Twins finish strong in Cleveland

By Jim Ingraham Sports Xchange CLEVELAND -- Following their 5-1 win over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday, the Minnesota Twins left for Detroit. They probably would have preferred to stay in Cleveland. Tyler Duffey pitched seven scoreless innings ...

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Tyler Duffey works in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians Sunday at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. (David Richard | USA TODAY Sports)

By Jim Ingraham

Sports Xchange

CLEVELAND - Following their 5-1 win over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday, the Minnesota Twins left for Detroit.

They probably would have preferred to stay in Cleveland.

Tyler Duffey pitched seven scoreless innings and Jorge Polanco hit his first major league home run as the Twins beat the Indians 5-1 Sunday at Progressive Field.


In winning their first road series of the season, the Twins won two of three games in their weekend series with the Indians. Minnesota snapped its eight-game losing streak with a win on Saturday.

The Twins are 4-16 on the road, and two of the four wins were in Cleveland. In games against American League Central teams, the Twins are 4-2 vs. the Indians and 0-12 against everyone else.

“It’s a nice series win for us. Hopefully we can take (this momentum) with us to Detroit,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said.

Duffey gave the Twins a huge boost with his seven shutout innings. In three career starts against the Indians, Duffey is 2-0 with a 0.93 ERA, and he has held Indians hitters to a .191 batting average.

“Usually starting pitching dictates whether you win or lose and Tyler was very good today,” Molitor said. “He had to pitch around some base runners, but he put up seven zeros.”

In seven innings Duffey (1-2) threw 110 pitches and gave up six hits, all singles. He struck out six and walked one.

Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer (3-1) pitched well but got no run support. Bauer pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on five hits with two walks and a season-high eight strikeouts. Two of the three runs Bauer allowed came on two-out hits

“You hate to give up runs anytime, but especially when you’re one pitch away from getting out of the inning. But that’s going to happen. That’s baseball,” said Bauer of the two-out RBI hits.


Conversely, seven of Cleveland’s nine hits came with two outs.

“We weren’t able to get guys on early in the inning, and we weren’t able to get two-out hits,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.

The Indians’ only run came on a home run by Jason Kipnis, leading off the eighth inning, off reliever Trevor May.

The Twins took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Byung Ho Park led off with a double to left field. Bauer retired the next two batters, but Eddie Rosario singled to right field scoring Park with the first run of the game. Juan Centeno followed with a double to center field to extend the Minnesota lead to 2-0.

Following Centeno’s double, Bauer retired the next 12 batters he faced, and 14 of the next 15. However, that streak was halted with one out in the seventh inning when Polanco hammered a 2-2 pitch over the wall in center field to make it a 3-0 Twins lead.

It marked the second consecutive day a Cleveland pitcher gave up the first career homer to a Twins hitter. On Saturday, Centeno hit his first major league homer off Corey Kluber.

“It’s nice to have those kind of moments with a player in the clubhouse after he hits his first career homer,” Molitor said.

In the ninth inning the Twins scored again on a two-run triple by Rosario.


“We handled the guys in the middle of their order pretty well, but the guys at the bottom of the order hurt us,” Francona said.

The Indians had some scoring opportunities against Duffey, but they failed to get the big hit. In the first inning they had runners at first and third with two outs, but Duffey ended that threat by striking out Cleveland’s No. 3 hitter, Francisco Lindor.

In the fourth inning Cleveland had runners at first and second with two outs but failed to score.

In the sixth inning, with a runner at second, Duffey retired Juan Uribe on a groundout to end the inning.

“I was having trouble with my curveball and they kept fouling off pitches looking for it,” Duffey said. “I just tried to pitch my game. (Opposing hitters) have seen me. They know what I do. It’s a matter of executing my pitches.”

NOTES: Indians OF Lonnie Chisenhall is expected to be activated off the bereavement list on Tuesday. ... INF Jose Ramirez has been a valuable utility player for Cleveland manager Terry Francona, starting games at third base and left field. Ramirez, playing left field and hitting fifth, had two hits and is hitting .315 overall and .700 (7-for-10) with two outs and runners in scoring position. ... The Twins traded RHP J.R. Graham to the Yankees for cash considerations. Graham was 1-1 with a 4.95 ERA in 39 appearances with the Twins last year. He was 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA in eight relief appearances at Triple-A Rochester this year.


