Twins 7, Indians 4

Joe Mauer knows how to break out of a slump.

Mauer, who entered Saturday night’s game in an 0 for 10 skid,

had three hits and three RBIs, including a two-run homer, to lead

the Minnesota Twins to a 7-4 win over the Cleveland Indians.

”I was making good contact,” Mauer said. ”I felt pretty


Mauer had an RBI single in Minnesota’s four-run first inning. He

also singled in the second and hit a two-run homer in the seventh

off Tony Sipp.

Trevor Plouffe’s one-out homer in the sixth off Josh Tomlin

(2-3) broke a 4-all tie. Plouffe also had a two-run single in the


Brian Duensing (1-2) pitched two scoreless innings as the Twins

won for the fourth time in five games. Matt Capps pitched the ninth

for his 11th save as Minnesota’s bullpen pitched 4 2-3 innings of

one-hit ball.

The Indians have lost six of eight, due primarily to poor

starting pitching. Cleveland’s starters are 2-6 with a 9.52 ERA in

the last eight games.

Following the game the Indians announced outfielder Johnny Damon

has been placed on the paternity list to be with his wife and twin

daughters. Manager Manny Acta said Damon will rejoin the team

Wednesday in Detroit. First baseman/outfielder Matt LaPorta will be

called up from Triple-A Columbus.

Mauer was behind the plate Saturday for the first time since

being hit in the face mask with a foul tip Monday. Manager Ron

Gardenhire has been using the former batting champion at first base

and DH to save wear and tear on Mauer.

”Lately it’s been good to give your body a little break,”

Mauer said. ”I always try to get in that lineup as much as I can.

Tonight was a good night and hopefully I can carry it into


Gardenhire had plenty to smile about one night after the Twins

were defeated 7-1 in the series opener Friday.

”It was a nice win,” he said. ”The bullpen was super. They

all did their job. Duensing was fantastic. The guys put some good

swings on the ball in the first inning. It was a good hanger


Minnesota sent nine men to the plate in the first off Tomlin,

who needed 32 pitches to get through the inning. Mauer and Justin

Morneau had RBI singles and Plouffe added a two-run single with the

bases loaded.

”Two runs is great, but to get four runs, I don’t want to say

it’s a dagger, but it’s a big inning,” Plouffe said.

Twins starter P.J. Walters couldn’t hold the lead and didn’t get

through the fifth inning. The right-hander allowed four runs in 4

1-3 innings.

The Indians scored in the first on Michael Brantley’s fielder’s

choice with the bases loaded and again in the third on Asdrubal

Cabrera’s RBI single. Lou Marson’s RBI groundout cut the lead to

4-3 in the fourth. Brantley tied the game with an RBI single in the

fifth that extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

Walters tweaked his ankle earlier in the inning when he

attempted a pickoff throw to first base after Jason Kipnis singled.

Walters stepped behind the mound and was visited by Gardenhire and

a trainer. He remained in the game without throwing a warmup pitch.

Walters retired Cabrera, but gave up singles to Jose Lopez and

Brantley before being replaced by Duensing.

Jared Burton and Glen Perkins also pitched scoreless ball out of

Minnesota’s bullpen.

Tomlin made his second start since being on the DL last month

with right wrist soreness. He allowed five runs and 10 hits in six


”Everything I threw up there in the first inning, they were

either taking it or putting a good swing on it,” Tomlin said.

”But it was even more frustrating to give up the homer to Plouffe

because our guys had fought back to tie it up. In that situation,

it’s my job to put up a zero and keep our momentum going, and I

didn’t do that.”

The Twins announced before the game pitcher Carl Pavano will

return to Minneapolis on Sunday to have an MRI on his sore right

shoulder. Pavano is 2-5 with a 6.00 ERA in 11 starts. He’s

scheduled to start Wednesday against Kansas City.

NOTES: Gardenhire praised the no-hitter thrown by former

Minnesota LHP Johan Santana against Friday. ”I tried to text him

to say congratulations, but the son of a gun changed his number,”

Gardenhire said. ”That was a big moment in New York. I was nervous

for Johan.” … Minnesota has lost 11 of its last 13 meetings

against Cleveland. … The teams wrap up their three-game series

Sunday at 3:05 p.m. Cleveland RHP Justin Masterson (2-4, 5.14 ERA)

faces Minnesota LHP Scott Diamond (3-1, 2.27). … Indians C Carlos

Santana, who has been out for a week with a concussion, took

batting practice, threw to the bases and ran the bases before

Saturday’s game. He might return Tuesday, but must pass major

league baseball’s standard test for players with concussions before

returning. … Former Indians INF Carlos Baerga threw out the

ceremonial first pitch.