leaving Thursday’s game with lower back tightness. ..RHP Aaron Wilkerson was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs when Orf was recalled. …Transferred INF/OF Nick Franklin, who has been out since May with a quadriceps injury, to the 60-day disabled list.

UP NEXT

Twins: Jake Odorizzi (3-5, 4.62 ERA) allowed one run and five hits with 10 strikeouts in a May 20 start against the Brewers but didn’t factor into the decision.

Brewers: Junior Guerra (4-5, 3.05) surrendered one run and four hits in 4 1/3 innings and received no decision in a 3-1 loss to the Twins in Minneapolis on May 20.

 

Not that long ago, the Chicago Cubs probably viewed a series against the Cincinnati Reds as a near-guaranteed way to pick up some quick victories and gain some ground in the National League Central standings.

Those days have changed. And so is the Cubs-Reds rivalry.

The Cubs couldn’t hold a multi-run lead for the second straight night, and the Reds won their fifth in a row and eighth in 10 games — quite a run for a team that played .250 ball for the first month-plus of the season — by rallying for a 6-3 victory on Friday night.

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Now, the Cubs are expected to ask their bullpen to carry them through the third game of the four-game series Saturday at Great American Ball Park — a series that isn’t going much like most of those Cubs-Reds matchups for the last four seasons.

Going into the series, the Cubs were 43-19 against the Reds since 2015, but the Reds are playing much differently now than they did when they were 8-27 on May 7. They’re 4-0 on their current homestand, even though they still remain well below .500 at 30-45.

“Even when we were losing, they (his veteran players) felt like, ‘We’re a good ballclub, we’re going to get our share (of wins),'” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. “(When) we’re on a roll like this, they feel like we’re just going to keep going with it.”

Eugenio Suarez lifted his average to .304 by going 3-for-4 with a go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth inning off Jose Quintana (6-6) and Joey Votto had two hits and an RBI. Quintana gave up four runs and nine hits in five innings.

“We’re playing really good baseball 49ers Tarvarius Moore Jersey ,” Suarez said. “We’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing — and keep winning. If we play like this, something good is going to happen.”

The Cubs scored three times against Reds starter Luis Castillo (5-8) in 5 2/3 innings — Kyle Schwarber hit a two-run homer in the fourth — but former Cleveland Indians pitcher Kyle Crockett pitched out of a two-on jam in the sixth in his Reds debut.

The Cubs managed only four hits in the game, David Hernandez pitched two scoreless innings and Raisel Iglesias finished in the ninth for his 12th save.

The Cincinnati bullpen has pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings in the series so far.

“That was one of the cleaner games we’re played — offensively, defensively, we ran the bases well … and got timely hits,” Riggleman said. “When you do that, you’re probably going to win.”

Now, the Reds have the improving Anthony DeSclafani (2-1) pitching Saturday. The right-hander missed the first two months of the season with an oblique injury after sitting out all of last season with an elbow injury, but he has won his last two starts while lowering his ERA from 7.60 to 4.20.

He’s 2-2 in seven career starts against the Cubs, and he handles Chicago cleanup hitter Anthony Rizzo (2-for-20, .100) especially well.

It’s expected to be a bullpen game for the Cubs, with former Reds pitcher Luke Farrell (2-2) making his first start of the season and only the second of his major league career. The longest he has pitched this season was five shutout relief innings during the Cubs’ 7-1, 14-inning victory over the New York Mets on June 2.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon stayed with his recent experiment of using slugger Kris Bryant as a leadoff hitter — he was 9-for-24 (.375) with three RBIs in that spot going into the game — but he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

“He gets on base a lot, he’s possibly one of the best baserunners on the team,” Maddon told reporters. “It’s one of those things — preconceived notions — that you get hung up on. But I like what he’s doing. When the bottom of the order has been productive, there’s a potential for a lot of baserunners in the one-hole.”

Only there wasn’t any such potential Friday as the Cubs’ No. 7-8-9 batters were a combined 0-for-9. It also didn’t help that Rizzo went 0-for-4 and stranded three runners.

And, now, suddenly the Cubs-Reds rivalry isn’t what it used to be.

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