Twins 10, Indians 3

With runners at the corners and one out in the fifth inning,

Indians manager Manny Acta decided to have Fausto Carmona

intentionally walk .319-hitting Jason Kubel to face Justin Morneau,

who was playing for the first time in six games after a nasty bout

with the flu.

Acta expected his big right-hander to lean on his heavy sinker

against Morneau, hopefully inducing an inning-ending double

play.

What he got was an entirely different approach.

Morneau lined a changeup into center field for a big two-run

single to help the Minnesota Twins break out of a season-long

offensive slump in a 10-3 victory over Cleveland on Saturday.

Morneau had been sidelined for the last week and was relieved

when Friday night’s series opener was rained out to give him an

extra day of rest. Then Carmona took it easy on him in the most

important at-bat of the game.

”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.”

Carmona (1-3) gave up six runs on seven hits and walked four in

five innings. Grady Sizemore hit a two-run homer in the eighth off

Dusty Hughes, but the game was already out of reach by then.

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.

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.

”Right now, a couple of (Twins) aren’t on top of their game and

we were pitching them like they were in midseason form and their

hot,” Acta said. ”I just felt that we didn’t attack them

properly.”

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 was trying to throw first pitch strikes,” Carmona said. ”I

thought I was aggressive enough.”

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.

Carmona gave up 10 runs in three innings in his first start of

the season, but had only given up three earned runs over 21 2-3

innings in his previous three outings. But the Indians’

difficulties with the Twins continued, and they dropped their sixth

straight to Minnesota.

”We come out and we respect everybody, but we don’t fear

anybody,” Acta said. ”You have to respect people. We know they

are good, but these kids they go after it. We beat a couple of good

teams last week.”

NOTES: Indians reliever Chad Durbin gave up four runs on four

hits – including a two-run homer to Valencia in the seventh – in

two inning. … 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.