CLEVELAND (AP) — Emergency starter Pedro Hernandez allowed two runs in five innings, and the Minnesota Twins avoided a three-game sweep with a 5-3 win over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
Hernandez was recalled from Triple-A Rochester when scheduled starter Mike Pelfrey was scratched because of a strained back and placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Oswaldo Arcia and Josh Willingham each drove in a pair of runs while Trevor Plouffe’s RBI single in the fifth put Minnesota ahead for good.
Hernandez, who was informed Saturday night that he might be needed, drove from Louisville, Ky., where Rochester was playing, and arrived in Cleveland at 4 a.m. Sunday. The left-hander (3-1) pitched around six walks and got the win despite throwing 45 of his 85 pitches for balls.
Three Minnesota relievers allowed one run over the final four innings. Glen Perkins pitched the ninth for his 19th save.
Michael Bourn opened the ninth with an infield hit but Mike Aviles bounced into a double play. Jason Kipnis doubled for his third hit of the game before Nick Swisher grounded out.
Carlos Carrasco (0-3) allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings. The right-hander, who missed all of last season because of elbow surgery, hasn’t won since June 29, 2011, when he defeated Arizona.
Cleveland scored in the second on Yan Gomes’ sacrifice fly. Kipnis added an RBI double in the third while Drew Stubbs hit a solo homer in the seventh.
Pelfrey’s back stiffened while running during batting practice Saturday and the decision was made to recall Hernandez, who is making his second stint with the Twins this season. He made eight previous appearances, going 2-1 with a 5.85 ERA. Hernandez started against the Indians on May 3 and allowed five runs over 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision.
Minnesota’s starting pitchers have walked 11 batters in the last two games. P.J. Walters walked five in two-thirds of an inning Saturday.
Minnesota scored in the first on Willingham’s RBI single. Trailing 2-1, the Twins took the lead in the fifth thanks to their clutch hitting.
Clete Thomas’ single and a walk to Joe Mauer started the inning. Carrasco retired the next two hitters but Arcia singled up the middle on a 3-2 pitch to tie the game. Plouffe bounced a single through the left side that put the Twins ahead and ended Carrasco’s day.
Willingham, who has been playing through a sore left knee, added an RBI single in the seventh. Arcia doubled in a run in the ninth.
Carrasco held Kansas City to one run over 7 1/3 innings in a no-decision on Monday. The right-hander is 0-8 in 10 starts since his last win. Carrasco served a seven-game suspension for throwing at the New York Yankees’ Kevin Youkilis earlier this season.
Carrasco appeared to sustain an injury while throwing a pitch to Plouffe in the third. Manager Terry Francona and head trainer Lonnie Soloff visited Carrasco on the mound. The right-hander remained in the game and retired Plouffe on a fly ball to end the inning.
Matt Albers warmed up in the bullpen in the bottom of the inning but Carrasco returned for the fourth.
Mauer doubled with one out in the first and took third on a wild pitch on ball four to Ryan Doumit. Willingham’s hit scored Mauer.
Swisher returned to the lineup after missing six games with a sore left shoulder. He was hitless in five at-bats and is in a 6-for-60 slump.
Notes: Twins 1B Justin Morneau was given the day off. . . . OF Wilkin Ramirez (concussion) experienced dizziness while diving for a fly ball Saturday while on a rehab assignment at Class A Fort Myers. The team said he will be reevaluated. . . . Kipnis has reached base safely in 25 straight games. . . . The Twins are off Monday and open a two-game series Tuesday in Miami. . . . RHPs Brett Myers (shoulder) and Blake Wood (elbow) will each pitch an inning on a rehab assignment for Class A Mahoning Valley on Monday. . . . The Indians, who are 14-21 away from home, open a 10-game road trip Monday in Baltimore. RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (5-4) faces RHP Zach Britton (1-1).