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With the bases loaded and the game tied in the 10th inning Falcons Calvin Ridley 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.

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 Dolphins Mike Gesicki Jersey , 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, 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 Baker Mayfield Jersey Browns , 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.





HOUSTON — There was an undeniable inevitability in the Houston Rockets finally unleashing their full potential offensively, with the only legitimate ambiguity being exactly when it would happen.

That moment arrived without warning in the third quarter of Game 4, with Houston producing a 50-point outburst that staggered the Minnesota Timberwolves and gave the Rockets control of their Western Conference first-round playoff series. Houston used that eruption to propel it toward a 119-100 victory on Monday night at the Target Center, giving the Rockets a 3-1 lead in the series. It also gave Houston the opportunity to conclude the series at Toyota Center in Game 5 on Wednesday night.

The Rockets had trudged along on offense even while establishing a 2-1 series lead, averaging a pedestrian 103.7 points entering Game 4 while producing a modest 31.5 percentage on 3-pointers. Houston flirted with statistical immortality during the regular season, ranking among the most efficient offenses in league history before losing its edge over the final weeks of the schedule Cheap Justin Bethel Jersey , specifically after the Rockets clinched the top seed in the West at the end of March.

Over their final six regular-season games, the Rockets posted an offensive rating (101.3) that ranked 26th in the NBA. That lagging momentum carried over into the playoffs until the second half on Monday when the Rockets broke free from their lethargy and reclaimed their identity.

“We talked about it going into the game about being aggressive, and I think we all just tried to do that,” said Rockets guard Chris Paul, who paired 25 points with six assists in the victory.

“Just the entire team, we were confident,” said Rockets guard James Harden, who scored a franchise playoff-record 22 points in the third quarter en route to a game-high 36. “We had a good talk (Sunday), a good practice (Sunday). And even most of the guys stayed after practice just to shoot, shoot the basketball and be aggressive. We had the mentality to be aggressive. Make or miss shots, that’s what we do. We shoot the basketball, and eventually Cheap Richard Rodgers Jersey , they start falling.”

In producing the second-most points in any quarter in NBA postseason history, the Rockets not only pushed the Timberwolves to the brink of elimination, they put Minnesota in the precarious position of having to acknowledge what has been obvious all along. The Timberwolves’ defense wasn’t explicitly responsible for the Rockets’ wayward perimeter shooting entering Monday, and when Houston converts open looks at an average clip — the Rockets shot 16 of 43 on 3s — the Timberwolves are essentially helpless at stopping the deluge.

As postseason series extend, team identities solidify. The Rockets reclaiming their offensive rhythm was as predictable an outcome as the Timberwolves showcasing their defensive warts.

Minnesota closed the season ranked 22nd in defensive efficiency (108.4), with the foundation of its four losses to the Rockets set on the defensive end. It might be easy to dismiss a 50-point period as an anomaly, but the reality of the Rockets’ offensive momentum can’t be denied. The Timberwolves staved off the inevitable for three-plus games and are now left to hope that the Rockets will start missing again in order for this series to include a return trip to Minneapolis.

“How many points did they score in the third? Fifty? Exactly,” Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose said. “Do we even have to say something? It can be seen easily what happened in the game and why they took off. Our job is to look at film, see what our mistakes were, and try to execute a little better on the defensive end.”

Said Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns: “You’ve got to give it to them. There’s a reason they’re the team they are.”
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