Indians 7, Twins 1

On his 39th birthday, Derek Lowe gift-wrapped a win for the


Lowe shook off taking a hard grounder off his right calf in the

second inning and celebrated turning another year older by shutting

down Minnesota’s lineup with ease for the second time this season

and Jason Kipnis hit his first career grand slam, leading Cleveland

to a 7-1 win over the Twins on Friday night.

Lowe (7-3) carried a two-hit shutout into the seventh inning

before the Twins scratched out a run on three hits. The

right-hander, who pitched a shutout at Minnesota on May 15, gave

the Indians a much-needed quality start after a rough week for

their starting rotation.

”I can’t say enough about Derek,” Indians manager Manny Acta

said. ”We really needed someone to step up and he was the right

guy to do it. He’s been our most consistent guy so far. He was huge

for us.”

Kipnis connected for his slam in the fourth off Carl Pavano

(2-5) as the Indians, who have been rocked by injuries lately, won

for just the second time in seven games,

Lonnie Chisenhall hit a two-run homer in the second for

Cleveland, which has won 11 of 12 over Minnesota.

The Twins had their winning streak stopped at three and fell to

an AL-worst 18-33.

Lowe opened the season as the Indians’ No. 3 starter, but with

Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez struggling, he has become the

staff’s ace.

He certainly didn’t look like one in his previous outing, when

he was banged around for eight runs and 10 hits in 2 1-3 innings by

the Chicago White Sox. However, against the Twins, Lowe has been

overpowering. In two outings against Minnesota, he has allowed just

one run in 15 2-3 innings.

It’s been a nice bounce-back season for Lowe, who went just 9-17

for Atlanta last season. When the Indians traded for him in

October, they never could have imagined he would be their best


”It’s more rewarding the older you get,” said Lowe, never

afraid to poke fun at himself. ”I think when you’re young people

kind of expect it. And I’m not old, by the way. I’m olding.”

Catcher Ryan Doumit had three of Minnesota’s six hits off Lowe,

who has been especially tough at Progressive Field, going 4-1 with

a 1.37 ERA in six starts.

Lowe was back by solid defense as the Indians turned two double

plays and left fielder Johnny Damon made a diving catch to rob

Denard Span in the sixth.

The Indians have been hit hard by injuries and the club recently

dropped into second place after leading the AL Central most of this


Sensing the team needed a spark, former Indians second baseman

Carlos Baerga burst into the clubhouse before the game hollering,

”Let’s go. We need a win.” Baerga greeted Lowe with a big hug and

interrupted a card game as he worked the room slapping and shaking

hands with players.

The pep talk appeared to work as the Indians responded with one

of their better all-around performances in weeks.

As another Indians’ famous face from the 1990s – slugger Albert

Belle – was being interviewed on the team’s TV broadcast, Kipnis

delivered his blast to make it 7-0.

Chisenhall hit a one-out single, No. 9 hitter Lou Marson walked

and Shin-Soo Choo singled to load the bases off Pavano, who was

then visited on the mound by pitching coach Rick Anderson. Pavano

didn’t get the message because he mistakenly grooved his next pitch

to Kipnis, who launched it over the wall for his team-leading ninth


Kipnis leads the Indians in homers, RBIs, steals, hits and


”I kind of pride myself on being able to cover all aspects of

the game,” Kipnis said. ”Not just stats. Whether it’s a home run

or laying a bunt down or getting a guy over. I’ve been fortunate to

have it going good this season, but I’m sure some other guys will

be picking it up soon and hopefully they’ll catch me.”

Earlier, Kipnis survived two rough plays at second base, both

involving Doumit. In the first, Kipnis was struck on the helmet

with Doumit’s throw on a steal, was checked by a trainer and stayed

in the game. In the second, Cleveland’s second baseman was taken

out while turning a double play on an aggressive slide by


”So much for the rest day,” joked Kipnis as the Indians were

off Thursday. ”It woke me up, though.”

Pavano was charged with six earned runs and nine hits in 3 2-3

innings. The right-hander dropped to 0-3 in his last five starts

with an 8.25 ERA. He has been bothered by a sore shoulder for weeks

and said it’s possible he may need to go on the disabled list.

”It’s come a time where some decisions need to be made,”

Pavano said. ”This has gone on long enough. I wish I could say

it’s a rough patch. I feel like I’m really treading water right

now. It (going on the DL) is the last thing I want to do, but there

comes a time when you’re hurting the team and hurting yourself.

”You have to make a decision that hopefully puts you in a

situation where you have more success. There’s no doubt about


NOTES: Twins C Joe Mauer went 0 for 4 and his hitless in his

last 10 at-bats. … Indians C Carlos Santana has improved from a

concussion and is expected to be back in the lineup in a few days.

Santana was placed on MLB’s new 7-day concussion list after being

struck in the mask by a foul tip last week in Chicago. Santana took

batting practice before the game and will catch a bullpen session

Saturday. … The Twins did not turn a double play, but came in

leading the majors with 73. They’re on pace to break the record

held by the 1956 New York Yankees, who had 213.