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Twins belt 4 homers but bullpen blows another late lead as losing streak hits 8

By Jim Ingraham Sports Xchange CLEVELAND -- Marlon Byrd's two-run double keyed a three-run, eighth-inning rally as the Cleveland Indians beat the Minnesota Twins 7-6 on Friday night at Progressive Field. After Minnesota took a 5-4 lead on a home ...

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Minnesota Twins designated hitter Byung Ho Park follows through on a two-run home run in the third inning against the Cleveland Indians Friday at Progressive Field in Cleveland. (David Richard | USA TODAY Sports)

By Jim Ingraham

Sports Xchange

CLEVELAND - Marlon Byrd’s two-run double keyed a three-run, eighth-inning rally as the Cleveland Indians beat the Minnesota Twins 7-6 on Friday night at Progressive Field.

After Minnesota took a 5-4 lead on a home run by Eduardo Nunez in the top of the eighth, Francisco Lindor led off the bottom of the eighth with a single and steal of second base against Trevor May (0-2).

May struck out Mike Napoli, but Jose Ramirez drew a walk. Byrd then slammed a double over the head of center fielder Danny Santana, scoring Lindor and Ramirez and giving Cleveland a 6-5 lead.

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Yan Gomes struck out for the second out, but Juan Uribe singled, scoring Tyler Naquin, who was pinch running for Byrd, with an insurance run that the Indians needed after Minnesota added a run in the ninth on an RBI single by Nunez.

Nunez stole second, putting the tying run in scoring position with one out. But Cleveland closer Cody Allen struck out Miguel Sano for the second out.

Trevor Plouffe drew a walk before a wild pitch to Nunez by Allen moved him to third. Byung Ho Park, who belted two home runs earlier in the game, struck out to end the game as Allen picked up his ninth save of the season.

Zach McAllister (2-1) struck out the last two batters of the eighth to get the win.

With the score tied 4-4, Nunez, the first batter faced by reliever Bryan Shaw in the top of the eighth, hit a 1-1 pitch over the left-field wall to give the Twins a 5-4 lead.

In addition to Nunez’s homer, Minnesota got two home runs and three RBIs from Park and one homer from Sano. Gomes and Jason Kipnis homered for the Indians.

The two starting pitchers had nearly identical lines, and neither was involved in the decision.

Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) and four hits with four strikeouts, two walks and three home runs allowed.

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Minnesota’s Ricky Nolasco pitched six innings, giving up four runs and four hits with three strikeouts, three walks and two home runs allowed.

Nolasco led 4-3 going into the sixth, but the Indians manufactured a run to tie the score. With one out, Lindor snapped a personal 0-for-9 hitless streak with a single to right field.

Napoli and Ramirez, the next hitters, drew walks to load the bases with one out. Byrd’s sacrifice fly to right field drove in Lindor with the tying run.

Napoli advanced to third on the play, but with runners at first and third and two outs, Nolasco retired Gomes on a flyout to end the inning.

The teams came into the game ranked 14th and 15th in the American League in home runs, then combined to hit five in the first three innings.

After Tomlin retired the first two batters of the game, Miguel Sano got the fireworks started by belting a 3-2 pitch from Tomlin over the center-field wall to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead.

The Twins made it 2-0 when Byung Ho Park led off the second with a booming home run into the left-field bleachers, a drive estimated at 450 feet.

The Indians countered with two runs in the bottom of the second. With one out, Jose Ramirez doubled to center field. Yan Gomes homered into the left-field wall to tie it at 2 with two outs.

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Park homered again in the third, a two-run shot. Both of Park’s homers came on 3-2 pitches and both landed in the left-field bleachers.

Park also homered off Tomlin on April 27. His two homers Friday gave Park home runs in three of his last four at-bats against Tomlin.

With the Twins back in front at 4-2, Cleveland’s Jason Kipnis slugged a home run over the wall in center field with two outs in the bottom of the third to cut the Minnesota lead to 4-3.

NOTES: The Indians recalled OF Tyler Naquin from Triple-A Columbus to replace OF Lonnie Chisenhall, who was placed on the bereavement list. … Indians OF Michael Brantley remains sidelined with a sore right shoulder. Brantley, who had surgery on the shoulder last November, opened the season on the disabled list, played 11 games after he was activated, and has missed the last three games. … Sano was the No. 3 hitter in the Twins’ lineup Friday. Entering the game Sano had a .293 batting average hitting in the No. 4 spot and .114 (5-for-44) when hitting anywhere else in the lineup.

Related Topics: BASEBALL
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