Santana, Twins topple Indians
By Dan Myers Sports Xchange MINNEAPOLIS -- Ervin Santana threw seven-plus innings of one-run ball as the Minnesota Twins won 3-1 over the Cleveland Indians at Target Field on Tuesday. Santana scattered five hits and a walk while striking out seve...
By Dan Myers
MINNEAPOLIS - Ervin Santana threw seven-plus innings of one-run ball as the Minnesota Twins won 3-1 over the Cleveland Indians at Target Field on Tuesday.
Santana scattered five hits and a walk while striking out seven for his sixth win this season and fourth in his last five starts. The veteran right hander has lasted at least seven innings in all five starts over that span, accumulating an ERA of 1.86 in 29 innings with 39 strikeouts and eight walks.
The top of the Twins order did the bulk of the damage, accounting for five of their eight hits, two of their three runs and all three RBIs. Center fielder Aaron Hicks and second baseman Brian Dozier had two hits and an RBI double apiece.
Minnesota closer Glen Perkins, still coming back from back soreness that cost him nearly three weeks earlier this month, entered in a big spot with two on and nobody out in the eighth inning. After a sacrifice bunt got runners to second and third with one out, Perkins got Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor to fly out to shallow right and left fielder Michael Martinez to ground out to second, preserving the lead.
Fill-in closer Kevin Jepsen worked the ninth for his eighth save with the Twins and 13th overall.
The victory moved Minnesota 2 1/2 games ahead of the Indians in the American League wild-card standings. The Twins began the night three games behind the Houston Astros for the second wild-card spot.
The Twins took advantage of a two-out walk to the No. 9 batter in the third inning, getting a triple from Hicks before back-to-back doubles by Dozier and first baseman Joe Mauer to take a 3-0 lead against Cleveland starter Danny Salazar.
For Mauer, the double extended his streak of reaching base safely to 41 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in Twins history, one behind Bob Allison, who had a 42-game streak in 1961.
Cleveland got a run back in the fifth inning, getting a leadoff double by catcher Yan Gomes. He advanced to third on a fielder’s choice and scored on an infield single by third baseman Jose Ramirez.
Notes: The Indians entered play Tuesday looking to get above .500 for the first time since April 9. Since that time, Cleveland has reached .500 five times but never gotten over it. Tuesday was the sixth time, as they lost to the Twins. ... The Twins recalled OF Max Kepler from Double-A Chattanooga. Kepler hit .322 with 32 doubles, 13 triples and nine homers for the Lookouts and was the Southern League’s MVP this season. ... The Indians and Twins will play the second game of their three-game series at Target Field today. Cleveland RHP Corey Kluber (8-14, 3.44 ERA) will oppose Minnesota RHP Phil Hughes (10-9, 4.58 ERA).