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MIL@MIN: Brewers lose in 15 on Span's walk-off hit

MINNEAPOLIS -- Zack Greinke and the Brewers appeared to be cruising to victory through six innings on Sunday. Little did they know it was only the beginning of a marathon match that would see 15 innings and a 42-minute rain delay.

Minnesota's seventh-inning rally reversed the game's course, and Denard Span's walk-off single against Juan Perez in the 15th ended it.

Milwaukee squandered its chance to sweep, losing to the Twins, 5-4, in front of a sellout crowd of 39,206 at Target Field. The Brewers fell to 3-5 in extra-inning games, and the 15 innings tied the team's season high, as they also went 15 against San Francisco on May 21.

Greinke displayed incredulous disappointment in the form of a blank stare as he sat in front of his locker afterward. The right-hander tied a season-high by throwing eight innings and allowed four runs on 11 hits, with the latter being his most since Sept. 25, 2010 at Cleveland. He held the Twins to one run on six hits through the first six frames.

"The toughest part is I feel like our whole team played a really good game today," Greinke said.

The two teams combined for 35 hits, but they also left 32 men on base.

"They had their opportunities before that [Span's game-winning hit] also," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. "We both did. We both could have won the game a lot earlier. That's the way it goes."

Reliever Tim Dillard surrendered a single to Trevor Plouffe to lead off bottom of the 15th. Brian Dozier added another single after Ryan Doumit's strikeout. The next hit allowed by Dillard to Jamey Carroll -- a liner to right field -- looked like it may end the game as Plouffe sprinted toward third base with his head down. He initially blew past a stop sign from his third base coach, only slowing once he was well past the bag. Norichika Aoki threw home to let Cody Ransom eventually tag Plouffe out in a rundown, Dozier wound up at third.

Perez came on, and Span caught enough of his 0-2 slider to send it through the right side of the infield to finally end the game -- more than five-and-a-half hours after it began. Rain halted the contest for 42 minutes after the 11th inning.

"Perez, he comes in and he throws three good pitches," Roenicke said. "The last one he got down, and they hit a ground ball right through the hole."

Milwaukee left a total of seven men on base over the extra six innings.

"They just got the hit with the guy in scoring position," Roenicke said. "We didn't."

Greinke's trouble in the seventh -- which he entered with a 4-1 lead -- began with a leadoff walk to Plouffe. He retired Doumit and Dozier with relative ease, but Carroll singled to score Plouffe. Span's ensuing single marked the first back-to-back hits against Greinke all day, but the Twins weren't done. Ben Revere and Joe Mauer both followed with RBI singles, tying the game at four.

"That was pretty big," Mauer said. "He's won a Cy Young, and is one of the best right-handers in the game. So to come back like that was really big."

Josh Willingham worked Greinke into a full count, but Greinke followed with a fastball to strike out Willingham for a fourth time.

"Most of their hits were on mistakes, just catching too much of the plate," Greinke said. "Their approach was good -- not trying to do too much with the ball. It seemed like every time they just stayed with what they were given. I made too many mistakes that one inning. Kind of hurt our team."

Corey Hart broke a 1-1 tie when he took Nick Blackburn's 3-2 pitch deep to right field for a three-run homer with two outs in the fifth. Hart's 14th home run of the year scored Aoki and Nyjer Morgan, who reached on a double and a bunt hit, respectively. Morgan also bunted for a hit in the third, and doubled in the first.

Milwaukee reliever Jose Veras suffered an injury while covering first base on a play in the 12th. Roenicke described it as a hip flexor issue.

"It doesn't look like a problem," Roenicke said. "You never know from what happens the next two days. We'll see how he is tomorrow."

Ryan Braun extended his club record Interleague hitting streak to 22 games with a single in the third.

"The bullpen did good," Greinke said, "I did OK starting. Defense was good. Had some good at-bats. And the Twins did the same thing. It was just a tough game. I really felt like we played a really solid game, and if we play like that for the most part, we'll win a lot more than we'll lose."

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