Polanco, Twins aim to separate from Indians

Field Level Media

Jorge Polanco has been making himself at home in Cleveland.

Polanco aims to cap a strong week at Progressive Field on Saturday as the visiting Minnesota Twins vie for a series victory over the Indians.

The 26-year-old had an RBI single in the All-Star Game on Tuesday before belting a go-ahead two-run double with two outs in the seventh inning in Minnesota's 5-3 win over Cleveland.

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"It's just another good swing that he's put on balls. He's obviously produced a ton for us this year," Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said of Polanco, who had four hits -- including a homer -- and two runs scored in the Twins' previous series in Cleveland from June 4-6.

Mitch Garver provided insurance with a solo shot in the eighth inning to improve to 7-for-19 with two homers and four RBIs in his last four games.

Miguel Sano boasts a 10-game hitting streak (13-for-34, four homers) for the Twins, whose fourth win in seven contests of the season series extended their lead to 6 1/2 games over the Indians in the American League Central.

"Any time you give good teams anything, it can come back to bite you," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.

While Polanco has three homers among his six hits versus Saturday starter Trevor Bauer (8-6, 3.61 ERA), Sano is 3-for-27 with 12 strikeouts against the right-hander while Garver is 1-for-9 with four strikeouts.

Bauer is looking to build off a sterling 4-0 record with a 2.90 ERA in his last six starts.

The 28-year-old, however, fell to 6-8 with a 4.35 ERA in his career against Minnesota after posting an 0-1 mark with a 3.60 ERA in two encounters this season.

Bauer allowed just one run on one hit in seven innings of a no-decision on March 30 before surrendering five runs on as many hits -- including three homers -- in eight frames of a 5-4 setback on June 6.

Twins right-hander Jake Odorizzi (10-4, 3.15) will come off the injured list to make the start on Saturday.

Odorizzi answered a 10-0 run in an 11-start stretch by going 0-2 in his last three before being sidelined with a blister on his right middle finger.

The 29-year-old, who owns a 1-4 record with a 5.25 ERA in 10 starts against Cleveland, matched a career high with 11 strikeouts and allowed one run on one hit over six innings in a no-decision on March 30.

All-Star Carlos Santana, who is just 1-for-9 against Odorizzi, homered in the series opener to reach base in his 30th straight game.

Roberto Perez had a two-run single on Friday to improve to 8-for-16 with a pair of homers and six RBIs in his last four contests.

Despite those impressive numbers, the Indians lamented missing a chance to chip into their deficit in the division.

"It's a missed opportunity, but there's two more the next two days, plenty more down the road and two months more of opportunities to make up this ground," Cleveland's Jason Kipnis said after seeing his club's season-high six-game winning streak come to an end.

"Sure these games make it a little bit harder and we'd love to have them, but we're gonna focus on taking these next two."

--Field Level Media

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