Twins bounce back to beat Indians 3-2
CLEVELAND — Minnesota’s pitching staff rebounded from a double-digit loss with a gritty win Tuesday night.
Fernando Rodney struck out Francicso Lindor with the tying run on second base in the ninth inning after Adalberto Mejia pitched one-hit ball over five innings, and the Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 3-2.
“Mejia did a great job,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. “He’s shown some adeptness at being able to handle runners on base and pitch out of jams. We were able to hold it down, so it is a good win and a good response to last night.”
Lindor homered in the eighth but struck out looking on a 2-2 pitch as Rodney recorded his 325th career save — moving him into 17th on the career list.
Yan Gomes led off the ninth and was credited with a hit after Miguel Sano bobbled his groundball behind third base. Sano recovered, but Gomes beat the throw. Jason Kipnis struck out and pinch-hitter Melky Cabrera flied out.
Gomes took second on Mitch Garver’s passed ball, but Rodney closed out his 25th save this season.
A bloop single by Lindor in the first was the only hit off Mejia (2-0), making his fourth start and fifth appearance of the season. The left-hander retired the last 12 hitters he faced and was pulled after throwing 68 pitches with a strained left wrist.
Gabriel Moya relieved Mejia to begin the sixth. The injury was announced the following inning.
“He came off the field and said last pitch he threw he had a stinging effect in the lower left forearm closer to the wrist that radiated up to the elbow,” Molitor said. “There was some swelling in the area. I don’t think we will make a decision on his next start until we can look at him tomorrow.”
Meija, speaking through a translator, said he hasn’t had this issue with his arm in the past.
“My last pitch was a slider,” he said “I felt like a shock from there, it was a little tension in my wrist.”
Cleveland managed only two hits through seven innings, but Lindor’s homer and pinch-hitter Leonys Martin’s sacrifice fly made it a one-run game.
Garver’s homer in the second inning denied Carlos Carrasco (13-6) a chance to move into a tie for the AL lead in wins. The right-hander allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings.
Eddie Rosario was 4 for 5 and is batting .355 (21 for 59) in 14 games against Cleveland this season.
Mejia dominated the Indians at Target Field last week, also pitching five scoreless innings and allowing one hit. He struggled against the first two hitters Tuesday before quickly settling in.
Lindor’s popup fell in shallow right field. First baseman Joe Mauer raced out with his back to home plate and right fielder Max Kepler charged in, but the ball dropped between the two.
Mejia hit Michael Brantley with a pitch, but retired the next three hitters. Jose Ramirez hit into a forceout that moved Lindor to third, but Encarnacion flied out to shallow right and Mejia caught Brandon Guyer’s soft liner to the mound.
Mejia walked Yonder Alonso to lead off the second, but that was the last baserunner he allowed.
“He’s got good stuff, which we’ve seen every time we’ve faced him in limited looks,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We didn’t get going until late.”
Garver’s homer also ended stretch of 22 straight scoreless innings by Cleveland’s pitching against Minnesota, including a 10-0 loss Monday.
The start of the game was delayed by rain for 2 hours, 10 minutes.
Andrew Miller struck out one and walked one in 1 2/3 scoreless innings. The left-hander was activated Friday after missing two months with right knee inflammation.
“That was good,” Francona said. “We’re trying to find spots for him and win. He keeps making steps forward.”
Although the Twins still trail the Indians by nine games in the AL Central, Minnesota is 8-6 against Cleveland this season. The Twins are 24-20 against the division.
Twins: RHP Matt Belisle (sore right knee) was placed on the 10-day disabled list and RHP Matt Magill was reinstated from the paternity list.
Indians: Gomes was in the lineup after missing three games with right knee tendinitis.
RHP Jake Odorizzi (4-7, 4.60) starts for Minnesota on Wednesday against RHP Mike Clevinger (7-7, 3.48)