MINNEAPOLIS -- A pair of ex-Twins hurt their former club, as right-hander Matt Garza tossed seven strong innings and Carlos Gomez went 4-for-4 with three RBIs, including a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh, to help lead the Brewers to a 4-2 win on Saturday afternoon at Target Field.
Garza, who entered with a 5.52 ERA, was sharp, as he gave up just one run on six hits. He pitched his way out of several jams, and gave up his only run on a game-tying RBI single to Joe Mauer in the sixth. The Twins scored again in the eighth on a solo shot from Brian Dozier off reliever Jonathan Broxton, but it wasn't enough with Francisco Rodriguez pitching a scoreless ninth to get his 10th save of the year and 358th of his career, putting him in a tie with Troy Percival for ninth on the all-time saves list.
"When I needed to make big pitches, I did and I didn't think twice about them. I went with what I wanted to throw and it turned out to be successful," Garza said.
After playing in a doubleheader in Boston on Wednesday, Minnesota went with a bullpen day with Rule 5 Draft pick J.R. Graham making his first career start. Graham gave up one run over four innings, with the lone run coming on a solo blast from Ryan Braun in the first inning. Blaine Boyer gave up the go-ahead single to Gomez in the seventh, but one run was charged to Ryan Pressly and the other to Aaron Thompson. Gomez added an insurance run with an RBI double in the ninth off Tim Stauffer.
"He's as aggressive as anyone you see and really attacks the baseball," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "When Boyer came in, he's so aggressive you hope you can find a way to wriggle your way out of a jam, but he threw the ball down out of the zone but it was in the middle and he was able to hit to bring those couple of runs in."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Gomez grabs the lead: After a single, walk and sacrifice bunt to begin the seventh inning, Molitor went to trusted reliever Boyer. But Boyer couldn't retire Gomez, who laced the first pitch he saw -- a slider -- into the outfield, driving in Jean Segura and Jason Rogers and giving the Brewers a two-run lead. Gomez ended the day with four hits.
"They have bad luck because every time I come here, I feel really good at the plate," Gomez said about facing his former team.
Twins leave bases loaded in fifth: After an error from Garza on a sacrifice bunt attempt from Chris Herrmann, the Twins had the bases loaded with nobody out. But they were unable to score, as Aaron Hicks popped out to second and Danny Santana grounded into a double play on the 10th pitch of his at-bat. More >
"Hicks' popup, I think he was just a little antsy to try to drive those runs home instead of being patient," Molitor said. "Danny had a really good battle and saw every pitch possible and fouled off I don't know how many. But then he does something he doesn't do frequently, and hits into a double play and it's the worst possible thing that could happen to us in that situation."
Braun returns: If there was a question of whether or not Braun's right thumb was OK after having a cryotherapy procedure earlier this week, he seemed to answer it in the first inning, crushing a 96-mph fastball. Braun had missed the Brewers' past two games, but finished with two hits on Saturday.
Dozier goes deep: Dozier made it a one-run game with a solo shot off Broxton to lead off the eighth. It was the team-leading 11th homer of the year for Dozier. But it was too little, too late for the Twins, who went just 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
"I thought it was pretty good. I went out there and gave it everything I had. They decided to take the ball from me after the fourth, but I can't really complain. I thought I gave my team the best chance to win." -- Graham, on his first Major League start
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With the loss, the Twins dropped their first series since losing two out of three to the Tigers from May 12-14.
With Segura at the plate with two outs in the fourth, Graham threw a pitch inside that was ruled a hit-by-pitch by home-plate umpire Toby Basner. But after a review, it was determined that it was a foul ball from Segura and the call was overturned. Segura went on to pop up to second to end the inning.
WHAT'S NEXT Brewers:Mike Fiers will take the ball for the Brewers as they close out their series in Minnesota on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. CT. Fiers is 2-5 with a 4.06 ERA on the season, but he has not given up more than two runs in each of his past five starts.
Twins: Right-hander Mike Pelfrey starts in the series finale for the Twins on Sunday afternoon. Pelfrey is coming off a strong start against the Red Sox, as he gave up just one run over seven innings to lower his season ERA to 2.59 in 10 outings.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.