Clutch hitting fails Tribe in defeat
MINNEAPOLIS — Max Kepler and Marwin Gonzalez homered, All-Star Jake Odorizzi earned his career-high 13th victory and the Minnesota Twins broke a tie with Cleveland atop the AL Central, beating the Indians 4-1 Saturday night to snap a four-game losing streak.
The game was delayed 1 hour, 50 minutes at the start by rain.
The Indians had won the first two in the four-game series at Target Field, tying for the division lead after trailing by 11 1/2 games in early June.
Odorizzi (13-5) scattered six hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings, giving him a 1.04 ERA over his last three starts, all Twins victories. Taylor Rogers worked the final two innings for his 18th save of the season.
Adam Plutko (4-3) gave up four runs on nine hits over six innings.
Yasiel Puig homered, doubled and singled for the Indians, who were 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
After the Indians left eight runners on base over the first four innings, the Twins broke through in the fourth to take the lead. Mitch Garver doubled, Luis Arraez tripled and C.J. Cron followed with a single to make it 2-0.
The inning could have been worse for the Indians, as Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza also singled to give the Twins five straight hits against Plutko. But Puig fielded Adriana’s single in right field and his throw nailed Cron at the plate to end the inning.
Kepler led off the fifth with his 32nd homer of the season, a line drive to left that made the score 3-0.
Puig got the Indians on the board with a two-out solo home run in the seventh, a 455-foot drive off reliever Sergio Romo. But Gonzalez got that back in the bottom half of the inning with a solo shot of his own.
Indians: RHP A.J. Cole was placed on the 10-day IL with a right shoulder impingement. RHP Hunter Wood was recalled from Triple-A Columbus to take his spot on the roster.
Twins: Manager Rocco Baldelli said he expects DH Nelson Cruz (ruptured tendon in wrist) and RHP Michael Pineda (right triceps strain) to travel with the team on next week’s road trip to Milwaukee and Texas. Cruz is scheduled to see a specialist in New York on Monday. Pineda threw a bullpen session on Saturday.
Indians: RHP Aaron Civale (1-1, 0.75 ERA) will make his third major league start for Cleveland in the season finale Sunday afternoon. Civale threw six scoreless innings against Detroit in his debut on June 22, then gave up one run in six innings in a 1-0 loss to Texas on Aug. 5.
Twins: RHP Jose Berrios (10-6, 3.24) is looking to bounce back from the worst start in his career. He allowed nine earned runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Braves on Tuesday. He’s 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in three starts against Cleveland this year.