MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 18: First baseman Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians catches a one hop ball forcing out center fielder Ben Revere #11 of the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of the last game of this series between Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians at Target Field on September 18, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Marilyn Indahl/Getty Images)

Indians Are Back At .500, Finish Sweep Of Twins With 6-5 Win

Indians have second place to play for down the stretch

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Indians Vs. Twins Final: Tribe Overcomes 4 Errors To Beat Minnesota 6-5

For six innings today it looked like a typical Justin Masterson start for the Indians.

Four Tribe errors and an offense that was not producing had Cleveland behind 3-0 after six frames, and Masterson looked as if he was going to drop to .500 for the season, and the Indians conversely looked as if they would not be returning to .500 on this day.

But then Cleveland erupted for six runs in the seventh inning, held off a Minnesota threat late, and saw Chris Perez earn his 34th save and Masterson move to 12-10 with a 6-5 victory on a cool, drizzly day in Minneapolis.

With the win the Tribe is indeed back at .500 with just 12 games to go in the season.

Minnesota drew first blood in the second inning on a Joe Benson RBI single, and the Twins extended their lead with unearned runs in the fourth and the sixth.

In the fourth, Lou Marson’s throwing error extended the Twins’ lead to 2-0, and in the sixth, errors on Jason Donald and Jason Kipnis and a passed ball set up Brian Dinkelman — who ended up with four hits — for an RBI single to make it 3-0 heading for the seventh.

That is when the Indians came alive.

Shelley Duncan started things with a leadoff homer off of Carl Pavano (8-13). The blast was Duncan’s 10th of the year. Lonnie Chisenhall then reached on an error on first baseman Chris Parmelee. After Donald flied out and Ezequiel Carrera grounded into a force out, Cleveland got some two-out magic.

Marson singled, sending Carrera to third, and Kosuke Fukudome walked, loading the bases and ending Pavano’s day. On came Jose Mijares, who walked Kipnis to cut the Tribe’s deficit to 3-2. Alex Burnett came in and also walked the only batter he faced, and the free pass to Carlos Santana tied the game at 3-3.

The parade of Minnesota pitchers continued as Glen Perkins came on, only to give up a tie-breaking infield single to Jim Thome, scoring Fukudome and making it 4-3 Indians. Duncan then put an exclamation point on the inning with a two-run double, and the Tribe had some breathing room at 6-3.

Minnesota came back with two in the eighth. and ironically both runs scored on bases-loaded walks by Vinnie Pestano, although the runs were charged to Tony Sipp, who began the inning by sandwiching a double and a single around an out. When Pestano entered the fray, he struck out Benson but then hit Matt Tolbert to load the bases and set up the two sacks-juiced walks.

Pestano finally got out of it when he got Trevor Plouffe to pop out.

Chris Perez allowed a one-out single to Parmelee in the ninth, but ended the contest with a strikeout of Dinkelman and this road trip was over.

Masterson went six innings and allowed only one earned run, dropping his ERA to 3.15. Justin surrendered seven hits, walked one and fanned three.

Now the Indians return to Progressive Field for a make-up game against the Seattle Mariners on Monday at 4:05. Then the White Sox are in town for four games, starting with a day/night doubleheader on Tuesday. After Chicago pays a visit, Minnesota comes in next weekend for the final four home games of the season, including a day/night doubleheader on Saturday.


Tribe Looks To Complete Sweep On Sunday In Minnesota

While the attention of a lot of fans has obviously shifted to the Browns, the Indians still have 13 games left to play in their attempt to finish the season on the plus side of .500 and in second place in the AL Central. And hey, the Tribe has yet to be eliminated in the Wild Card race, so that is a good thing, yes?

Okay, okay, one loss or a Boston win and The Good Guys are out. But even so, when this season began, it would have sounded good that the Indians were still not eliminated from postseason contention on the morning of September 18.

On Sunday at 2:10 the Tribe goes for a sweep in Minnesota against the Twins, who are trying very hard to accomplish their own goal. Even if that goal has...shifted a bit...since the season began.

In April the Twins were looking to win their third straight division title. In September, the Twins are trying to avoid losing 100 games.

Minnesota (59-91) has lost seven straight to make losing a hundred games possible, and Justin Masterson will try to run that streak to eight when he takes on ex-Indian Carl Pavano.

