Twins 14, Indians 6
CLEVELAND (AP)—The Minnesota Twins have struggled on the road—until Friday night.
Rondell White and Michael Cuddyer each had four RBIs and Justin Morneau scored four times to help the Twins extend their latest winning streak to eight games with a 14-6 victory over the struggling Cleveland Indians.
“Neither team pitched well, but we had one heck of an inning,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said of the Twins’ eight-run fourth.
Dennys Reyes (2-0), the third of five Twins pitchers, worked two-thirds of an inning for the win, Minnesota’s 30th in its last 37 games. Cleveland fell to 2-6 since the All-Star break and is 3-10 since beating the New York Yankees 19-1 on July 4.
White had four of Minnesota’s 18 hits, while Cuddyer and Joe Mauer had three apiece. The Twins have had at least 11 hits in every game of their streak.
“Everybody had great games,” said Cuddyer after the Twins, 37-11 at home, improved to 4-15 on the road against AL Central opponents and 18-29 away from home overall.
“Hopefully, this will give us some momentum because we all know what we’ve done on the road.”
Grady Sizemore and Victor Martinez each had three of Cleveland’s 16 hits, but Indians starter C.C. Sabathia (7-6) had a miserable 26th birthday. The left-hander nearly got hit in the head by a line drive in the second inning, then was ejected after throwing 42 pitches and walking three in the fourth.
“It wasn’t just that inning,” Sabathia said. “I was frustrated the whole game. I don’t think I had a called strike in the first inning. That’s crazy. I know I’m not Greg Maddux with pinpoint control, but I throw strikes.”
Jason Tyner lined a single within inches of Sabathia’s head, the ball caroming off the left-hander’s forearm and into center field. Sabathia quickly recovered, getting the next batter, Jason Bartlett, to bounce into an inning-ending double play. He wasn’t as fortunate in the fourth.
Sabathia walked Morneau and hit White in the foot with an 0-2 pitch before Josh Rabe singled between first and second to load the bases. Tyner then hit a slow roller that third baseman Aaron Boone misplayed for an error as Morneau scored.
Bartlett hit a sacrifice fly to score White and break a 2-2 tie, though the throw from right fielder Casey Blake had the runner beat and was bobbled by catcher Martinez.
Sabathia then walked Nick Punto and Mauer to force in a run and Cuddyer lined a three-run double to right-center to make it 7-2.
After being replaced by Jason Davis, Sabathia yelled at plate umpire Chris Guccione and was ejected.
“I’ve been ejected from games, but never after I’ve been taken out,” Sabathia said. “I was telling him he was terrible.
“I went back and watched the game and I think there were only nine or 10 times he called a strike. When you throw almost 100 pitches and you only get 10 called strikes, that’s tough to take.”
Davis, just recalled from Triple-A Buffalo, walked Morneau, and White followed with an RBI double. Rabe then beat out a bunt for his first career RBI to make it 9-2.
Jason Michaels and Martinez had RBI doubles in the bottom half of the inning, then Sizemore had an RBI single and Michaels added a sacrifice fly in the fifth to make it 9-6.
Minnesota scored twice in the sixth and White had a two-run double in the seventh off Edward Mujica to make it 13-6.
“We’re playing with a lot of confidence,” said White, who has hit .522 (12-for-23) with 10 RBIs in his last six games. “I’m just trying to help out. Everybody has been hitting. If one guy doesn’t get you, the next one will.”
Twins starter Carlos Silva allowed 13 hits and five earned runs in 4 1-3 innings. Sabathia gave up six hits and eight runs—three earned—in 3 2-3 innings.
Minnesota began its current streak with a 3-2 home win over Cleveland on July 14. The Twins also won eight straight from June 11-20, followed by a season-high 11 straight wins from June 22-July 3. … Punto is hitting .426 (23-for-54) during a career-high 14-game hitting streak. … Luis Castillo is hitting .365 (23-for-63) during a season-high 15-game streak. … Sizemore went 3-for-3 with an intentional walk off Silva and is hitting .600 (15-for-25) in his career against him. … Martinez is batting .426 (29-for-68) in July. … Indians 2B Ronnie Belliard sat out with a strained left hamstring.