When the Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers were mapping out their seasons, it’s safe to assume that neither planned on relying on the home run clout of Trevor Plouffe and Martin Maldonado, respectively. But Maldonado, who snapped a tie with a two-run blast in the ninth inning on Friday, has developed a knack for the clutch blast. Plouffe is becoming the most prolific long ball threat in Minnesota’s lineup with seven homers in the last seven games.
Plouffe, who had never hit more than 23 home runs in any of his previous eight professional seasons, is up to 14 in 2012 with his latest tear. The utility man has forced his way into Minnesota’s everyday lineup and has been one of the keys to its recent run of 10 wins in the last 16 games. Maldonado was recalled when Jonathan Lucroy went on the disabled list and has four home runs in 42 at-bats, with each of the last three giving the Brewers the lead.
Brewers Twins Betting
When: 2:10 PM ET, Saturday, June 16, 2012
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
TV: 2:10 p.m. ET, FSWI (Milwaukee), FSNO (Minnesota)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Brewers RH Michael Fiers (1-2, 4.50 ERA) vs. Twins RH Liam Hendriks (0-2, 9.00)
Fiers won his season debut with a seven-inning, one-run performance on May 29 but has had a hard time finding that magic in his last two turns. The right-hander, who turned 27 on Friday, has allowed eight runs and 18 hits in 11 innings over his last two turns. Fiers has shown sharp command, striking out 17 and walking only two in 18 total innings.
Hendriks was banished to the minors after four starts with diminishing returns earlier this season, bottoming out with a loss at Los Angeles in which he yielded six runs in 2 1/3 innings. But the 23-year old Australian dominated in Class AA, working his way back by going 5-0 with a 1.94 ERA in seven starts.
1. Plouffe’s last four home runs, including two on Friday, have been solo shots.
2. Twins 1B Justin Morneau sat out Friday with a sore forearm. He is day-to-day.
3. Brewers LF Ryan Braun has hit in 10 straight games and has homered in back-to-back contests.