Masterson (11-10, 3.20 ERA) has lost his last two starts, and has given up 10 earned runs in 11 innings in the process. In fairness, one loss was to the Tigers and the other was to the Rangers. Even so, Justin will want to turn that around and get back to the kind of pitching that would have had him in contention for a Cy Young Award with any decent offensive support.

Masterson has never beaten the Twins. For his career he has made 11 appearances, including eight starts, and is 0-4 with a 3.56 ERA vs. Minnesota. Those number right there bespeak a lack of support.

Folks, a 3.56 ERA over eight starts, in the hitter-friendly American League, should have been good for a win somewhere.

In his last start against Minnesota, Masterson worked 7.2 innings, gave up just two runs -- and still had a no-decision, albeit in a game the Indians won 3-2 on August 12 in Cleveland.

Pavano also has eight starts against today's opponent, but has fared better, going 3-2 with a nice 2.53 ERA vs. the Tribe in 57 career innings.

Pavano last faced Cleveland in that August 12 game, and he also did not get a decision, going 7.1 innings and allowing 10 hits, but only one earned run.

The Indians will come home after today's game and will play a make-up game against the Mariners tomorrow at 4:05 before the White Sox come to town on Tuesday to begin a four-game set with a day/night doubleheader. Then the Twins go to Cleveland next weekend for a four-game series that also includes a day/night doubleheader on Saturday.

And that will wrap up the 2011 season at home before the Tribe goes to Detroit to truly finish up with three games.

Let's get to .500 again today. .500 feels so much better than...well, than below .500.

And hey, the Indians have a two-game lead on Chicago for second place! Have to protect that lead, yes?


Indians Vs. Twins Final: Tribe Makes It 2 In A Row In Minnesota, Beats Twins 10-4

Now that the race in the Central Division is over, the Indians seem to have found the relaxed ability to just go out and play some baseball again. Or at least that is what they have shown in the last two games in Minnesota.

Behind Jeanmar Gomez’s solid 6.2 innings and a 14-hit attack, led by Asdrubal Cabrera’s four hits and Jason Kipnis’s three, plus a homer from Carlos Santana, the Tribe cruised past the stumbling Twins 10-4 to climb back to within a game of .500.

This one was decided in the first two innings basically, when the Indians scored eight runs and never let Minnesota feel as if it was back in the game. Gomez (4-2, 3.78 ERA) ran with the big early lead, and when Gomez’s day was through, four other pitchers closed it out, with only Josh Judy being touched for any runs.

Travis Hafner broke the ice in the first inning with a two-out, two-run single, and in the second the Tribe unloaded for six runs.

With one out Ezequiel Carrera tripled and scored on a base hit from Trevor Crowe. Kosuke Fukudome walked before Kipnis drove in two more and made it 5-0 with the second triple of the inning. After Cabrera was retired, Santana hit his second round-tripper of the series and his 25th of the year to chase loser Anthony Swarzak (3-7). Lester Oliveros relieved and walked Hafner before Matt LaPorta made it 8-0 with an RBI double.

Santana's home run tied Victor Martinez's club record for most homers in one season by a switch-httier

The Twins got one run back in the bottom of the third on a Michael Cuddyer single, but Gomez stranded two to leave the lead at 8-1.

Chris Parmelee’s single made it 8-2 in the bottom of the fifth, but Gomez got Luke Hughes to ground into an inning-ending double play with two men on base to again minimize the damage.

In the seventh inning, Gomez looked as if he may have injured a leg while coming off the mound on a grounder off the bat of Ben Revere. Jeanmar was pulled at that point for Judy.

Parmelee drove in two more with the first homer of his career in the bottom of the eighth, making it 8-4. Later in the inning Fukudome saved at least one run from scoring with a beautiful running catch in deep right, and the Indians made sure in the top of the ninth that there would be no ninth-inning drama on this day (as opposed to Friday night).

Kipnis led off with a double and advanced to third on an error by the left fielder. Cabrera delivered an RBI single to extend the lead to five, and, after the next two hitters were retired by Matt Capps, LaPorta walked and Lonnie Chisenhall came through with an RBI single, making it 10-4 and closing the scoring.

