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

Cleveland.

”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

plate.

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

learned.”

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

AL.

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

at 7-12.

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.