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Twins win with three runs in sixth

The SportsXchange

MINNEAPOLIS -- All five runs in a tight, well-pitched game came in the sixth inning and the Minnesota Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 3-2 on Saturday night at Target Field.

Starting pitchers Kevin Correia of Minnesota and Corey Kluber of Cleveland were locked in a duel, each hanging goose eggs on the scoreboard for five innings.

In the sixth, Correia finally cracked. After allowing one hit to that point, he gave up a leadoff single to Lonnie Chisenhall, who was forced out at second on Michael Bourn's fielder's choice. But Bourn scored on a Jason Kipnis' two-run homer to left, his 14th home run of the season.

"I was just a little quick from the stretch and he hit it out," Correia said of Kipnis' home run. "The guy's a good hitter, he's an All-Star."

Kluber left the game after five innings because of tightness in his left hip. He threw 93 pitches and gave up three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in an efficient performance.

"He's OK" Indians manager Terry Francona said. "His left hip is bothering him a little bit. He fought through it.

"I thought it made it a little harder for him to command. He was up a little bit more than normal. But I just thought rather than push it -- he had given us a lot. With who they coming and more just protecting Corey, I just got him out of there.

"He was feeling it. If he had given up runs because of that, I would have kicked myself. This kid is obviously important to what we are doing moving forward. He was at 90 (pitches) already. It just didn't make a lot of sense to send him back out."

The Twins broke through against the Cleveland bullpen, with left-hander Rich Hill on to pitch. Joe Mauer walked and Justin Morneau singled him to third. Ryan Doumit hit a grounder to Chisenhall at third. He threw wide of home, allowing Mauer to score.

"We were set up where we have Richie facing two lefties and Doumit, who is a better left-handed hitter, and he walked the leadoff hitter," Fancona said. "He falls behind Morneau, who gets a base hit. Then he makes a good pitch on Doumit.

"I don't know, I shouldn't manage their team, but (Mauer's) going, and I don't think they probably wanted him to and we throw it away. That was a big turn of the ballgame."

With runners on second and third, Chris Colabello, who was called up the day before, singled to right for his first RBI to tie the score.

"He's done well in Triple A," bench coach Terry Steinbach said of Colabello. "There is that jump from Triple A to the big leagues and we want these kids to come up and have success and get the monkey off their back --get that big hit. It helps them relax a little bit and they can show us what talent they have.

"For him to come through and get that big hit and get the first RBI of what is hopefully a long career for him was important for our ballclub and for him."

Clete Thomas batted with runners on the corners and hit a grounder to Kipnis, who bobbled the ball and could only get the forceout at second, allowing Doumit to score for a 3-2 lead.

"It's just the character of our team," Steinbach said of the comeback. "One thing that they've done all year is not given up. They go out there as true professionals from the first inning through the nine, do quality at-bats and for the most part given our team a chance to win.

"Obviously, there have been games where we haven't come through, but there have been games where we have battled back and tonight was a good example of that."

Correia, who was relieved in the seventh, pitched six innings, giving up two runs, three hits and one walk while striking out three. The bullpen held his lead, giving him the win, and closer Glen Perkins picked up his 23rd save.

NOTES: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire left the dugout after the fifth inning with a flu-like stomach ailment. Steinbach filled in. ... In 93 games this season, the Twins have posted a .988 team fielding percentage, the sixth-best mark in the majors and fourth best in the American League. ... The Indians' pitching staff has allowed fewer than 10 hits in seven of their past eight games. ... On July 19 against the Indians, the Twins bullpen struck out six batters in 3 1/3 innings. It was the eighth time they have struck out six batters in a game. ... Since July 7, the Cleveland starting rotation is 4-0 with a 2.14 ERA while holding opponents to a .194 average.
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