Twins' Albers tosses 2-hit shutout
MINNEAPOLIS — In his second career start, rookie Andrew Albers pitched a shutout as the Minnesota Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 3-0 at Target Field on Monday night.
Albers, spotted to an early three-run lead, kept the Indians off balance with mid-80s fastball and offspeed pitches in the 70s. He was nearly perfect, throwing 102 pitches in nine innings, giving up no runs, two hits and no walks and two strike outs.
The Twins could only muster four hits, but two of them were home runs, which accounted for all the runs in Monday’s game. Including the weekend, the Twins have scored their last 22 runs on homers.
Defensively, middle infielders Brian Dozier and Pedro Florimon and each outfielder made plays to take away potential hits from the Indians.
Indians starter Danny Salazar gave up two early home runs and lasted only four innings. He never seemed comfortable and after walking the bases loaded in the fourth and getting out of that jam, his night was over.
Marc Rzepczynski relieved Salazar in the fifth and along with fellow relievers Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen, Cleveland shut down the Twins rest of the way.
Collectively, they did not give up a run and allowed one hit and issued two walks.
But the Indians could not figure out Albers, who picked up his second win in as many games and his first career shutout.
Brian Dozier led off the game by hitting the second pitch from Salazar into the left field seats. It was Dozier’s 12th homer of the year and his second leadoff homer of the season.
Oswaldo Arcia, who had three homers in three games in Chicago last weekend, beat out an infield hit up the middle in the second. He scored on Trevor Plouffe’s 11th homer of the season.
Albers, on the heels of his first career start, in which he threw 8 1/3 scoreless Aug. 6 at Kansas City, retired the first 11 Cleveland batters he faced Monday.
Notes: The Twins hit 11 home runs in the four-game series with the White Sox, the most of any major league team in a single series this season. ... Entering Monday, the Cleveland pitching staff had posted a 3.05 ERA and given up only 10 home runs over the club’s 30 games since July 8. ... The Indians began the night averaging 4.85 runs per game on the road, the second-best figure in the AL and third best in baseball. ... The Twins activated OF Wilkin Ramirez from the disabled list to replace INF Jamey Carroll, who was traded to the Royals on Sunday. Ramirez had been out since late May due to a concussion.