Twins snap eight-game losing streak, top Indians 6-3
CLEVELAND -- Juan Centeno's first major league home run ball sat in a small plastic bag on the top shelf of his locker.
Minnesota's backup catcher will remember the moment for a long time.
Centeno's two-run homer off Corey Kluber in the fifth inning put Minnesota ahead for good and the Twins ended an eight-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday.
"It's awesome," Centeno said, showing the ball to reporters as a large smile came over his face. "A go-ahead homer, it feels great."
Centeno, whose contract was selected from Triple-A Rochester on May 6, appeared in his fourth game. He doubled in the ninth and walked in the third.
Centeno, 26, played in 24 games with the New York Mets and Milwaukee from 2013-15. Not only did his homer help break a losing streak, it came off the pitcher who won the AL Cy Young Award in 2014.
"It's got to be a thrill, and to have Kluber as your first, that's something to brag about for a long time," Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
The win also gave Molitor a chance to smile after his team avoided its second nine-game losing streak of the season. The Twins began the season 0-9.
"It's good to win," he said. "It feels like it's been a long time. The discouragement, it's been there. You have to find a way to get one on the board and see where it goes."
Ervin Santana (1-2) allowed one run in six innings. The right-hander gave up five hits and struck out five in his second start since returning from a back injury.
Kluber (2-5) allowed four runs in 6 2/3 innings and lost his second straight start.
Eddie Rosario, Eduardo Nunez, Danny Santana and Miguel Sano also drove in runs for Minnesota.
Minnesota was tied with Atlanta for the worst record in the majors and won on the road for the third time in 19 games.
Yan Gomes hit a solo homer in the ninth for Cleveland.
Jose Ramirez's bloop single to left gave Cleveland the lead in the fourth, but the Indians couldn't do anything else with Santana, who is 2-6 in 10 career starts at Progressive Field. His first victory came when he threw a no-hitter on July 27, 2011 while pitching for Angels.
"He changed speeds like he always does, and we never got a ton going," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He was good the whole game."
Minnesota scored in an unusual sixth inning. Left fielder Rajai Davis lost his footing and couldn't come up with Trevor Plouffe's fly ball, which was ruled a hit.
Following Byung Ho Park's single, the umpires met as rain began to fall. Kluber's next pitch hit Brian Dozier on the leg and bounced off the neck of catcher Gomes, loading the bases.
Rosario's RBI fielder's choice gave Minnesota a 3-1 lead. Nunez added a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Santana and Sano added RBI singles in the ninth.
Centeno plans on getting a case for his first home run ball. He also has kept the ball from his first big league hit, which came off San Francisco's Matt Cain in his first game in the majors on Sept. 18, 2013, and the ball with which he threw out his first runner trying to steal a base.
Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (right shoulder strain) will throw a 45-pitch bullpen session Monday, and then is scheduled to pitch batting practice Thursday.
Indians: OF Michael Brantley (sore right shoulder) was placed on the 15-day disabled list and will visit Dr. Craig Morgan on Tuesday in Wilmington, Delaware. Morgan repaired Brantley's torn labrum in November.
Twins: RHP Tyler Duffey faced the Indians twice last season as a rookie, going 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA over two starts.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer tossed seven shutout innings in his last outing, a 4-0 victory at Houston on May 10.