The Indians and Twins will wrap up this series on Sunday at 2:10, when Justin Masterson faces ex-Indian Carl Pavano.


Out Of The Central Race, Indians Try To Keep Focused And Finish 2nd

Now that the Indians have been officially eliminated in the Central Division, and now that their "tragic number" is 1 to be knocked out of the Wild Card race, it is time to zero in on trying to finish second in the division, and use that as something to build off of for next season.

On Friday night the Tribe moved ahead of the Chicago White Sox when they hung on to beat the Twins 7-6, while Chicago was losing in Kansas City, and Jeanmar Gomez will try to keep The Good Guys right where they are while at the same time looking for his fourth straight win when Cleveland faces Minnesota Saturday at 1:10 in Target Field.

Gomez has beaten the Athletics, the Royals and the White Sox in succession, and has allowed only three earned runs in 17.1 innings in that span.

Jeanmar faced the Twins on April 24, allowing a run in three innings, and for his career is 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA in 14 frames vs. Minnesota.

The Twins will counter this afternoon with Anthony Swarzak (3-6, 3.89 ERA). Swarzak lost to the Tribe on July 18, going six innings and allowing three earned runs in a 5-2 Cleveland win.

For his career, Swarzak is still winless vs. the Indians, with an 0-3 mark in 14 frames to go with a 9.00 ERA.

This series will wrap up on Sunday at 2:10, before the Indians come home to play nine games in seven days, and then it will be lights out at Progressive Field until Toronto comes to town — next April 5.


Indians Vs. Twins Final: Tribe Moves Back Into 2nd Place With 7-6 Win

  • Recap via SB Nation and Sports Network **

Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) – Lonnie Chisenhall went 3-for-4 with two RBI, as the Cleveland Indians downed the Minnesota Twins, 7-6, in the opener of a three-game series.

Ubaldo Jimenez (4-2) allowed three runs — one earned — on five hits over 6 1/3 innings to grab the win. He walked three and struck out four.

Jim Thome and Carlos Santana both hit a solo home run for the Indians, who halted a three-game skid. Despite the win, the Indians were officially eliminated from the AL Central race due to the Tigers’ division-clinching victory over the Athletics on Friday.

Kevin Slowey (0-6) surrendered five runs on seven hits over four innings to suffer his career-high sixth straight loss.

Ben Revere and Trevor Plouffe both knocked in a run in the bottom of the ninth, but Chris Perez settled to record his 33rd save of the season.

Revere went 2-for-4 with two RBI for the Twins, losers of six in a row and 11 of 12.

Thome, who spent last season and parts of 2011 with the Twins before being acquired by the Indians, was treated to a standing ovation after giving Cleveland a 7-4 lead in the top of the ninth with a solo shot.

The home run proved the difference, as the Twins got to Perez in the home half. Consecutive one-out doubles by Joe Benson and Matt Tolbert placed runners at second and third. Revere’s groundout scored Benson and Plouffe’s single capped the scoring before Rene Tosoni went down on strikes to end the game.

"I was not happy for him," said Twins right fielder Michael Cuddyer. "I mean obviously he was a great teammate, great guy, but he’s playing for the other team and that home run ended up being the difference in the game."

Santana gave the Indians an early lead with a homer in the second and Kosuke Fukudome made it a 2-0 game with a run-scoring double play groundout an inning later.

Chisenhall’s two-out single plated Thome in the third before Lou Marson’s two- run single up the middle put the Indians on top 5-0.

The Twins finally broke through in the fifth when Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore dropped a fly ball off the bat of Tosoni, allowing two runs to score.

Chisenhall responded with an RBI single off of Phil Dumatrait a half-inning later.

Benson’s first career triple began the Twins’ seventh. Tony Sipp relieved Jimenez two batters later and Revere greeted him with an RBI single. Sipp’s errant pickoff attempt allowed Revere to reach third and Plouffe’s sac fly made it a 6-4 game.

"Getting a chance to come here and play here for two years, it was very special," said Thome.

Twins designated hitter Jason Kubel was removed from the game with a left foot injury. He was replaced by Tosoni…On Friday, the Twins announced that catcher Joe Mauer will likely miss the remainder of the season with mild pneumonia.

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