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Indians' Kipnis cures slump against Twins

The SportsXchange

CLEVELAND -- The best medicine for Jason Kipnis' slump was some at-bats against the Minnesota Twins.

Kipnis continued his hot hitting against the Twins by going 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs to help lead the Cleveland Indians to a 7-2 win on Saturday night.

Zach McAllister pitched into the eighth inning and Carlos Santana also homered for the Indians, who have won seven of their last 10 games.

Kipnis snapped an 0-for-19 hitless streak with his two-hit night. Against the Twins this season, Kipnis is hitting .426 (23-54) with four home runs and 20 RBIs.

Kipnis officially ended his hitless streak with a first-inning single.

"I think that allowed him to take deep breath," Indians manager Terry Francona said.

Michael Brantley had an RBI single in the fifth inning, snapping his 0-for-22 hitless streak. Kipnis and Brantley came into the game in a combined 0-for-39 slump.

"It's a long season and you know you're going to have your ups and downs. That's baseball," Kipnis said. "You're feeling good one day, then something happens and you don't even know how to hold your hands at the plate the next day. A lot of it is mental. You've got to clear your head and try not to think about it."

McAllister (7-7) pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and four hits as he won his third game in a row. In seven starts since returning from a seven-week stay on the disabled list with a sprained finger, McAllister is 3-2 with a 3.66 ERA.

"He looks like he hasn't missed a beat. He worked so hard when he was down. He looks really good," Francona said.

McAllister said, "During my time off, I made some adjustments with my delivery and I really feel comfortable now. I'm attacking the zone."

Minnesota starter Liam Hendriks (0-2) gave up seven runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings and took the loss.

"I got ahead of guys, but I couldn't throw a strike in the right location. My secondary pitchers just weren't working," Hendriks said.

Brian Dozier drove in both of Minnesota's runs with a sacrifice fly in the third inning and a home run in the eighth.

Cleveland got two hits each from Kipnis and Drew Stubbs. Nick Swisher added a key two-run double in a three-run fifth inning.

The Twins, who have lost eight of their last 12 games, were held to five hits by McAllister and two relievers.

"A rough game for us tonight," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Hendriks got some balls up and he couldn't keep them in the park. They outplayed us. Things didn't go our way at all. It was one of those nights where we sat around waiting for something to happen for us and nothing did."

Cleveland took a 2-0 first-inning lead with a rally started by Kipnis. With two outs and nobody on base, Kipnis singled off Hendriks. Santana followed with a booming home run to right-center field, his 16th of the season, giving the Indians a 2-0 lead.

McAllister retired the first seven batters he faced before walking Clete Thomas with one out in the third. Thomas went to third on a single by Pedro Florimon and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Dozier, cutting the Cleveland lead to 2-1.

Kipnis, however, extended the lead to 4-1 in the third inningwith a two-run homer, his 16th home run of the season, tying him with Santana for the team lead, and the Indians broke the game open in the fifth with Swisher's two-run double and Brantley's RBI single that made it 7-1.

NOTES: Twins OF Josh Willingham came into the game 5-for-7 with three home runs and six RBI against McAllister. ... Twins OF Oswaldo Arcia was back in the lineup. He had been out since Monday with a bruised left wrist. ... Indians RHP Corey Kluber on Monday will throw his first bullpen session since going on the disabled list on Aug. 6 with a sprained middle finger on his right hand. ... Indians RHP Brett Myers made a rehab start at Double-A Akron on Saturday. Myers has been on the disabled list since April 20 with right elbow inflammation, but there is hope that he could be activated sometime in September.
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