Seven players drove in at least one run for Cleveland, and the Indians held onto a lead that was too big for their exhausted bullpen to blow.
“We knew coming into the game that there was two, maybe three of us who could throw,” Durbin said.
Durbin (1-1) worked 4 2-3 innings for the win, giving up two runs and five hits. His last win came Sept. 28, 2001, against the Chicago White Sox when he was a starter for Kansas City.
Durbin made 29 starts for the Royals in 2001, going 9-16. But troubles with his right elbow limited him to 17 major league innings over the last two seasons.
His last win was so long ago, he didn’t even remember it.
“I think it was against the Indians?”
Nope. The White Sox.
“It was a while back,” he said.
Durbin gave up the game-winning homer to Shannon Stewart on Monday night, when the Indians blew a 4-0 eighth-inning lead in a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. On Tuesday, they gave up a 6-4 lead in the ninth and lost 7-6 in 15 innings.
But Cleveland scored three runs in the fourth and added four more in the sixth, and Minnesota, which scored two runs in the sixth, wasn’t coming back this time.
“We could definitely be 3-0 tonight,” Lawton said.
Cleveland had 10 or more hits in each of the three games, finishing the series with 45 and a .317 average.
“We played three good ballgames,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “Obviously, we gave two of them away late. … In terms of the way we played these three games, I’m very pleased.”
Indians starter Cliff Lee, who went 3-3 in nine starts late last season, gave up six hits, four walks and hit one batter while striking out two. He left after throwing 95 pitches in 4 1-3 innings.
“Fortunately, I only gave up two runs,” he said. “Durbin came and picked me up.”
The Indians broke open a 2-1 game with three runs in the fourth. Lawton and Omar Vizquel each drove in a run against Twins starter Kyle Lohse (0-1). Cleveland led 5-1 after Lohse walked Blake with the bases loaded to score Lawton.
The Twins’ bullpen worked 16 innings in the previous two games and needed a long outing from Lohse, who threw 89 pitches and gave up five earned runs in four innings. Brad Radke threw six innings Monday, and Johan Santana lasted only four on Tuesday.
“I came out flat,” Lohse said. “My fastball didn’t really have any angle on it. … In the first place, you want to go deep into a game anyways. But obviously with the ‘pen being the way it was, it wasn’t a good feeling throwing that many pitches early.”
Minnesota played without two injured starters—Gold Glove center fielder Torii Hunter and rookie catcher Joe Mauer—and lost catcher Matthew LeCroy after he pulled an oblique muscle on his second swing of the game. LeCroy started in place of Mauer, who went on the disabled list Wednesday with a sprained knee.
Now, LeCroy heads to the DL.
“You wonder what that moon’s doing to us,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We’ll just have to work our way through it.”
Seth Greisinger, who was called up to replace Mauer and arrived at the park about an hour before the game, relieved Lohse. But his debut was rocky.
On Greisinger’s first pitch in the fifth, Martinez homered to left to make it 6-2.
Greisinger was charged with four more runs in the sixth after walking Vizquel with one out. Vizquel scored on Blake’s double. Travis Hafner knocked in Jody Gerut with a sacrifice fly, Alex Escobar had an RBI single, and Belliard doubled off Carlos Pulido to make it 10-2 and send the fans to theexits.
The Indians’ bullpen was a man short after right-handed closer David Riske flew home to be with his pregnant wife, who was expected to give birth on Wednesday. … Greisinger recovered from Martinez’s homer by striking out the next four batters. … The Minnesota women’s basketball team, which lost in the Final Four to eventual national champion Connecticut, threw out the ceremonialfirst pitch.