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Not Much Of A Contest: Twins Lead Indians 8-1 After Six

The Indians mounted a comeback in the fourth when Asdrubal Cabrera led off with a double and moved to third on a hit by Shin-Soo Choo. Carlos Santana then grounded into a force at second, plating Cabrera with the Tribe’s first run of the day.

Travis Hafner singled, putting runners at first and second, still with only one out. Orlando Cabrera got good wood on the ball but flied out to deep right, with Santana moving to third after the catch, but Michael Brantley grounded out to end the inning, still leaving Cleveland down by two.

Fausto Carmona worked past a leadoff walk to Jim Thome in the Minnesota fourth by inducing a double-play grounder to clear the bases — exactly what was necessary after the Indians had just scored. Carmona got the next hitter and on to the fifth we went.

Jack Hannahan singled with one out in the Cleveland half, but Grady Sizemore popped out and Asdrubal Cabrera fanned. Halfway through the Tribe found themselves down, 3-1.

Carmona got into trouble in the bottom of the fifth when Alexi Casilla and Denard Span singled. Jason Repko laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third, and Carmona then walked Jason Kubel intentionally, loading the bases with one down.

That strategy backfired when Justin Morneau singled in two runs and sent Kubel to third, putting Minnesota up 5-1 and making the Indians’ deficit almost insurmountable.

It became an even more daunting deficit when Michael Cuddyer promptly got the runner home from third with a fielder’s choice for the second out, putting the Tribe down by five. Thome drew his second straight walk (this was starting to strongly resemble the Carmona of Opening Day), but the inning ended with a ground out from Danny Valencia.

The top of the sixth provided an exclamation point to the way the day has been doing so far. With one out Carlos Santana walked, but Travis Hafner promptly hit into a double-play, and the Indians’ pulse in this contest was rapidly weakening.

Chad Durbin came on for the Indians in the Twins’ sixth, finishing Carmona’s day. In five innings, Carmona allowed seven hits, four walks, struck out only one and surrendered six earned runs, jacking his ERA back up to 5.76. Fausto labored through 86 pitches to get 15 outs.

Drew Butera greeted Durbin with a double. For a team hitting .233 before the day began, the Indians’ pitching staff sure was seeming like the tonic needed by the Twins’ offense.

After Casilla grounded out, moving Butera to third, Span walked on four pitches. Span then stole second (which might be considered bad form with a 5-run lead, although someone would no doubt say that "The Indians have firepower and you never have too many runs against them").

Be that as it may, Repko singled to left, making it 7-1 with Span moving to third. Kubel hit a sac fly (as the Twins continued to make easy work of scoring a runner from third with less than two outs), before Justin Morneau finally ended the frame by grounding into a fielder’s choice.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.