Twins rally with 4-run bottom of ninth, capped off by Correa walk-off HR vs. Brewers closer Williams
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — After the sidewinding offseason that led Carlos Correa back to Minnesota, the star shortstop has endured an concerningly slow start at the plate.
His swing is finally rounding into form. Milwaukee closer Devin Williams can attest.
Correa hit a two-run homer to cap a four-run ninth inning off the usually dominant Williams, giving the Twins a 7-5 victory over the Brewers on Tuesday night.
LISTEN: The Twins and Brewers run it back Wednesday from Minnesota. Pregame on WKTY begins at 11:35 a.m. Tune in on 96.7 FM / 580 AM
“Through even the great nights like tonight, or anything that went on earlier this year, he handles it all the same,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said, later adding: “By the way, that’s called leadership.”
Correa crushed a 1-1 changeup from Williams (3-1) off the second-deck façade beyond left field, dropping his bat as he turned to his dugout and tapped his wrist to signal it’s his time, like he did for World Series champion Houston during the 2021 postseason.
“Just didn’t have my stuff today, you know?” Williams said. “As much as you strive for it, you’re never going to be perfect.”
Williams, who took his first blown save in 11 attempts, didn’t record an out and had his sparkling 0.42 ERA spike to 2.08. Michael A. Taylor greeted him with a home run, before Eduoard Julien walked.
Then pinch-runner Willi Castro stole second and raced home — ignoring the stop sign from third base coach Tommy Watkins — on Donovan Solano’s tying single to set up Correa’s 13th career walk-off hit. That includes three in the postseason.
“Correa pointing to his watch, that was probably one of the coolest moments I’ve seen on a baseball field,” Julien said.
Williams, who allowed two homers in a game for the first time in his big league career, had an opponent batting average of .110 entering the day. The Brewers fell to 28-1 when leading after eight innings and saw their losing streak reach five games despite a homer and season-high four RBIs by Christian Yelich.
“When you’re in kind of a tough stretch, that’s just how it goes sometimes,” Yelich said.
Solano and Correa combined for five RBIs for the Twins, who have 22 runs in the last three games. They loaded the bases in the eighth, but Joey Gallo — taken off the injured list before the game — struck out to end it.
“There’s a different vibe. There’s a different aura and level of confidence. You can see it when guys go up to the plate,” said Correa, who has three homers in the last five games and is batting .217.
Yelich, who drove in just three runs over his previous 24 games, had three hits. He had a two-run double off Twins starter Pablo López in the third inning. His two-out, two-run shot in the seventh against José De León gave starter Corbin Burnes and the Brewers a 5-2 lead.
After eight shutout innings to beat Baltimore last week, Burnes was pulled after a leadoff homer by Kyle Farmer in the seventh. López, coming off a hard-luck 2-1 loss to MLB-leading Tampa Bay last week, finished six innings with nine strikeouts. Josh Winder (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.
Counsell was back with the Brewers after missing their game on Sunday to attend his son’s high school graduation ceremony. Then he watched Jack play for Whitefish Bay, where both Counsell and his wife, Michelle, attended, in the Wisconsin state baseball tournament on Monday.
Veteran outfielder Raimel Tapia, who was cut by Boston on June 5, joined the Brewers in Minnesota and even took pregame batting practice on the field. The Brewers did not immediately confirm the addition of Tapia, who is a .276 hitter in 606 major league games and batted .264 for the Red Sox in 39 games.
Brewers: LHP Wade Miley, out since May 16 with a strained muscle in the back of his shoulder, will slide back into the rotation on Saturday at home against Pittsburgh.
Twins: RHP Kenta Maeda, who has been out for seven weeks with a strained right triceps, will make at least one more rehab start with Triple-A St. Paul before rejoining the rotation. “I feel ready right now,” Maeda said through his interpreter. “That’s up to the team to make that decision.”
Brewers RHP Colin Rea (3-3, 4.47 ERA) takes the mound to finish the two-game series on Wednesday afternoon, opposite Twins RHP Bailey Ober (3-3, 2.61 ERA).
TOP PHOTO: Minnesota Twins’ Carlos Correa (4) celebrates as he runs to home plate with third base coach Tommy Watkins (40) after hitting a walk off two-run home run against the Milwaukee Brewers during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 13, 2023, in Minneapolis. Twins won 7-5. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)