Indians walk off against Twins
CLEVELAND — Mike Aviles’ single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning drove in the winning run as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Minnesota Twins 4-3 Wednesday night at Progressive Field.
Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera led off the bottom of the ninth with a fly ball to left that was misplayed by Eduardo Escobar, who was making his first career start in left field. It went as a double for Cabrera and he was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall.
Catcher Yan Gomes grounded out, but second baseman Aviles lined a pitch from right-hander Casey Fien (3-1) to centerfield, driving in Cabrera with the winning run.
Right-hander John Axford pitched the top of the ninth for the Indians and got his first win of the season (1-3).
Trailing 3-1, the Twins scored twice in the seventh inning, knocking right-hander Danny Salazar out of the game. With one out designated hitter Josmil Pinto singled and went to third on a double by Escobar.
Salazar was replaced by right-hander Bryan Shaw, who was greeted by a line drive single by pitch hitter Danny Santana, scoring Pinto and cutting the Cleveland lead to 3-2. Escobar went to third on Santana’s hit and he scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Brian Dozier.
Salazar and Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco pitched to a virtual standoff. Salazar pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. Nolasco pitched six innings, giving up three runs on six hits with nine strikeouts and one walk.
Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco retired the first eight batters he faced, but with two outs and nobody on base in the third inning the Indians struck for two runs.
Second baseman Mike Aviles singled and went to third on a single by centerfielder Nyjer Morgan. First baseman Nick Swisher walked, loading the bases, and left fielder Michael Brantley lined a double down the right field line, scoring Aviles and Morgan and giving Cleveland a 2-0 lead.
The Twins got a run back in the third inning, when Salazar, with two outs and nobody on, walked shortstop Pedro Florimon. Florimon stole second and went to third on a throwing error by catcher Yan Gomes.
Second baseman Brian Dozier followed with a double to left field, scoring Florimon and cutting the Indians lead to 2-1.
Gomes led off the Cleveland fifth inning with a home run over the wall in left field to make it a 3-1 Cleveland lead.
Notes: Indians OF Michael Bourn missed his third consecutive game with a tight hamstring, but said he is hopeful of returning to the lineup Thursday. ... The Indians continue to lead the American League in errors: 33 coming into Wednesday’s game. “It’s not from a lack of effort. We’re just making errors,” manager Terry Francona said. … Twins 1B Joe Mauer is still bothered by lower back spasms and has missed the first three games of this series.