Twins' errors cost in 6-5 loss to Indians
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- During a season in which the Minnesota Twins have found countless ways to lose, this might have been a new one.
One poor throw in the seventh inning Sunday set the wheels in motion and Cleveland capitalized, sending 11 hitters to the plate to score five unearned runs in a 6-5 win over Minnesota.
"It's crazy, it really is," Twins starter Carl Pavano said. "A couple of bounces here, a couple of plays there and they're running away with it. It's disappointing. How that game got away is beyond me."
It was a fitting inning for a game that featured a combined six errors, two hit batters and four runs walked in.
As a result, the Twins lost their eighth consecutive game, suffered their 13th series sweep of the season and are now 5-27 since Aug. 17.
For six innings, the Indians had little answer for Pavano. They couldn't score, they couldn't get multiple hits in an inning and they couldn't generate any momentum.
After Cleveland's Shelley Duncan homered to lead off the seventh, Lonnie Chisenhall reached on what would be a costly error on Minnesota first baseman Chris Parmelee. After fielding the grounder, Parmelee threw wide to Pavano at first and Chisenhall was safe.
The Twins quickly got the next two outs, but Cleveland took advantage of the extra out and loaded the bases. Minnesota relievers Jose Mijares and Alex Burnett each walked in a run, allowing Cleveland to tie the game 3-all.
Cleveland's Jim Thome -- who spent all of 2010 and much of 2011 with the Twins -- gave Cleveland a 4-3 lead with a broken-bat single that didn't leave the infield.
Batting for the second time in the inning, Duncan hit a line drive that hit the left-field wall to drive in two runs and give Cleveland a 6-3 lead.
"The whole season they've been very relentless and have never given up," Cleveland manager Manny Acta said of his team. "They know we're one good inning from doing stuff like that. Pavano was pitching so well and we just hung in there and when he came out of the game, we took advantage and had some good at-bats and Shelley had the big hit."
Pavano (8-13) took the loss despite being sharp for six-plus innings. He gave up four runs, though only one was earned.
"Carl pitched his tail off and unfortunately for us, we couldn't throw the ball over the plate and had a big inning," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
The Twins, who started a lineup that featured only one opening-day starter, scored twice in the bottom of the eighth to get within 6-5. After hitting Matt Tolbert with a pitch to load the bases, Cleveland reliever Vinnie Pestano walked in two runs.
In the second, Luke Hughes scored on Joe Benson's groundout. In the bottom of the fourth, he scored again, this time when Lou Marson threw into center field in an attempt to throw out Benson on an attempted steal. Hughes scored his third run of the game in the sixth to give Minnesota a 3-0 lead on Brian Dinkelman's single.
Minnesota's Jason Repko left the game after being hit in the head by a pitch from Cleveland starter Justin Masterson in the bottom of the sixth. Repko walked off of field with assistance and was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for evaluation, but was back in the Twins clubhouse later.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota's Justin Morneau is out for the season because of concussion symptoms and a cyst in his left knee that needs to be removed.
The first baseman will have surgery on the knee this week, the Twins announced Sunday. He also will have a bone spur removed from his left ankle.
The decision to shut down Morneau with 12 games remaining in the regular season means the 30-year-old slugger and former American League MVP will have played in only 69 games. Morneau, who missed two months of the season because of neck surgery, hit .227 with four homers and 30 RBIs. All are career lows.
"Our plan is to take care of the orthopedic problems that he has and hopefully get him healthy as soon as possible," said Minnesota athletic trainer Rick McWane.
Morneau wanted to keep playing.
"I didn't shut it down, they shut me down," he said after the Twins' 6-5 loss to Cleveland. "It's not by choice, so it's something that's not a whole lot of fun."
Even so, Morneau acknowledged that he continues to feel the effects of diving for a ball last month at Detroit.
This is the second consecutive season in which Morneau missed much of the season. He was limited to 81 games in 2010 after sustaining a concussion shortly before the All-Star Break.
On Friday, Minnesota announced Joe Mauer will miss two weeks -- likely the rest of the season -- after being diagnosed with pneumonia.
If Mauer doesn't play again this season, the Minnesota duo will combine to play only 151 games this season. With those two -- who are making a combined $37 million this year -- missing much of the season, the Twins have gone from AL Central champions to owning the worst record in the American League.