After taking two straight from Minnesota last weekend at Jacobs Field to pull within one game of the Twins, the Indians have lost four in a row to fall four games back in the division.
Scott Elarton was pounded for three homers in Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to Texas as the Indians were swept by the Rangers, who are tied with Boston for the AL wild card, 5 1/2 games in front of Cleveland.
“Those guys have had our number all year,” Gerut said. “We gave ourselves an opportunity to win the ballgame a couple of times but just couldn’t get over the hump.”
Right-hander Jake Westbrook takes the mound for Cleveland in Friday’s series opener.
Westbrook has won five straight decisions, and is 1-1 with a 2.20 ERA in three appearances, including one start, against Minnesota this season.
“They’re a great team. We know that,” Westbrook said after beating the Twins 7-1 on Saturday—the Indians’ last victory.
The Twins rallied from a 9-3 deficit to take a one-run lead into the ninth inning Thursday, but closer Joe Nathan blew a rare save opportunity as Minnesota lost to the New York Yankees 13-10 at the Metrodome, failing to complete a three-game sweep.
The Twins also lost Gold Glove center fielder Torii Hunter to a neck injury. Hunter strained his neck when he crashed into the padded wall trying to make a catch. He laid on his back on the warning track for several minutes before being helped to his feet and carted off the field. He is listed as day-to-day.