MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jason Kubel and the Minnesota Twins battered a frustrated Dave Bush for seven first-inning runs and beat the sputtering Milwaukee Brewers 15-3 on Friday night.
Kubel drove in four runs and drew one of eight walks handed out by the Brewers. Bush was in strong disagreement about the second one, yelling at home plate umpire Ed Rapuano for calling ball four on a close pitch to Michael Cuddyer with the bases loaded to force in the first run.
Rapuano actually approached the mound to angrily confront Bush, who was held back by teammate Prince Fielder. Pitching coach Rick Peterson came out to talk to Bush, who promptly served up a sharp two-run single to Kubel.
Bush then was called for a balk after losing his balance and halting his delivery at the edge of the mound, and Delmon Young followed with an RBI single.
Trevor Plouffe, facing his first pitch as a major leaguer, was next to knock in a run with a single to stretch the lead to five. Bush (1-5) lasted two more batters, recording only one out in the shortest start of his career before Jeff Suppan was summoned.
Nick Blackburn (5-1) breezed through a Brewers lineup that had free-swinging Carlos Gomez back from the disabled list to face his former team but little else to feel good about.
Blackburn gave up a soaring three-run homer to Gomez, who stood and watched the ball reach the second deck above left field to spoil the shutout in the eighth inning, but allowed only four hits over the first seven innings.
Since elbow soreness pushed back a start in late April, Blackburn has been by far Minnesota's best starter. He's 4-0 in May, completing 30 1-3 innings and giving up only nine runs and five walks.
He was on the mound last Sunday in New York when the Twins ended their losing streak to the Yankees, and this was another fine time for the right-hander to take the ball following completion of a 2-5 road trip against AL East teams.
The Twins, who have baseball's best interleague record since 2006 at 54-19, are 18-7 against the Brewers during that time. They've outscored them 173-102 in that span, too.
Plouffe had two hits and two RBIs in his debut, the latest to fill in for injured former Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy, who's still out with a bone bruise in his left wrist. He was traded for Gomez, the energetic, super-fast center fielder who was too inconsistent and undisciplined for the Twins to stick with him.
NOTES: Plenty of Brewers fans snagged tickets to the 17th official sellout in 19 games at Target Field, and one of them went home with an engagement ring. Her fiancee, wearing a Twins hat, proposed in the middle of the sixth inning.