Kluber, Indians topple spiraling Twins 8-4
CLEVELAND (AP) — Corey Kluber struck out a season-high 11 and notched his seventh straight win, leading the Cleveland Indians to an 8-4 victory on Wednesday night over the Minnesota Twins, whose losing streak has reached 13 games — one shy of tying the club record.
Unbeaten since July 3, Kluber (15-8) allowed three runs and six hits in eight solid innings. The right-hander is 7-0 with a 1.94 ERA in his last 10 starts.
Carlos Santana and Roberto Perez homered off Pat Dean (1-5), and Jose Ramirez hit a two-run double during a five-run fifth as the AL Central-leading Indians swept the three-game series and extended the Twins’ sorry slide.
Minnesota is winless since Aug. 17, and the Twins’ skid — the lengthiest in the majors this season — is also the second-longest in team history. They also lost 13 in a row in 1961 and 1982, when they dropped 14 in a row.
Brian Dozier hit his 32nd homer and Max Kepler connected for his 16th for the Twins, who loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth off rookie Perci Garner, making his major league debut. Bryan Shaw came on and threw a wild pitch before striking out Dozier for his first save.
For seven-plus innings, Kluber had little trouble against the AL’s worst team. The 2014 Cy Young winner, who followed up an 18-win season by losing 16 last year, struck out four of the first six batters and carried a 7-1 lead into the eighth, when Dozier tagged him for a two-run homer.
Cleveland’s offense, almost non-existent for nearly two weeks, broke out with 12 hits. It was only the third time in 10 games the Indians scored more than one run.
Santana gave Kluber and the Indians a 2-1 lead in the fourth with his 28th homer, a laser shot into the left-field stands. Santana’s 28 homers — only four have been right-handed — are the most in franchise history by a switch-hitter.
The Indians chased Dean in the fifth, when Perez homered, Santana hit an RBI single, Ramirez doubled home a pair and pinch-hitter Lonnie Chisenhall delivered a sacrifice fly off reliever J.T. Chargois.
Kepler’s 418-foot shot to straightaway center tied it 1-1 in the third. It was Kepler’s 11th hit — and sixth homer — against Cleveland this season. He homered three times at Progressive Field on Aug. 1.
The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the second when Abraham Almonte pulled a two-out RBI double inside the bag at third.
Twins: OF Danny Santana will likely miss the remainder of the season with a sprained left shoulder. Santana got hurt last weekend when he collided with teammate Robbie Grossman in Toronto. Manager Paul Molitor said Santana needs more than a month to recover and the team intends to shut him down rather than rush him back.
Indians: C Yan Gomes, out since July 17 with a separated right shoulder, is expected to begin a rehab assignment in the next week. The club made a procedural move with him, putting him on the 60-day disabled list. He’s eligible to be activated on Sept. 16.
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