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
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
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.