Lindor’s pair of homers leads Indians past Twins 9-8
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Francisco Lindor‘s second home run of the game for Cleveland snapped an eighth-inning tie after Minnesota erased an eight-run deficit, and the Indians held on to top the Twins 9-8 on Thursday night.
Lindor also hit two doubles and drove in four runs for the Indians, who stretched their winning streak to a season-best six straight games despite another wobbly performance by their bullpen until Cody Allen finished by getting the final four outs — his ninth save in 10 opportunities.
Indians starter Shane Bieber, the first player in franchise history to make his major league debut on his birthday, took an 8-0 lead into the fifth inning but couldn’t complete the sixth. Robbie Grossman and Ryan LaMarre had RBI singles in the fifth, and Logan Morrison and Eduardo Escobar hit consecutive homers in the sixth.
In the seventh, reliever Dan Otero left two runners on with one out. Eddie Rosario hit an RBI single off Jeff Believeau. Then Miguel Sano smashed a three-run home run into the right-field flower box against Zach McAllister to tie it. Sano emerged from a round of hard hand slaps in the dugout to tip his helmet to the crowd.
Tyler Olson (1-1) came in for the last two outs. In the next inning, Lindor straightened the Indians out with his one-out drive off Addison Reed (1-4). The star shortstop became the first player in the major leagues since Adrian Beltre for Seattle in 2007 to hit two doubles and two homers in two different games in one season.
The Twins lost for the seventh time in their last eight games. They’re 14-25 since leaving Puerto Rico on April 18 with a 16-inning win over the Indians.
Bieber, who turned 23 on Thursday for his spot start, will be sent back to the minors. He has been dominant there this season, including seven no-hit innings on Friday for Triple-A Columbus.
Twins starter Jake Odorizzi looked more like the rookie, with a three-run first inning and a five-run fourth on his ledger before being removed. Odorizzi helped end Michael Brantley‘s 19-game hitting streak, the longest in the major leagues this year, but he allowed more than his share of hard contact highlighted by Edwin Encarnacion‘s RBI double and Jose Ramirez’s solo homer.
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The Indians have four outfielders on the disabled list, but they’re about to be nearly at full strength. Bradley Zimmer will be activated before the game on Friday, manager Terry Francona said, to take Bieber’s roster spot. Zimmer has missed the last 19 games with a bruised left rib.
Then on Tuesday, before the start of a two-game series against Milwaukee, Lonnie Chisenhall and Brandon Guyer are due back. Chisenhall played in only seven games before suffering a right calf strain. Guyer strained the left side of his neck on May 19. Tyler Naquin remains out with a strained left hamstring.
Indians: LHP Andrew Miller‘s hope is to resume throwing off a mound as soon as this weekend, as the two-time All-Star reliever continues to try to overcome the bedeviling inflammation in the right knee that he pushes off during his delivery. “He’s really upbeat about how good his arm feels,” Francona said.
Twins: About one-third of the way through a season already headlined by the integral players who’ve been unavailable, the Twins have been dealt another round of injury setbacks this week. 1B Joe Mauer had to back off his workout before the game with the persistence of concussion symptoms, the day after CF Byron Buxton went back to the DL with a broken toe on his left foot that’s not healing. RHP Ervin Santana is scheduled for a visit on Monday with the surgeon who operated on the middle finger of his pitching hand, with his rehab assignment halted by recurring swelling and limited velocity. “No excuses,” manager Paul Molitor said. “There’s no sympathy being thrown our way. You’ve got to go out and try to find a way to play better.”
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (6-3, 3.98 ERA) pitches on Friday night, taking his 12th turn of the season. He threw seven scoreless innings with just three hits and one walk allowed against the Twins on April 18 in a 2-1 loss in a 16-inning game in Puerto Rico.
Twins: RHP Jose Berrios (5-5, 3.67 ERA) takes the mound in the second game of the series, having pitched into the eighth inning in each of his last three appearances with a total of only five runs surrendered. Berrios opposed Carrasco on April 18 and matched his seven scoreless innings.
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