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The Indians were riding high after their series win against the Tigers last Thursday. They had played 14 games in as many days, and a three-game series against the basement Minnesota Twins separated the team from a much needed off-day.
But the Twins, ordinarily a struggling team on home turf this season, would not go away quietly. In fact, they batted loudly to the tune of 28 runs in route to a three-game sweep.
Twins clinch series with another blowout Saturday
Unlike Friday, it was the Indians who scored early in the second game against Twins starter Nick Deduno.
It was the kind of run Indians skipper Manny Acta would be proud of.
Shin-Soo Choo led off with a single then stole second. Michael Brantley, moved up to the two-spot in the order, walked, and both advanced on a Jason Kipnis groundout.
Carlos Santana then drove Choo home on a fielder’s choice.
But by the time they scored again, it was in the eighth inning down 10 runs.
Justin Masterson was able to keep the hot-hitting Twins down for three innings before they finally broke through. With a man on, Josh Willingham hit his second home run of the series to put the Twins ahead.
In the fifth, the Twins scored three more runs following a Jack Hannahan error which would have made it two outs with nobody on. Instead, Masterson could not recover, giving up a two run triple followed by an RBI-single by Ben Revere.
Just like the first game of the series, the Twins benefitted from a barrage of timely hitting, especially with two outs. Minnesota was 8-for-12 with runners in scoring position, while the Indians went 0-for-6.
Back-to-back two-out doubles by Alexi Casilla and Denard Span drove Masterson from the game and put the Indians out of reach.
Twins sweep the Indians in Sunday matinee
Once again, it was the Indians who scored first, but were unable to hold a lead.
The Twins’ Brian Duensing went six strong innings in his fifth start of the season after moving from the bullpen to the rotation. Previously, his longest start was 4 1/3 innings in Detroit earlier this month.
The two teams were scoreless until the fourth, when Shelley Duncan singled home a run with two outs. It was the team’s first hit with a runner in scoring position of the series.
It would be the only run the Tribe would score on the afternoon, as starter Ubaldo Jiminez gave up the lead minutes later.
Willingham led off the fourth with a walk, and Justin Morneau drove the next pitch out to take the lead.
Jimenez pitched into the seventh, going 6 1/3 innings and giving up five earned. He has given up at least five earned runs in three of his last four starts.
Weekend AL Central Results
Detroit Tigers @ Toronto Blue Jays: 8-3
Cleveland Indians @ Minnesota Twins: 11-0
Chicago White Sox @ Texas Rangers: 9-5
Kansas City Royals @ Seattle Mariners: 6-1
Detroit Tigers @ Toronto Blue Jays: 5-1
Kansas City Royals @ Seattle Mariners: 4-3
Cleveland Indians @ Minnesota Twins: 12-5
Chicago White Sox @ Texas Rangers: 5-2
Detroit Tigers @ Toronto Blue Jays: 4-1
Kansas City Royals @ Seattle Mariners: 7-5 in the 9th
Cleveland Indians @ Minnesota Twins: 5-1
Chicago White Sox @ Texas Rangers: 7:05 p.m. EST
- Indians OF Brent Lillabridge got his first two hits with the Tribe this weekend. He is now batting .170 in 2012.
- Indians C Carlos Santana has turned his season around offensively since the All-Star Break. Santana has raised his batting average and OBP 11 and 18 points respectively, including five doubles and four home runs.
- Indians OF Shin-Soo Choo is 10th in the AL in OBP.