Indians 5, Twins 3, 10 innings

Preview | Box Score | Recap

MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Minnesota got a much-needed quality outing from its struggling starting pitcher, then watched its two best relievers blow a late lead.

That’s the way things are going for the fading Twins.

Shane Spencer hit a two-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning to send the Cleveland Indians to a 5-3 comeback victory Sunday.

“Our bullpen came up and didn’t hold it,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. “That normally doesn’t happen, but it did today.”

Matt Lawton, who hit a game-tying homer off LaTroy Hawkins in the eighth and went 3-for-5 against his old club, singled with one out in the 10th against Eddie Guardado (1-4).

Spencer drove an 0-2 pitch into the left-field seats to give Cleveland three wins in four games in this series and hand Minnesota its 16th defeat in its last 22.

“He’s an aggressive pitcher,” Spencer said. “He just missed his spot.”

David Riske (2-1) pitched two innings of scoreless relief, and Danys Baez got his 20th save in 25 opportunities.

Doug Mientkiewicz had a pair of doubles and an RBI for the Twins, who appeared to be on the way to getting Brad Radke his first victory in nine starts with a 3-1 lead after six.

Casey Blake, 5-for-5 with seven RBIs on Saturday, doubled and scored on a single by Victor Martinez in the seventh to make it 3-2.

Radke gave up two runs, five hits and a walk in seven innings. But Hawkins, 5-2 with a 1.83 ERA this year, and Guardado, 20-for-22 in save chances, couldn’t hang on.

“When we get the ball in Hawk’s hands, we don’t think too many things are going to happen,” Gardenhire said.

The Twins have lost seven of eight. They’re just one game above .500 and one ahead of the White Sox for second place in the AL Central.

“Hopefully, we do put our finger on it soon,” Guardado said, “because it’s getting late.”

Radke looked like his old self—the Twins’ starter in seven of the last eight season openers. He got a break—a rarity for this team recently—after a bad bounce in the first, usually his worst inning.

Milton Bradley’s two-out bloop triple landed in front of Torii Hunter in center field, ricocheted over his head and rolled all the way to the wall. Right fielder Bobby Kielty picked it up and threw to shortstop Cristian Guzman, whose relay home beat Bradley by about 20 feet.

Bradley didn’t slide, avoiding catcher A.J. Pierzynski’s sweep tag but running past the plate and continuing toward the dugout as Pierzynski jogged after him to make the tag.

Radke allowed soft singles to Lawton and Bradley to begin the fourth before a sacrifice fly by Spencer cut the Twins’ lead to 2-1.

“Shane’s swing has been coming around,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “It’s tough for a guy who’s not in every day, but he’s worked hard and done what he’s needed to go out there and do the job when he gets the chance.”

Cleveland starter Jason Stanford gave up two runs, five hits and four walks in his five-inning major league debut.

An undrafted free agent signed by the Indians in 1999 after completing his college career at Charlotte, Stanford went 8-3 with a 3.13 ERA for Triple-A Buffalo. He replaced the demoted Ricardo Rodriguez in the rotation.

“I felt comfortable out there,” Stanford said. “I was surprised. You’re going to have butterflies and nervousness, but I had most of that yesterday.”

Though a little wild, Stanford twice worked his way out of trouble to keep Cleveland within one.

Luis Rivas walked to load the bases with two outs in the fourth, but shortstop Ricky Gutierrez bobbled Kielty’s grounder and barely threw him out to end the inning.

With runners at first and third and two down in the fifth, Dustan Mohr broke his bat and grounded out.

Hunter walked, stole second and scored on Mohr’s single in the second, and Kielty and Mientkiewicz put the Twins up 2-0 in the third with back-to-back doubles.

“Hopefully, we can keep playing well up to the All-Star break,” Lawtonsaid.


Rivas hit an RBI single in the sixth off Jack Cressend to put Minnesota up 3-1. … Blake, Cressend and Lawton are all former Twins. … Lawton is batting .325 with seven homers, 17 runs and 15 RBIs in his last 18 games. … Twins LHP Eric Milton, recovering from knee surgery he had in March, is stillat least a month away from throwing off a mound.

Related Articles