MINNEAPOLIS - The Cleveland Indians came from behind to finally beat the Minnesota Twins 9-8 in 12 innings and take the three-game series on Wednesday afternoon at Target Field.
The teams battled back-and-forth all afternoon until the Indians finally went up for good. The Indians got two leadoff hits in the 12th, and Michael Brantley's sacrifice fly scored Nick Swisher to win the game.
Indians starter Carlos Carrasco spotted the Twins an early 4-0 lead, but the Indians hung around, slowing picking away at the lead. They were down 7-4 in the eighth and tied the game on a three-run homer to right by Jason Giambi-his eighth of the season.
"Giambi's hit was obviously a huge one," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We kind of pecked away and worked our way back into the game. And they scored the two and kind of spread the lead out. And then Giambi, just with a huge hit."
Cleveland went up in the 10th inning when Carlos Santana hit a solo home run off closer Glen Perkins for the 8-7 lead. But the Twins tied it on a Joe Mauer homer in the bottom of the inning.
In the 12th inning, Ryan Pressley could not hold down Cleveland, and he took the loss. Chris Perez (5-2) got the win for Cleveland.
The Twins tapped Carrasco for four runs on 10 hits in 4-1/3 innings (including no walks and four strike outs out), but he didn't let the game get away while his teammates battled back.
The Twins, who had 17 hits, opened the scoring with three hits off Carrasco in the first when Mauer singled, moved to third on Justin Morneau's double and then scored on Josh Willingham's sacrifice to right. Oswaldo Arcia then hit a double to the wall and scored Morneau for a quick 2-0 lead.
"His stuff is always good," Francona said of Corrasco. "Consistently from start to start he holds his stuff very well. He just makes too many mistakes in location. A lot of times you can't get away with one mistake to good hitters. There's some periods where he is making one two or three in an at bat and he's paying for it."
Clete Thomas hit a one-out double in the second. He moved to third on Pedro Florimon's single up the middle and scored when Brian Dozier singled off the glove of a diving Louis Chisenhall at third base. Florimon, who moved to third on Dozier's hit, scored on Mauer's second single in two innings.
The Indians (who had 12 hits) got two runs in the fourth when Gibson had some control problems. Gibson hit Carlos Santana with a pitch (his fifth hit batter in nine starts). Santana moved to third on Jason Giambi's single to the gap in center. Gibson's wild pitch allowed Giambi to move up to second and both runners scored on Mike Aviles' two-out bloop single to left.
Cleveland scored again in the sixth when Jason Kipnis hit a leadoff double and scored on Michael Brantley's single up the middle. Gibson walked Giambi, which ended his day after 88 pitches in 5-1/3 innings, three runs, six hits, two walks and three strike outs.
"I felt pretty good out there had all three pitches out there again, which is nice to have in back to back outings," Gibson. "But the pitches I made mistakes on hurt me."
The Twins responded in the sixth when Hill loaded the bases with a single, a hit batter and a walk. Mauer's two-run single to center gave them a 6-3 lead. The Twins tacked on a run in the seventh when Chris Colabello single home Willingham.
But in the eighth, the Indians hit three hard shots past Morneau (one for an error), scoring Kipnis. Giambi then hit the first pitch he saw from reliever Casey Fien over the right field fence to tie the game.
"A tough game," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We haven't seen our bullpen have trouble, especially Casey, he's been lights out. He got pitches up and couldn't really get the ball where he wanted to. They were swinging early and it happened really quick--boom, we're in a tie ball game."
The game went to the 10th, when Santana hit his 14th homer of the season. But Mauer (who had five hits in the game) tied it with his 10th homer of the season.
"He had a real nice game swinging the bat, did a real nice job behind the plate," Gardenhire said of Mauer. "Tied the ball game back up there and gave us another opportunity to try to win a game."
After the Indians took the lead in the 12, Joe Smith came on and picked up his second save.
NOTES: The Twins have hit 25 home runs in their last 18 games (since July 26), which is the most in baseball. ... Coming in, the Indians were 25-16 in day games while the Twins were 25-22-both were tied (with Oakland and Toronto) for the most afternoon wins in the AL. The Indians now lead with 26. ... Arcia has 27 extra-base hits-the most among AL rookies. His 10 home runs are tied for first.