CLEVELAND (AP)—The Cleveland Indians have received contributions from the entire roster in their five-game winning streak.
Drew Stubbs took his turn Friday night.
Stubbs’ one-out double in the 10th inning lifted the Indians to 7-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins to give Cleveland its first five-game winning streak since winning seven in a row from April 26-May 3, 2011.
“I feel great right now,” Stubbs said. “I’m just seeing the ball really well and putting good swings on pitches. I hope I can keep it going a long time.”
The Indians, who are back at .500 for the first time since they were 5-5 on April 13, are winning despite the fact first baseman Nick Swisher (sore left shoulder) and outfielder Michael Bourn (lacerated right index finger) have been out of the lineup. Stubbs, 7 for 13 in his last three games, has helped make up for the loss of two of Cleveland’s top offseason additions.
“It makes you feel really good because he’s a very hard worker,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We got Drew because we love his athleticism, his ability to play the outfield, and the way he runs the bases. And since Bourny went out, he’s played Gold Glove-caliber center field—and I don’t think he’s getting enough credit for that.”
Stubbs has raised his average from .213 to .284 in the last three games with three doubles, a homer and three RBIs.
The Indians couldn’t hold a 5-3 lead in the seventh when Minnesota scored three times to take the lead, but Jason Kipnis tied the game in the eighth with a run-scoring groundout, his fourth RBI of the game that tied a career high.
“A good ballgame, both teams going back and forth, doing some damage here and there and we came up on the short end,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said.
“I pitched, we didn’t lose, and we wound up winning the ballgame,” Masterson said. “At the end of the day, that’s five in a row. We’re having a lot of fun right now.”
Ryan Raburn who had 12 hits in his previous 14 at-bats coming into the game, was 0 for 5.
Masterson appeared to be in line for his fifth win until the seventh. The right-hander was pulled after Ryan Doumit’s RBI single cut the lead to 5-4. Chris Parmalee’s two-out blast came off reliever Cody Allen and gave Minnesota a 6-5 lead.
Aviles started the tying rally with a single off Jared Burton After pinch-hitter Jason Giambi flied out to deep center, Stubbs’ blooper fell near the right-field line for a double and sent Aviles to third. After Michael Brantley was intentionally walked to load the bases, Kipnis hit a ground ball to the right side that second baseman Brian Dozier knocked down. Dozier could only get Kipnis at first as Aviles scored to tie it at 6-all.
Masterson retired the first two hitters in the seventh, but Justin Morneau singled and took second on a passed ball by Yan Gomes Doumit slapped a single on a 3-2 pitch through the left side that scored Morneau to make it 5-4.
Parmalee hit a 2-2 pitch to right that cleared the wall despite a leaping attempt Raburn, for his third homer of the season to put the Twins ahead 6-5.
Trevor Plouffe hit a solo homer in the second.
Twins starter Pedro Hernandez who recorded his first career win over Texas in his last start, gave up five runs in 5 1-3 innings
Mark Reynolds hit a two-run homer in the fifth for Cleveland that broke a 3-3 tie. Kipnis also had a two-run double in the third and a drove in another run with a bunt single in the sixth.
Swisher didn’t start for the third straight game. He took batting practice before the game and says he plans to play Saturday.
NOTES: Morneau has 104 RBIs in 134 career games against the Indians. He also drove in his 800th career run, making him only the fifth player in Twins history to reach that mark. Harmon Killebrew, Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett and Tony Oliva are the others. … Hernandez committed a balk in the fifth—the first by a Twins pitcher this season. … Bourn took part in running drills and could start a minor-league rehabilitation assignment in a few days. … The Indians claimed Carrera from Philadelphia and optioned RHP Trevor Bauer to Triple-A Columbus. … The series continues Saturday afternoon when the Twins send RHP Kevin Correia (3-1) to the mound against LHP Scott Kazmir (0-1).