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Weather doesn’t heat up Twins’ bats; Indians cruise

By Dan Myers Sports Xchange MINNEAPOLIS -- For the second time in the last five days, Cleveland Indians right-hander Corey Kluber was lights out against the Minnesota Twins. Kluber allowed one hit and two runners to reach in a dominant complete-g...

By Dan Myers

Sports Xchange

MINNEAPOLIS - For the second time in the last five days, Cleveland Indians right-hander Corey Kluber was lights out against the Minnesota Twins.

Kluber allowed one hit and two runners to reach in a dominant complete-game performance, leading the Indians to a 6-1 win on Friday night at Target Field.

The win moved Cleveland within 2 1/2 games of Minnesota in the American League Central standings.

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Kluber has now allowed just four earned runs in three starts against the Twins this season spanning 26 innings (1.38 ERA).

Like he did Sunday, Kluber baffled Minnesota for nine innings, only this time the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner allowed just one hit - a home run by Twins first baseman Joe Mauer in the fourth inning.

Mauer was the last Twins batter to reach base as Kluber retired the final 16 he faced for his fourth complete game of the year.

Kluber got plenty of offensive support from the bottom of the Indians’ batting order. Cleveland’s 6-9 hitters combined to go 10-for-16, scoring all six runs.

Third baseman Giovanny Urhsela had two hits and knocked in two runs. Right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall and left fielder Mike Aviles, the Nos. 8 and 9 batters, each had three hits. Shortstop Francisco Lindor also had three hits.

Chisenhall, Aviles and Lindor each had RBIs in the crucial sixth inning, which helped Cleveland turn a two-run lead into a 6-1 game.

Cleveland took advantage of a misplay in the second inning by the Twins’ Aaron Hicks, turning what should have been a flyout to center field into a triple by Indians center fielder Abraham Almonte. Two pitches later, Urshela ripped a Trevor May offering into the Indians’ bullpen for his fifth homer of the season.

May, getting the start in place of injured right-hander Phil Hughes, was on a 50-pitch limit after working out of the bullpen for the last six weeks. He was yanked after finishing the third inning at 49 pitches, allowing two earned runs and five hits and striking out two.

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Against Minnesota right-hander J.R. Graham in the fourth, the Indians produced three straight two-out singles, the final one by Aviles, to make it 3-0.

Minnesota got on the board in the bottom of the fourth with Mauer’s homer, pulling the Twins within two runs. He was the first baserunner against Kluber.

Notes: The Indians will recall RHP Josh Tomlin in time to make his season debut on Saturday. Tomlin, who has missed most of the season after right shoulder surgery, is 1-3 with a 4.55 ERA in seven starts in the minor leagues. ... Indians OF Michael Brantley is day to day with a sore left shoulder. ... Twins RHP Blaine Boyer was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 9 with right elbow inflammation. Boyer has pitched in 51 games this season out of the bullpen, accumulating a 2.98 ERA and a 2-4 record. Twins RHP Michael Tonkin was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to take Boyer’s spot on the roster. Tonkin has a 5.73 ERA in 16 games covering three stints with the Twins this season. ... The Indians and Twins will play the second game of a three-game series on Saturday at Target Field. Tomlin (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will oppose Minnesota’s Tyler Duffey (0-1, 27.00).

 

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