Dozier's HR backs Colon's gem in Twins' win

Dozier's HR backs Colon's gem in Twins' win

MILWAUKEE -- Bartolo Colon is proving there is still something left in his 44-year-old tank. The veteran right-hander followed last week's complete-game victory over the Rangers with seven scoreless innings against the Brewers on Wednesday, leading the Twins to a 4-0 win at Miller Park.

Colon yielded five hits, all singles, to spoil the home debut of Brewers pitching prospect Brandon Woodruff, who allowed two runs over 5 2/3 innings. Brian Dozier, who will be wearing the nickname "Doz" on the back of his jersey for Players Weekend, led the Twins' offense with a solo homer, his sixth in his past nine games, after hitting his first career grand slam on Tuesday.

"It was fun to watch," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I don't think you go into a game thinking Bartolo is going to give you seven zeros, but he kept making pitches."

Colon's tremendous start

With a fourth straight win, including three in a row over Milwaukee, the Twins remained 1 1/2 games behind the Mariners for the second American League Wild Card spot.

Colon giving Twins boost in AL Wild Card race

"Right now, with how good we are playing, we are able to find ways to win games," Colon said through an interpreter. "Hopefully, with God's help, we can keep winning games and see what we can do down the road."

The Brewers, who have lost four in a row, are still 1 1/2 games behind the Cubs, who have lost six of their last eight, in the National League Central. The Brewers have scored three or fewer runs in 18 of their last 24 games.

Arcia's crafty slide

The only Brewer to get past first base in Colon's seven innings was Orlando Arcia, who used a nifty slide to steal second in the second inning and advanced on a bunt by Eric Sogard in the seventh with the Crew trailing by four runs.

"There's frustration, of course. When you struggle to score runs, you get frustrated," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "It's OK. It's natural. You compete the next day. There are important at-bats the next day, so you have to step up.

"We have to score more runs. Is it frustrating not scoring runs? Of course it is. After you lose a game, 4-0, you're frustrated as a hitter, for sure, but you come back tomorrow. There's a lot of opportunity in front of us. When we wake up tomorrow, that's how you have to see it."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Powered by Polanco: The Twins jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a second-inning double by shortstop Jorge Polanco, who has been doing his best Rod Carew impression against the Brewers over the past three days. With that two-out hit, plus a single leading off the fifth, Polanco had eight hits and four RBIs in his first nine at-bats against Milwaukee pitching.

Polanco's RBI double

Two-out trouble: Minnesota doubled its lead in the seventh, thanks to a two-out error charged to Milwaukee second baseman Eric Sogard. Dozier started the rally with a two-out double and Max Kepler walked before Sogard booted a Joe Mauer grounder, allowing Dozier to score. Miguel Sano followed with an RBI double to make it 4-0.

"It's a big play," Counsell said of the error. "Down 2-0, you're asking the other team to make bigger pitches, more pressure pitches, especially with one guy on. It was a big play. It was a tough play up the middle, but it's a play he expects to make."

Dozier scores on Sogard's error

QUOTABLE
"He told me, 'Hit it somewhere else. Quit hitting it up the middle.'" -- Arcia, on a light-hearted exchange with Colon near third base at the end of the seventh inning, after both of Arcia's singles went back up the middle

"I threw a fastball inside, and he had kind of a weird swing. You could tell his back was bothering him, so I went up to him and asked him how his back was doing. I don't want him to be bothered by it." -- Colon, on the exchange with Arcia

Colon and Arcia embrace

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
According to the Baseball-Reference.com database, Colon became the oldest right-hander to pitch seven or more scoreless innings in 23 years. Knuckleballer Charlie Hough shut out the Cardinals on June 14, 1994, at age 46.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Brewers challenged in the top of the ninth after Dozier stole second base under Arcia's tag, but the call stood.

Dozier safe after challenge

WHAT'S NEXT
Twins: Dietrich Enns will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester to make his Major League debut in Thursday's series finale against the Brewers at 7:10 p.m. CT. Acquired from the Yankees in the Jaime Garcia trade on July 30, the left-hander has a 2.38 ERA in eight Triple-A starts this season.

Brewers: Zach Davies will take the mound in the border battle finale at Miller Park on Thursday. The right-hander has never faced the Twins, but he has gone 6-1 with a 2.38 ERA over his last eight starts, including four straight quality starts.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee and covered the Twins on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.