CLEVELAND (AP) — Mike Pelfrey pitched six effective innings, Trevor Plouffe hit a two-run homer and the Minnesota Twins beat Cleveland 4-2 on Sunday to stop the Indians’ six-game winning streak.
Justin Morneau drove in a run with a bases-loaded single in the sixth while Joe Mauer, who was in a 5-for-43 slump, added an RBI double in the seventh for his 1,300th career hit.
Pelfrey (3-3), who allowed nine earned runs in losing his two previous starts, slowed down an Indians lineup that produced 53 runs during the winning streak. The right-hander gave up one run and four hits while striking out seven in his longest outing of the season.
Plouffe homered to left off Corey Kluber (2-1) with one out in the second, his fourth of the season and second in the series. Chris Parmelee was aboard on a walk.
Glen Perkins pitched the ninth for his seventh save in seven chances. Carlos Santana hit a solo homer with two outs before Ryan Raburn blooped a single to right. Perkins struck out pinch-hitter Mike Aviles on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.
Minnesota, which is on a 10-game road trip, lost two of three in Detroit and dropped the first two games against the Indians. The Twins open a four-game series Monday in Boston, which has the best record in baseball.
Pelfrey began last season in the New York Mets’ rotation, but appeared in only three games before having reconstructive elbow surgery. He signed with Minnesota in December. Pelfrey, who matched his season strikeout total, came into the game having allowed 19 earned runs — and opponents were batting .356 against him.
The Indians’ winning streak began last Sunday when Kluber held Kansas City to two runs in seven innings. The right-hander gave up three runs in 5 2-3 innings against Minnesota.
Jamey Carroll started the sixth with a single before Mauer and Josh Willingham walked. Morneau sent a sharp grounder through the right side that scored Carroll. Although Mauer was held at third, Willingham rounded second too far and was tagged out in a rundown. The mistake proved costly because Minnesota loaded the bases again with two outs before Cody Allen struck out Oswaldo Arcia.
Carroll, who reached base three times, drew a two-out walk in the seventh and scored when Mauer’s double sailed past left fielder Michael Brantley, who came up short on a diving attempt.
Morneau was in the original lineup at first base, but was moved to designated hitter after telling manager Ron Gardenhire he “felt a little stiff.” Parmelee moved from right field to first and Arcia played right.
Josh Roenicke and Jared Burton each pitched a scoreless inning for the Twins, who have the lowest bullpen ERA in the American League.
Mark Reynolds’ sacrifice fly in the fourth scored Cleveland’s first run.
Notes: Indians CF Michael Bourn (lacerated right index finger) will begin a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Columbus on Monday. He’s been out since April 14. . . . Cleveland RHP Vinnie Pestano was unavailable because of a sore right elbow. LHP Scott Barnes was recalled from Columbus to give the Indians an extra reliever. OF Ezequiel Carrera was designated for assignment. . . . Carroll was atop the batting order for the second time this season as 2B Brian Dozier was given the afternoon off. . . . RHP Vance Worley (0-4) faces Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz (6-0) on Monday. . . . Cleveland continues its homestand Monday with the start of a four-game set against Oakland. RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (1-2) pitches against A’s RHP Jarrod Parker (1-4).