Indians 7, Twins 2
The Cleveland Indians have shown the ability to bounce back from
difficult losses all season. They did it again Saturday night.
Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis hit two-run homers, Zach
McAllister won his third straight start and the Indians defeated
the Minnesota Twins 7-2.
The win moved the Indians into third place in the crowded
American League wild card race. It also came a night after they
were flat in Friday’s 5-1 loss in which they managed only six
”We needed a nice little offensive day like this,” said
Kipnis, who had two hits after entering the game in an 0 for 19
slump. ”The pitchers have been doing their jobs. We know the
offense has been struggling a little bit so this was a good night
for us to have.”
Santana’s two-run homer in the first got the Indians started.
Kipnis homered in the third and Cleveland put the game away with a
three-run fifth, which gave McAllister a comfortable cushion.
”It’s a good way to play,” Indians manager Terry Francona
The Indians are 2 1/2 games out of the second wild card spot and
trail Detroit by six games in the AL Central, but Kipnis isn’t
placing any special significance on an individual game.
”That would be counter productive to look at it that way,” he
said. ”If you get caught up scoreboard watching, it can’t really
help you out too much.”
McAllister (7-7) allowed two runs in 7 1-3 innings. Brian Dozier
homered in the eighth and hit a sacrifice fly in the third for
Minnesota’s only success against the right-hander, who has given up
four earned runs in 19 2-3 innings in his winning streak.
Nick Swisher added a two-run double in the fifth for Cleveland,
which won for only the second time in its last nine home games.
Both home runs came off starter Liam Hendriks (0-2), who has
lost 12 of his 13 career decisions.
Kipnis reached in the first on a two-out single and scored when
Santana homered to right. Kipnis’ homer bounced off the roof of
Minnesota’s bullpen in right field, his first home run since July
21. Santana and Kipnis are tied for the team lead with 16
Kipnis, who failed to get a bunt down and then struck out with
two runners on in a crucial situation Friday, was relieved to break
out of his slump.
”I wanted to take the base and hold it up,” he said. ”It’s a
long season. Welcome to the game of baseball, where you’re feeling
great one day and the next day you don’t know how to hold your
hands up at the plate.”
Several Cleveland hitters have been struggling, including
Michael Brantley, who broke an 0 for 22 slump with an RBI single in
Hendriks, who was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to make the
start, recorded his only career win at Progressive Field last
season. The right-hander, a native of Australia, didn’t get the
same results this time, allowing seven runs in 4 1-3 innings.
The Twins, who were 14-7 against the Indians since last
September going into the game, couldn’t muster anything else
against McAllister, who missed seven weeks earlier in the season
because of a sprained middle finger on his pitching hand. He
allowed two runs with seven strikeouts in six innings of a 5-2 win
at Minnesota on Aug. 13.
”I was able to make some adjustments during the time off with
my delivery,” McAllister said. ”I feel a little bit more
Hendriks was recalled to take the rotation spot of the
ineffective Kyle Gibson, who was sent to Rochester earlier in the
week. Hendriks’ only career win came against the Indians on Sept.
19 of last season when he allowed two runs in six innings in a 6-4
victory. That win snapped a string of 17 starts without a victory,
the third-longest streak to begin a career in history.
Asked about his 1-12 career record Hendriks said, ”It’s
irritating, but I don’t let it affect me. I got ahead of guys
tonight, but I couldn’t throw a strike in the right location. My
secondary pitchers just weren’t working.”
The Twins announced before the game that catcher Joe Mauer, who
was placed on the concussion list Tuesday, has been told by doctors
to rest until early next week.
NOTES: Twins OF Oswaldo Arcia (left wrist) returned to action
missing four games with a bone bruise and was 0 for 4. … Francona
said an MRI on OF Ryan Raburn’s sore right calf came back clean.
Raburn is also bothered by a sore left heel, which according to
Francona, came as a result from favoring the right leg. The Indians
hope Raburn will be available by Tuesday. … RHP Corey Kluber
(sprained right middle finger) is scheduled to throw a bullpen
session Monday. … The Twins optioned RHP Michael Tonkin to
Triple-A Rochester to make room for Hendriks on their 25-man
roster. Tonkin made two relief appearances for Minnesota, pitching
2 1-3 innings without allowing an earned run. … Indians LHP Scott
Kazmir (7-6) takes on Twins RHP Mike Pelfrey (5-10) in the
three-game series finale Sunday. Kazmir was originally slated to
pitch Saturday, but was given an additional day between starts.