CLEVELAND (AP)—Joe Mays stood at his locker, shrugged his shoulders and sighed. As usual, he left the ballpark feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied after facing the Indians.
But this time, the Twins’ right-hander wasn’t unhappy.
“We won,” said Mays, who remained 0-7 in 19 career games against Cleveland. “With what I had tonight I was pumped to get to the seventh inning.”
After falling behind 0-2 to Scott Sauerbeck, Morneau hit a soft liner toward the gap in left-center that a diving Sizemore couldn’t quite snag, clearing the bases to propel the Twins to their fifth win in seven games.
“I knew right away I had to go hard to get it,” Sizemore said. “In that situation, you’ve got to dive for anything. I was going to give it everything I had. It sliced away from me a little bit. I just missed it.”
Sizemore and Jody Gerut homered for the Indians, who had their winning streak stopped at three. They have not won four in a row this season.
Nick Punto opened the 11th with a double off David Riske (1-1), and Juan Castro sacrificed. Shannon Stewart walked before Indians manager Eric Wedge brought in Sauerbeck, a left-hander, to face Joe Mauer.
The Twins catcher struck out, but Sauerbeck walked right-hander Lew Ford, and Morneau made him pay with his clutch hit.
“That was scary,” said Morneau, who had an RBI single in the seventh. “When I saw him (Sizemore) dive I thought, `Oh, no.’ The wind finally worked in our advantage.”
Before Minnesota scored, Sauerbeck, who wasn’t upset with his pitch to Morneau, had stranded all 17 runners he inherited this season.
“It wasn’t too bad,” he said. “It had sharp break to it, but I got too much of the plate. I thought he hit it right at Grady, then it started slicing and the wind moved it 10 feet away from him.”
Sauerbeck tormented himself by watching a video replay after the game.
“It was like watching a bad dream in slow motion,” he said.
Despite not having his best stuff, Mays was four outs from an overdue first career win against Cleveland when the Indians rallied to tie it 3-3 in the eighth with an unearned run off reliever Juan Rincon.
The Indians are the only AL team the right-hander has not beaten since making his major league debut in 1999. He gave up two runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings.
“There isn’t anything frustrating because we still won,” Mays said. “This game isn’t all individualism, it’s about the team.”
Before Mays went out for the seventh, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire asked his pitcher how he was feeling.
“He said, ‘I’m a little cold, and I have no location,”’ Gardenhire said. “’Otherwise I’m fine.”
Mays was helped by two inning-ending double plays and some strong defense in the fifth when Mauer threw out Jose Hernandez trying to steal and the Twins completed a gorgeous relay to cut down Jhonny Peralta at third trying to stretch a double.
“That was not a good sequence of events,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said.
Cleveland starter Jake Westbrook again pitched well and came away with nothing to show for his effort.
He allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, leaving with the score tied 2-all. Westbrook, who won 14 games and made the All-Star team in 2004, has lost three one-run games this season and twice when he pitched a complete game.
Gerut evened it at 1-1 in the fifth with his first homer since Sept. 8, a shot into the right-field seats. He began the season on the disabled list after tearing a knee ligament while playing right field last Sept. 17.
Twins Jacque Jones was ejected in the sixth by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt for arguing a called third strike. … Minnesota’s Michael Cuddyer extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games. During the streak, he’s batting .383 (18-for-47) with eight RBIs. … Indians OF Juan Gonzalez went 0-for-4 in the first game of a rehab assignment at Triple-A Buffalo. The two-time AL MVP, who signed as a free agent in January, has been sidelined since spring training with hamstring injuries. … Cleveland’s chilly weather refuses to warm up. Through the first 19 home dates at Jacobs Field, the average gametime temperature has been 54 degrees.