Escobar's homer in 10th gives Twins 1-0 win over Indians
CLEVELAND — Eduardo Escobar’s home run off right-hander John Axford leading off the top of the 10th inning lifted the Minnesota Twins to a 1-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Monday night.
It’s the second consecutive game Axford (0-3), Cleveland’s closer, has given up a home run in the last inning of the game. Sunday he gave up a three-run home run to Chicago’s Dayan Viciedo in the White Sox’ 4-3 win over the Indians.
Escobar, the Twins’ shortstop, who entered the game as a pinch hitter, hit Axford’s second pitch of the inning into the seats in right field.
Left-hander Caleb Thielbar (2-0) pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth for Minnesota to get the win. Left-hander Glen Perkins pitched the 10th for his eighth save.
Right-hander Zach McAllister started for Cleveland and pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings on five hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. McAllister ran out of gas in the seventh inning.
With two outs and nobody on base, McAllister gave up a double to designated hitter Josmil Pinto, and he walked right fielder Chris Herrmann. With McAllister’s pitch count at 114, manager Terry Francona called for right-hander Bryan Shaw.
Shaw retired pinch hitter Escobar, batting for shortstop Pedro Florimon, on a groundout to second baseman Mike Aviles to end the inning.
Twins second baseman Brian Dozier led off the top of the eighth by hitting a sharp grounder to third that was booted by third baseman Carlos Santana for an error. Sam Fuld’s sacrifice bunt moved Dozier to second, but Shaw struck out third baseman Trevor Plouffe and retired first baseman Chris Colabello on a grounder back to the mound.
Right-hander Kyle Gibson dominated Cleveland’s hitters even more than McAllister dominated Minnesota’s hitters. Gibson pitched seven scoreless innings on two hits, with one strikeout and three walks.
The early innings were a pitcher’s duel.
Minnesota’s best chance to score came when Colabello led off the second inning with a single. But McAllister retired the next three batters in a row, two of them on strikeouts.
Cleveland’s best chance to score in the first five innings came in the fourth inning when Santana drew a walk and stole second with one out. But Gibson retired both Lonnie Chisenhall and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera on fly balls to left field to end the inning.
NOTES: Prior to the game the Indians activated catcher Yan Gomes off the paternity list and placed designated hitter Jason Giambi on the disabled list with a strained right calf. … Right-hander Josh Tomlin will be recalled from Triple-A Columbus and will start Tuesday night vs. the Twins. Tomlin is replacing right-hander Carlos Carrasco in the rotation. Carrasco has been moved to the bullpen. … Twins first baseman Joe Mauer did not play Monday due to back spasms.