Twins 6, Indians 3
Now that the Minnesota Twins are winning, they hope they haven’t
lost Joe Mauer for long.
The former AL MVP and three-time batting champion sprained his
right thumb and left the Twins’ 5-3 win over the Cleveland Indians
on Sunday, Minnesota’s fifth victory in six games following a
five-game losing streak.
”Hopefully I’ll be back in there soon,” said Mauer, who
singled home Minnesota’s first run and later walked and scored.
”They (trainers) assured me I’m day-to-day.”
The four-time All-Star played only 82 games a year ago because
of a leg injury, but has missed only one game this year.
Mauer got hurt while striking out in the seventh inning and was
lifted for a pinch hitter in the ninth.
”I fouled a pitch back and felt it,” said Mauer, hitting .298
in 52 games. ”It was barking pretty good, so I got some ice on
Scott Diamond (4-1) cooled off Cleveland bats, allowing three
unearned runs and seven hits without a walk over seven innings.
In six starts since being recalled from the minors May 8, he has
walked only four.
Matt Capps pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances as
Minnesota, last in the AL Central, took two of three in the
Josh Willingham had two RBIs and Alexi Casilla hit two sacrifice
flies for the Twins, who got five infield hits, including three
bunt singles. Minnesota won despite making three errors.
”We manufactured some runs, but missed the ball a few times and
let them back in the game,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said.
”Every time they got close, we were able to score and get that
Cleveland fell to 2-7 since sweeping three straight at home from
Detroit. They dropped to 4-12 overall against lefty starters this
”Not a good homestand, especially when you win the first game
of both series and you’re not able to win another ballgame,”
Indians manager Manny Acta said. ”We continue to struggle as a
The Indians begin a nine-game trip Tuesday in Detroit and play
18 of their next 24 games on the road.
”June is going to be a challenge for us,” Acta said. ”We’re
going to have to kick it up a notch.”
That’s particularly true of the starting rotation.
Justin Masterson (2-5) gave up three runs and seven hits over
six innings in one of the better outings by a Cleveland starter of
late. In their previous eight games, Indians starters went 2-6 with
a 9.52 ERA. That included a poor outing by Masterson on Tuesday
when he gave up nine hits and all the runs in six innings of an 8-2
loss to Kansas City.
Gardenhire said strong starts of late have helped the Twins.
”It all starts with starting pitching,” Gardenhire said.
”Diamond did the job. He threw strikes, got ahead in the count and
kept attacking the hitters.”
Diamond said he felt comfortable changing speeds and tried to
throw strikes on either side of the plate.
”I’d rather attack them and give up a hit than walk guys,” he
said. ”I give up a hit, I can get my ground ball and get out of
Diamond struck out two and got 13 outs on grounders.
With the Twins leading 2-0, the teams exchanged sacrifice flies
in the fourth. Casilla gave the Twins a 3-0 lead in the top half,
then Jose Lopez countered for Cleveland. Shelley Duncan’s RBI
single later in the inning got the Indians within 3-2. Twins
shortstop Brian Dozier’s second error of the game fueled the
Willingham and Ryan Doumit singled home runs off reliever Nick
Hagadone in the seventh. Ben Revere reached on a bunt and stole
second. After replacing his belt, broken on the slide into the bag,
Revere scored easily on Willingham’s single.
”I think we can have three or four guys bunt in a row,”
Gardenhire said. ”That makes it entertaining for the manager, who
can just sit and watch them run around for a while.”
NOTES: Twins LHP Glen Perkins worked a scoreless eighth.
Minnesota relievers have held Cleveland to a .175 average and one
run in 18 innings this year. … Gardenhire is awaiting tests on
RHP Carl Pavano’s sore right shoulder. He showed a sheet of paper
to reporters, saying it listed his upcoming rotation. It was blank.
Gardenhire said RHP Nick Blackburn, out since May 17 with a
strained left quad, could be back soon. … Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe
made an error, but went 3 for 4 and is hitting .423 (11 of 26) in
his career at Progressive Field. … The Twins start a three-game
series in Kansas City on Monday. … Acta is hopeful C Carlos
Santana, sidelined since May 26 with a concussion, will return
Tuesday. … Indians 1B Matt LaPorta was 1 for 4 in his first game
after being recalled from Triple-A Columbus. … Indians CF Michael
Brantley has hit .370 (17 for 46) during a 12-game streak.