Brewers top Twins 6-3, as McCutchen, Adames hit 2-run homers

Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS — Andrew McCutchen and Willy Adames each hit a two-run homer, and the Milwaukee Brewers outlasted three rain delays to beat the Minnesota Twins 6-3 on Tuesday night in the opener of a brief border-state series between the first-place teams.

Jonathan Davis and Jace Peterson pitched in RBI singles to support 29-year-old rookie Jason Alexander, who endured two of the stoppages and stayed in for four innings with three hits and two walks allowed. Then the Brewers turned a 5-2 lead over to their dominant bullpen and bounced back from a 2-4 homestand.

Jandel Gustave (2-0) worked a hitless fifth for the win. Brad Boxberger gave up a run in the seventh, but Devin Williams pitched a perfect eighth inning to set up Josh Hader for his 27th save in a perfect ninth. Hader has decided to skip the All-Star Game to spend more time with his wife and month-old son.

Jorge Polanco homered and Nick Gordon and Byron Buxton drove in runs for the Twins. Gio Urshela had a 3-1 count with the bases loaded against Boxberger, but after crushing a long foul ball that hooked to the left of the pole he grounded out to end that inning.

Minnesota right-hander Josh Winder (4-3) finished five innings after giving up five runs and four hits. McCutchen took him deep in the first for his ninth homer of the season. Adames hit No. 18 in the fifth.

STANDINGS CHECK

The Twins, who have been in first place for all but one day since April 24, had their AL Central lead whittled by a doubleheader that Cleveland and Chicago split. They’re 3 1/2 games ahead of the Guardians and five games in front of the White Sox.

Milwaukee still leads St. Louis by two games in the NL Central.

ROLL CALL

The delays totaled 1 hour and 43 minutes, giving the grounds crew quite the workout. The game continued for a bit through the first downpour in the bottom of the second, until Twins manager Rocco Baldelli came out of the dugout to talk to plate umpire Mark Carlson. Then the players were summoned off the field with Urshela up.

Urshela was batting again in the fourth when a much lighter rain began. As the fans scrambled for the concourses and overhangs, the umpires emptied the diamond for what ultimately was a false alarm. The tarp was quickly rolled back up, and play resumed just 8 minutes later.

The third wave arrived between the fifth and sixth innings, a pitch-black sky that came with lightning, wind gusts and a deluge stronger than the first rain. That delay lasted 66 minutes.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: RF Hunter Renfroe (left calf) was reinstated from the 10-day injured list after missing 13 games, and RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez was designated for assignment. Renfroe went 0 for 3. … LF Christian Yelich was scratched with mid-back tightness. … CF Tyrone Taylor, who has missed eight games with a concussion, has experienced a recurrence of symptoms and remains out indefinitely.

Twins: 1B Miguel Sano (left knee) had his rehab ramped up with an assignment to Triple-A St. Paul, where the Saints had their game suspended by the rain. Sano walked and hit a two-run double. Baldelli declined to speculate about how the 2017 All-Star might fit on the roster once he’s cleared. “Every time you think you know what’s coming your way, you’re generally going to be wrong, so I’m not spending too much time on the 10 different scenarios that could play out,” Baldelli said.

UP NEXT

Brewers: LHP Aaron Ashby (2-6, 4.52 ERA) takes the mound for the matinee finale. He has a 5.14 ERA in 10 starts over 49 innings and a 2.45 ERA in 14 2/3 relief innings.

Twins: RHP Joe Ryan (6-3, 3.09 ERA) starts on Wednesday afternoon.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.