Twins 4, Indians 3

The ball just didn’t bounce Michael Brantley’s way Sunday.

Brantley’s three-run homer in the fourth inning was taken off
the board upon replay review, a ruling that wound up playing a
pivotal role in Cleveland’s 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Brantley’s shot to right field hit the limestone facing and was
initially ruled a home run. He rounded the bases for a 4-2 lead,
but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire convinced the umpires to review
the call. They did, and summoned Brantley out of the dugout and
credited him with a two-run double.

Twins starter Carl Pavano stranded him on second base, and the
Indians faltered in the seventh when Jason Kubel hit a two-run
double off of Rafael Perez (2-1) to lift the Twins to the win.

If umpires had ruled that the ball caromed off the top of the
wall, it would have remained a home run. But replays showed it hit
the corner, and all Brantley and the Indians could do was shrug at
their misfortune, a game of inches lost by the narrowest of
margins.

”They made the right call,” Brantley said. ”I watched the
replay two innings later and it definitely wasn’t a home run. It
hit the corner of the wall and came back. It was unlucky for us,
but that’s the way the game goes.”

Right fielder Shin-Soo Choo threw out two runners at home in the
third inning to keep the Indians in it, but starter Carlos Carrasco
left with tightness in his right elbow after just three innings. He
will be re-evaluated in Cleveland.

”He felt from the beginning he couldn’t get loose pretty good
and just went out there and said he couldn’t get it loose at all,”
Indians manager Manny Acta said. ”We kind of sensed some of that
because his velocity wasn’t where he was in the past. He just
couldn’t get it loose.”

Travis Hafner and Orlando Cabrera had two hits a piece, but
Cabrera’s error at second base in the seventh inning set up Kubel’s
go-ahead hit.

The Indians led 3-2 in the seventh when Alexi Casilla singled
and Denard Span reached on Cabrera’s error. Jason Repko bunted them
up a base and Kubel hit a changeup high off the wall in
right-center field for the lead.

”Obviously, they took advantage of the extra out and their big
hitters came through,” Acta said.

Grady Sizemore doubled in the ninth to put the tying run on
second base, but Matt Capps got Asdrubal Cabrera to fly out to the
warning track in left field to end the game.

Kubel and Justin Morneau had two hits for the Twins, who took
both games of the rain-shortened series. They have won three in a
row and five of seven after a miserable 4-10 start.

”We needed some wins, absolutely,” manager Ron Gardenhire
said. ”You still try to stay on an even keel as much as you
possibly can, figure out what’s right and wrong and try to work
your way through it.”

The Indians stayed in it thanks to Choo’s cannon left arm in the
third inning. With one out and runners on first and second, Kubel
came through with a hard-hit single to right field. Casilla ran
right through third-base coach Steve Liddle’s stop sign and Choo,
who led the league in outfield assists last year, threw him out by
5 feet.

Morneau followed with a two-run double, and Carrasco was again
on his heels. Michael Cuddyer then delivered a soft single to
shallow right and Liddle first waved Morneau home before putting up
a stop sign when Morneau was halfway down the line. Choo’s throw
easily beat Morneau to the plate to end the inning.

”If he wins a Gold Glove, we’ll probably have Steve hand it
out,” Gardenhire quipped.

Choo nearly had a third assist in the fourth inning, but Thome
just beat his throw into second base for a double.

”The good thing is he never gets caught by surprise,” Acta
said of Choo. ”He throws the ball on a line, makes a good throw.
Whether people run on him or not he makes the throw, which is to
his credit because they’re on line and good throws.”

Notes: The Indians now head home, where they have won seven in a
row for the first time since 2007. They’re off Monday and open a
series against Kansas City on Tuesday. … Choo’s two assists give
him four for the season. … Indians RHP Vinnie Pestano threw 1 1-3
scoreless innings. He has allowed one run in eight innings this
season (1.12 ERA).