Minnesota 6, Cleveland 3

CLEVELAND - All bad things must come to an end, and a real bad one ended for the Minnesota Twins Saturday at Progressive Field.

For the first time in almost two weeks the Twins won.

Ervin Santana pitched six strong innings and Juan Centeno had two hits, including his first major league home run, to lead Minnesota to a 6-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

The Twins snapped their eight-game losing streak with only their third road win of the year. They came into the game with a 2-16 road record, the worst in the major leagues.

“It’s good to win one,” manager Paul Molitor said. “It seems like it’s been a long time.”

It has. It’s the Twins first win since they won 6-2 at Houston on May 2.

“I’m a little relieved,” Molitor said. “We’ve got to try to find a way to win some games and instill some confidence in everyone collectively. Because the discouragement has been there.”

Santana (1-2), who pitched a no-hitter at Progressive Field in 2011 as a member of the Angels, held Cleveland to one run and five hits to pick up his first win in six starts.

“He threw a lot of pitches,” Molitor said. “It seemed like every time I looked up there was a 3-2 count, but he got big outs when he had to.”

Santana said he was glad to have a hand in ending the losing streak.

“It was tough, the way we’ve been playing,” he said. “But today everything seemed to go our way.”

Former Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber (2-5) pitched into the seventh inning but took the loss.

The game was scoreless through three innings before the Indians scored a run in the fourth on a two-out RBI single by Jose Ramirez.

The Twins took the lead with a two-run fifth. Eddie Rosario led off the inning with a single to center field. Centeno then hit a 0-and-1 pitch into the seats in right field for his first major league home run, giving the Twins a 2-1 lead.

“That’s got to be a big thrill, to get Kluber for your first,” Molitor said. “That’s something you can brag about.”

Added Centeno: “I was just looking for a good pitch to hit. I got one and I hit it.”

Minnesota scored again in the sixth. With one out, Trevor Plouffe singled and went to second on a single by Byung Ho Park. Brian Dozier was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with one out.

Rosario grounded into a force out at second, but the throw to first in an attempt to complete a potential inning-ending double play was late. Plouffe scored from third to extend the Twins’ lead to 3-1.

Minnesota scored again in the seventh and knocked Kluber out of the game. Danny Santana led off with a double and he went to third on a groundout by Joe Mauer. Santana scored on a sacrifice fly by Eduardo Nunez and the Twins’ lead grew to 4-1.

Kluber pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up four runs and seven hits with seven strikeouts and three walks.

“His stuff was good, but the bottom of their order hurt us more than we’d like,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.

Twins starter Ervin Santana pitched six innings, giving up one run and five hits with five strikeouts and one walk.

“He had a good changeup, as he always does,” Francona said. “He got us to hit into some double plays. We never got a ton going. We didn’t have many chances (to score).”

Said Santana: “That’s a tough lineup. They are very aggressive and don’t chase pitches, but it’s exciting to get my first win.”

Michael Tonkin relieved Santana to start the eighth and gave up Cleveland’s other run.

Tyler Naquin led off with a walk and went to second when Jason Kipnis drew a two-out walk. Francisco Lindor singled to center, scoring Naquin, to cut the Twins’ lead to 4-2.

Minnesota added two insurance runs in the ninth. Centeno doubled off reliever Kyle Crockett and scored on a single by Danny Santana, who later scored on a single by Miguel Sano.

A solo home run by Yan Gomes off Kevin Jepsen with two out in the ninth accounted for Cleveland’s final run.

NOTES: Indians OF Michael Brantley has been placed on the disabled list because of right shoulder inflammation, retroactive to May 10. To replace him on the roster, the contract of INF Michael Martinez was purchased from Triple-A Columbus. ... Indians C Roberto Perez (right thumb injury) has been transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. ... Twins 1B Byung Ho Park hit two home runs Friday, becoming the fourth South Korean-born player to hit two home runs in a major league game. The others Shin-Soo Choo (nine times), Hee Seop Choi (four times) and Jung Ho Kang (twice).



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