Timely hits lift Twins past Brewers; Mauer 0 for 5, drops average to .395

MILWAUKEE -- Heavily damaged Miller Park felt a little like home for the Minnesota Twins, whose Metrodome is missing many of the luxuries of baseball's newer stadiums.

The Twins showed they didn't need any of them, either.

Joe Crede, Carlos Gomez and Brendan Harris combined to drive in six runs, all with two outs, and Minnesota jumped on Milwaukee starter Jeff Suppan for a 7-3 victory over the Brewers on Tuesday night in the first game played at Miller Park since it sustained severe water damage.

While the Brewers were being swept in Detroit over the weekend, Miller Park fared worse with heavy rains on Friday that caused severe flash flooding and inundated the lower level of the stadium, which opened in 2001, with several feet of water in places.

While the field level and fan areas of the park were normal, the Brewers are without batting cages, a weight room, conditioning equipment, video services, their private kitchen and usual furniture after water soaked both clubhouses.

There's no estimate yet of the damage costs, but the Twins marveled at how the Brewers were able to get the park ready for play.

"They did a super job of trying to get it ready for us best they can under real tough circumstances," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "There's no batting cage -- but we don't have one at the Metrodome anyway, so we're used to that."

Nearly all the interior walls have been partially removed, keeping Brewers manager Ken Macha from having private talks with players in his office and the Twins from playing video games or watching a big screen TV after those items were ruined.

"It smells like my grandmother's house," Prince Fielder of the Brewers joked before the game. "[But] it doesn't smell as bad as I thought it would."

Macha did his postgame news conference from the dugout with the field crew using loud blowers that made it hard to hear. When asked twice if it was the worst game the Brewers have played, Macha finally just shouted: "YES!"

It was Milwaukee's fourth straight loss overall and fifth in a row to the Twins, who have dominated the border rivalry recently and got off to a good start on their nine-game road trip.

Minnesota, which will open Target Field in 2010, scored in each of the first three innings off Suppan (5-5).

Crede's three-run double in the first came after the veteran right-hander appeared to get the third out when Michael Cuddyer swung at strike three. But the ball got away from catcher Jason Kendall and Cuddyer reached to load the bases.

"I block that ball nine out of 10 times," Kendall said. "No excuses. I'm the one who got us off to that rough start. Suppan actually threw the ball well."

Harris' two-out single scored a run in the second to make it 4-2. Delmon Young doubled in a run in the third before Gomez hit a two-run single that gave Minnesota a 7-3 lead.

"I've never had a game like that," said Gomez, who had hits in each of the first three innings.

All the offense covered Joe Mauer's quiet night. He went 0 for 5 for the second time this season as his batting average dropped to .395.

Struggling Twins starter Francisco Liriano (3-8) allowed a two-out, two-run single to Mike Cameron in the first inning and an RBI double to Casey McGehee in the third. He walked five and struck out six in five innings, but allowed runners to reach scoring position in every inning while throwing 117 pitches.

"Liriano had an astronomical pitch count," Gardenhire said. "But we wanted him to get through five for his confidence."

Suppan lasted five innings with the Brewers trying to conserve their bullpen after putting starter Dave Bush (triceps) on the disabled list Tuesday.

Game notes
Bush has gone 0-3 with a 10.38 ERA in four starts since being hit by a line drive in the pitching arm on June 4 against Florida. Milwaukee called up RHP Mike Burns to take Bush's start Thursday. ... Brewers GM Doug Melvin let the Twins know Miller Park would be ready and safe after being checked out by health inspectors. "I called [Twins GM] Bill Smith the other day and told him not to come to the park until 3 o'clock today. I told him Joe Mauer didn't need to come until Friday," Melvin joked. ... Gardenhire said RHP Luis Ayala got his wish when the team designated him for assignment. "When you ask out of here, you will get out," he said. "He talked about his contract for next year and you lose me right there. Do I seem a little bit irritated today? I'm a lot irritated."