Twins 10, Indians 3
Justin Morneau understood why Indians manager Manny Acta
intentionally walked Jason Kubel to load the bases for him in the
fifth inning on Saturday.
Kubel was one of the few Minnesota Twins swinging the bat well
and Morneau was hitting .200 and playing for the first time since
missing five games with a nasty bout of the flu.
There was plenty of baseball logic behind the decision. That
doesn’t mean Morneau had to like it.
Morneau’s big two-run single in the fifth helped the Twins break
out of a season-long offensive slump in a 10-3 victory over
”You can’t look into it more than it is,” Morneau said. ”They
wanted to set up the double play and I haven’t hit as well as I
have in the past yet this year. But there’s no reason to believe
I’m not going to get a hit there.”
Brian Duensing (2-0) gave up one run on five hits in seven
innings. The Twins scored more than five runs in a game for the
first time this season, one night after the series opener was
postponed by rain.
Fausto Carmona (1-3) gave up six runs on seven hits and walked
four in five innings for the Indians. Grady Sizemore hit a two-run
homer in the eighth off Dusty Hughes, but the game was already out
of reach by then.
Danny Valencia hit a two-run homer and Jason Kubel had two hits
and three RBIs for the Twins, who entered the day with the fewest
runs scored in the majors.
Morneau, who had two hits, had missed the previous five games
because of an illness that has been circulating through the Twins
clubhouse, and he got an extra day of rest when the game Friday
night was rained out.
He was hitting just .208 on the season in his first action since
July because of a concussion, one of many Twins struggling at the
So it was no surprise when the Indians walked Kubel to load the
bases with one out for Morneau fifth. But he made them pay with a
single to center field that scored Denard Span and Alexi Casilla to
give the Twins a 5-1 lead. He picked up his fourth and fifth RBIs
of the season and the Twins took a 6-1 lead after five.
”I want to be up there with guys in scoring position and I want
to be up there with guys on base and that’s it,” Morneau said.
”That’s the situation I want to be in. That’s why I hit fourth. I
enjoy that situation. To come through with a hit and finally score
some runs as a team was good.”
Acta wasn’t pleased with how Carmona approached the at-bat,
saying he would have rather seen Carmona lean on his sinker to try
to get a double play.
”If I’m in bed for four days, I think I’d rather see an 86 mph
changeup than 92 mph sinker,” Acta said. ”Those are lessons to be
It was no surprise when this series opened that it featured the
first-place and last-place team in the AL Central. But most figured
when the season started that the Twins would be on top of the
division, with the Indians fighting the Royals for a place in the
Central basement again.
But the Indians have been one of the pleasant surprises of the
first month. Sizemore is back from a serious knee injury, Travis
Hafner is swinging the bat much better and the bullpen has shut
things down to help the Indians (13-7) to the best record in the
Injuries and illness have gutted the Twins, causing Joe Mauer,
Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Justin Morneau and Delmon Young all to miss big
chunks of time. One of the preseason favorites to win the division,
they started the day with the worst record in the American League
They were the only team in the league not to score more than
five runs in a game this season, but finally broke through against
Carmona on Sunday.
The scored three in the third, three more in the fifth and two
in the sixth before Valencia’s homer to left field off of Chad
Durbin to made it 10-1 after seven.
”It was great,” Valencia said. ”It seemed like everybody
clicked. To score a lot of runs like that, it was much needed and
it was a long time coming.”
NOTES: Durbin gave up four runs on four hits in two innings of
relief for Cleveland. … Young missed his fourth straight game
because of a rib injury and an illness. … Twins bullpen coach
Rick Stelmaszek was back at work after missing the start of the
season while recovering from surgery to repair a detached retina.
… Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said they will likely make up the
game with the Indians when they visit in the second series after
the All-Star break.