CLEVELAND (AP)—On a day the Cleveland Indians learned a player who is a big part of their present won’t play again this season, one who’s a big part of their future helped them to victory.
The Indians announced earlier in the day that center fielder and leadoff hitter Grady Sizemore(notes) will have surgery on his left elbow next week and will miss the rest of the season. Brantley, called up from Triple-A Columbus on Sept. 1, stepped into both roles nicely. The left-handed hitter singled and scored a run in the third and drove in a run with a sixth-inning single.
Jeremy Sowers(notes) (6-9) pitched six strong innings and the Indians took advantage of sloppy play by the Twins, who committed a season-high four errors. The loss dropped Minnesota six games behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central.
“Not a particularly good night,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “When you make four errors, you probably end up deserving to lose. That’s what we got tonight. We gave them too many opportunities and too many outs.”
Brantley is batting .400 (6 for 15) in four games. He had his first major-league hit Tuesday against the Tigers.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Brantley said. “This is a dream come true. I can’t stop smiling from ear to ear.”
Brantley’s father, Mickey, a former major league outfielder, was in the stands Friday night.
“I love playing in front of him,” Brantley said. “As a kid, you always dream about doing what your father did.”
Brantley batted .267 at Columbus and led the International League with 46 stolen bases. The Indians have high hopes for the 22-year-old, who could be in the starting outfield when next season begins.
“It’s early,” Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. “I’m sure there will be an adjustment period for him, but he’s doing a good job for us.”
Sowers (6-9) allowed two runs, six hits and didn’t walk a batter. The left-hander, who retired the first 10 hitters, is 4-2 with a 3.62 ERA in his last eight starts.
“My fastball command has been better,” Sowers said. “I was throwing strikes early and getting ahead in the count.”
“We should score more runs,” he said. “Nothing against Sowers because he pitched pretty good today, but his ERA (4.78), he’s given up a lot of runs. So we should have scored more runs today.”
“I know they play with a lot of energy and they put up good at-bats,” Pavano said of his former teammates. “I knew I had to make good pitches and for the most part, I did that. You’re going to face a lot of guys that you played with. You have to be a professional and go out there and do your job.”
A throwing error by shortstop Orlando Cabrera helped Cleveland’s rally in the third. Singles by Brantley and Jamey Carroll(notes), who had three hits, started the inning. First baseman Justin Morneau(notes) fielded Asdrubal Cabrera’s(notes) grounder and threw to second for a force play. Orlando Cabrera’s throw to first sailed past Pavano and into the Twins’ dugout, allowing Brantley to score.
“I don’t think anything was particularly routine,” Harris said. “It was the type of plays you really hope the next ball comes right at you so you can make up for it a little bit. It’s frustrating because they were funky and balls you don’t really prepare for but at the same time plays I expect to make.”
Pavano was acquired on Aug. 7 for minor league pitcher Yohan Pino.
NOTES: The Twins recalled INF Matt Tolbert(notes) from Triple-A Rochester on Friday. … Francisco Liriano(notes), on the disabled list since Aug. 18 with left arm fatigue, is expected to throw a bullpen session on Sunday, followed by a simulated game on Tuesday. If all goes well, Liriano could return to the Twins in a relief role at some point this season. … Sizemore will also have lower abdominal surgery a week after the elbow operation. He has been bothered by groin problems since spring training. … The Indians activated OF Trevor Crowe(notes) (strained oblique) from the disabled list and purchased the contract of LHP Mike Gosling(notes) from Triple-A Columbus.