Twins cap mini sweep of Indians
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jason Kubel had a two-run double in the seventh inning that lifted the Minnesota Twins to a 4-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
Carl Pavano (2-2) gave up three runs on six hits in seven innings and Justin Morneau added two hits and two RBIs for the Twins, who took both games of the rain-shortened series to win their first series of the season.
Right fielder Shin-Soo Choo kept the Indians in it by throwing two Twins out at home plate in the third inning. Michael Brantley hit what appeared to be a three-run homer in the fourth, but it was overturned on review and he was given a two-run double.
Rafael Perez (2-1) took the loss after giving up an unearned run on the double by Kubel and Matt Capps picked up his fourth save in five tries for the Twins.
Indians starter Carlos Carrasco left the game after three innings with tightness in his right elbow.
Kubel, Jim Thome and Alexi Casilla each had two hits for the Twins, who are finally starting to swing the bats after struggling mightily at the plate for most of the season. They scored 10 runs on Saturday to beat Cleveland, then pounded out 10 more hits on Sunday for the mini-sweep.
They trailed 3-2 in the seventh inning when Cabrera committed a costly error at second base, giving the Twins runners at first and second with nobody out. The lefty Kubel drove a pitch from the lefty Perez high off the wall in right-center field for a 4-3 lead.
Grady Sizemore doubled in the ninth to put the tying run on second base, but Asdrubal Cabrera flew out to the warning track in left field to end the game.
The Indians stayed in it thanks to Choo's cannon left arm in the third inning. With one out and runners on first and second, Kubel came through with a hard-hit single to right field. Casilla ran right through third base coach Steve Liddle's stop sign and Choo, who led the league in outfield assists last year, threw him out by 5 feet.
Morneau followed with a two-run double, and Carrasco was again on his heels. Michael Cuddyer then delivered a soft single to shallow right and Liddle first waved Morneau home before putting up a stop sign when Morneau was halfway down the line. Choo's throw easily beat Morneau to the plate to end the inning.
Choo nearly had a third assist in the fourth inning, but Thome just beat his throw into second base for a double.
The Indians came back with three runs in the top of the fourth. But Brantley was called back out of the dugout when umpires ruled that his hit bounced off the limestone facade in right field and caromed back into the ballpark.
Pavano got Jack Hannahan to pop out to center field and struck out Sizemore to strand Brantley at second base and escape trailing by just one run, 3-2.
NOTES: The Indians now head home, where they have won seven in a row for the first time since 2007. They're off on Monday and open a series against Kansas City on Tuesday. ... Twins LF Delmon Young missed his fifth straight game with a rib injury. Manager Ron Gardenhire says he is hoping Young will be ready for the series opener against Tampa Bay on Tuesday after a day off on Monday.