MLB Baseball

5
Final-10 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   10 R H E
Minnesota0 2 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 5102
Milwaukee0 1 0 1 0 0 0 3 1 6110
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  W: J. Hader (1-0)   L: R. Dobnak (0-1)
11:10 AM PT12:10 PM MT1:10 PM CT2:10 PM ET14:10 ET18:10 GMT2:10 11:10 AM MST1:10 PM EST1:40 PM VEN22:10 UAE12:10 PM CT, April 1, 2021
American Family Field, Milwaukee, Wisconsin  Attendance: 11,740

Twins ace Kenta Maeda opens season at Milwaukee

According to STATS
According to STATS

Minnesota Twins at Milwaukee Brewers

  1. The Twins took 2-of-3 games in both series with the Brewers in 2020. The Twins and Brewers are two of the nine MLB teams that have been in the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, but they are the only two of those nine that did not win a single playoff game (Milwaukee 0-3; Minnesota 0-5).
  2. The Twins have won the AL Central in each of Rocco Baldelli's two seasons as manager. The Twins have won 3+ consecutive division titles only once in franchise history -- 2002-04 -- Ron Gardenhire's first three seasons as manager of the club.
  3. The Brewers have made the playoffs in a franchise-record three consecutive seasons. Prior to the 2018 season, the franchise had made the playoffs just four times in its first 49 years of existence.
  4. Since 2014, Nelson Cruz's 260 home runs are 20 more than any other major leaguer (Mike Trout -- 240), and in his two seasons with the Twins he has hit 57 home runs to go along with a .308 batting average. Cruz is one of just two players with 50+ HR and a .300+ BA over the last two seasons (Freddie Freeman).
  5. In his first season with Milwaukee in 2018, Christian Yelich had an OPS of 1.000, fourth best in baseball, and won the NL MVP. In 2019, he upped that to an MLB-high and franchise-record 1.100 and bagged his second All-Star selection and third Silver Slugger Award. 2020 saw his OPS fall to .786 and he struck out 76 times in just 247 plate appearances, a career-worst rate of one strikeout every 3.25 plate appearances.
  6. Brandon Woodruff will make his second consecutive Opening Day start. The Brewers are 16-4 in his last 20 home starts dating back to the beginning of the 2018 season. Kenta Maeda's first season in Minnesota was very successful. Maeda was top 5 in the AL in ERA (2.70, 5th), OppBA (.168, 2nd; Shane Bieber .167), K/BB ratio (8.00, 2nd; Marco Gonzales 9.14) and WHIP (0.75, 1st in MLB).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/1/2021 thru 4/4/2021

American League Cy Young Award runner-up Kenta Maeda makes his first Opening Day start when the Minnesota Twins begin their quest for an AL Central three-peat with an interleague contest at border rival Milwaukee on Thursday afternoon.

The right-handed Maeda finished second to Cleveland's Shane Bieber in the balloting after compiling a 6-1 record and a 2.70 ERA in 11 starts. Minnesota finished a game ahead of both the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians with a 36-24 record before losing in two games to the Houston Astros in a wild-card series.

"The year that he had last year ... there was no way of denying him (the assignment)," Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli told MLB.com when announcing the decision back on March 14. "I think it was the right thing to do."

It also doesn't hurt that Maeda is 3-2 with a 2.59 ERA in seven career starts against the Brewers and also flirted with throwing a no-hitter in his last start against them on Aug. 18 at Target Field. Eric Sogard led off the ninth inning of that contest with a soft liner over the glove of shortstop Jorge Polanco to end the no-hit bid.

Maeda allowed one run on one hit and two walks over eight-plus innings while striking out 12 -- including a club record eight in a row during one stretch -- in a game Minnesota eventually won in 12 innings, 4-3.

Maeda also picked up the win in a 12-2 road victory over the Brewers six days earlier. He went 1-0 with a 1.84 ERA in two starts against Milwaukee in 2020, allowing just six hits and three walks in 14 2/3 innings while striking out 17.

"When I first came over to Major League Baseball, being an Opening Day starter (is something) I never dreamed of," Maeda said. "I'm excited for the opportunity."

Milwaukee will counter with right-hander Brandon Woodruff, the first Brewers starter to work consecutive Opening Day games since Yovani Gallardo started five in a row from 2010-14.

Woodruff went 3-5 with a 3.05 ERA in 13 starts last season as Milwaukee finished fourth in the National League Central, five games behind the Chicago Cubs with a 29-31 record. He is 0-2 with a 3.38 ERA in two career starts against Minnesota including a 7-1 loss in his lone start last season in Minneapolis when he allowed two runs on nine hits and a walk over five innings while striking out three.

Milwaukee finished with a meager .223 team batting average last season with 2018 NL MVP and two-time batting champ Christian Yelich hitting just .205 with 12 homers and 22 RBIs. The Brewers, who plan to win with pitching and defense, signed outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and second baseman Kolten Wong to join fellow Gold Glove winners Yelich and Lorenzo Cain on the roster.

"It's going to be one of those teams that people really need to look out for, because we've got it all," Wong told MLB.com. "Our pitching staff is really good. We've got 'Yeli' who just knows how to flat-out hit. You've got Lorenzo Cain coming back. To add JBJ to that, that's going to be awesome."

After a day off on Friday, the three-game series continues on Saturday night. Minnesota won four of the six meetings between the teams last season.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 30, 2021

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