MILWAUKEE - Trying to rally past the Minnesota Twins became of little concern to the Milwaukee Brewers after a fan fell into their bullpen Tuesday night.
The man was motionless for some nervous moments, and reliever Brandon Kintzler thought the fan had died.
Medical personnel rushed to the scene and the man regained consciousness before being carted off on a stretcher, delaying the start of the eighth inning of the Brewers' 6-4 loss to Minnesota.
"He didn't move for a few minutes. I thought he was dead," Kintzler said. The fan fell before he started warming up to enter the game, and Kintzler had to take his practice tosses with paramedics and security still in the bullpen.
"They're basically giving this guy CPR and doing all this stuff. You're trying to warm up is not the best thing to do at the time," Kintzler said.
Eventually, the man began moving his fingers, Kintzler said. Medical personnel brought him through the bullpen door in left-centre and loaded him on to the cart. He appeared to have a brace around his neck, and a white bandage wrapped around his forehead.
The man fell from a dining area roughly 15 feet above the bullpen that is lined with a metal railing about four feet high. Kintzler suspected he was initially caught by netting above the bullpen.
"We were just sitting there when (bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel) yelled 'Oh gosh' and all of a sudden you see the net come flying down," Kintzler said. "I think the net caught him and then he just face planted."
The Brewers said the fan was conscious and alert, and was being taken to Froedtert Hospital.
"I actually was standing in the dugout right in the corner and a guy had his radio on and I heard somebody fell," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But hopefully — I heard the guy's OK. Probably a little beaten up. Yeah, that's a scary moment."
Both teams hoped for the best following a game highlighted by Josh Willingham's three-run homer in the third off Yovani Gallardo (3-4) for a 4-1 lead.
Twins closer Glen Perkins gave Milwaukee a chance by walking the first two batters in the ninth. A run scored on Ryan Braun's sacrifice fly to the warning track in right before Carlos Gomez struck out for the final out, allowing Perkins to salvage his 15th save.
Perkins held on after Samuel Deduno (2-3) tossed five bumpy innings, allowing two runs and six hits with four walks. The right-hander benefited from three double plays, two of which ended innings with runners in scoring position.
"You need those. If you're going to walk people, you damn sure better get ground balls and get double plays," Gardenhire said.
Brian Dozier hit a two-run homer in the fifth into the Brewers' bullpen for a 6-2 lead. He finished 3 for 3 with a walk.
Minnesota left Milwaukee with a split of two games before the interleague home-and-home series moves to Target Field for two more contests. Willingham hit three homers and drove in seven runs during the five-game road trip against the Yankees and Brewers.
The way Willingham has been swinging the bat, it makes it easy to forget he had a left wrist injury that kept him out of the lineup for nearly seven weeks. All four of the outfielder's home runs have come since he returned from the disabled list May 26.
Willingham's latest homer came on a first-pitch slider from Gallardo, who laboured through his worst outing of the season. The righty allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings.
"Since the first inning, I was battling with my mechanics," Gallardo said. "The more frustrating thing is it was the total opposite from the bullpen. I warmed up before the game, everything was there, and then I go out there and get out of it."
NOTES: Twins rookie Danny Santana led off for the second time in a week. Gardenhire said he was giving Santana, who was hitting .375, a try atop the order to drum up offence. ... The Brewers plan to activate 3B Aramis Ramirez (hamstring) off the disabled list for Wednesday's game at Minnesota, where he will serve as the designated hitter for his first game back. ... Minnesota's Ricky Nolasco (3-5) faces Milwaukee's Marco Estrada (5-2) on Wednesday.
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