Twins squander chances in 3-1 loss to Indians
It’s easy to see why Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire wasn’t
happy following Sunday’s loss to Cleveland.
The Indians tried to give the game away by committing four
errors and making numerous other mistakes, but the Twins couldn’t
take advantage, ending their road trip on a sour note with a 3-1
”I don’t know who was supposed to win the game,” Gardenhire
said. ”I know they won it with a couple of hits, but I don’t know
who was supposed to win. Sounds like we were. You make four errors,
you’re not supposed to win.”
The box score will say the Twins lost the game when Jared Burton
(2-7) gave up a two-out homer in the eighth inning to Drew Stubbs
that broke a 1-all tie, but missed opportunities told the real
story. The Twins struck out 12 times, stranded 13 runners and went
3 for 19 with runners in scoring position.
Sunday ended a stretch in which Minnesota played 27 games in 27
days, but Gardenhire wasn’t ready to use it as an excuse for the
team’s inconsistent performance.
”I don’t know if that’s because we’re in such a grind right now
when you’re playing this many games in a row,” he said. ”Guys are
a little worn out, but every team is in the same boat.”
The Twins wasted leadoff doubles in the fourth and sixth
innings, while leaving the bases loaded after scoring their only
run in the fifth.
Cleveland’s shoddy defense gave the Twins plenty of chances.
Pitchers Scott Kazmir and Cody Allen and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera
had throwing errors while second baseman Jason Kipnis dropped a
soft line drive.
However, the game was still tied when Stubbs unloaded off
Burton. The Indians added a run on Nick Swisher’s RBI single before
turning it over to closer Chris Perez in the ninth, who secured his
21st save of the season. Joe Smith (5-1) pitched the eighth.
The Twins came to town with some momentum after taking two of
three from Detroit, which leads the American League Central.
Minnesota won the opener of this series, but dropped Saturday’s
Pelfrey, making his 24th start of the season, is accustomed to a
lack of run support. The Twins have scored three runs or less 17
times when the right-hander has been on the mound. Pelfrey has gone
1-9 with a 5.46 ERA in those games. In his other seven starts, he’s
4-1 with a 4.20 ERA.
Pelfrey was unable to notch his third consecutive quality start,
but he did go five innings, giving up one run on two hits and
striking out three while walking six.
”Way too many walks. It’s pretty embarrassing, to go out there
and walk six guys,” he said. ”I thought it was a wasted day.
Obviously I had good movement and I had good stuff. The velocity
was there. I just couldn’t throw it over the plate.”
Despite the walks, Pelfrey was mostly able to stay out of
trouble. The Indians’ only run against him came on a bloop single
to left by Kipnis in the third inning. The run was set up by walks
to Stubbs and Swisher.
”That really chapped me,” Pelfrey said.
Just as the Indians struggled against Pelfrey, so too did the
Twins hitters against Cleveland’s Scott Kazmir. He gave up seven
hits but struck out eight, and the Twins’ only run against him came
on a safety squeeze in the fifth inning, which was aided by
Clete Thomas led off with a single, took second on a sacrifice
and moved to third on Brian Dozier’s single. Thomas scored when
Doug Bernier pushed a bunt to the right side of the mound. Swisher
fielded the ball, but no one covered first and Bernier reached with
Josh Willingham struck out, but Ryan Doumit walked to load the
bases. The inning finally ended when Trevor Plouffe lined out to
third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall.
Monday is an off-day for the Twins, and they will play a brief
three-game homestand against Kansas City before leaving for a
six-game road trip against the Texas Rangers and Houston
”I think those days are going to go pretty quick at home,”
NOTES: Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said that
All-Star C Joe Mauer (concussion) is resting at home and is
expected to return to Target Field on Tuesday when the team begins
a brief three-game homestand against Kansas City. Mauer is on the
seven-day concussion list, but it’s likely he won’t be activated
until the end of the week at the earliest. … Morneau wasn’t in
the lineup against Kazmir. He pinch-hit in the eighth and reached
on Kipnis’ error… RHP Josh Tomlin, who is attempting to come back
from Tommy John surgery, was activated from the 60-day disabled
list and optioned to Triple-A Columbus. He is expected to rejoin
the Indians when rosters are expanded in September.