CLEVELAND - Scott Kazmir allowed one run in seven strong innings and Jason Kipnis drove in three, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 5-1 victory against the Minnesota Twins on Friday night.
Kazmir (4-4) gave up just a leadoff homer to Brian Dozier in the sixth inning and four other hits in his time on the mound. The left-hander struck out seven, including five in his final two innings. Kazmir has been a pleasant addition for the Indians, who signed him during the winter after he pitched for the independent Sugarland Skeeters last season.
Kipnis hit a sacrifice fly - to the second baseman - off Samuel Deduno (3-2) in the third and added a two-run single in the seventh as the Indians won their third straight and seventh in nine games since losing eight in a row.
Cleveland’s starting pitcher Scott Kazmir delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Twins on Friday.
The Twins came in riding a three-game winning streak. They homered four times in an 8-4 win Thursday to complete a sweep of the Chicago White Sox.
But Kazmir, who hadn't won since May 30, cooled Minnesota off.
The left-hander blanked the Twins on three hits over the first five innings before Dozier opened the sixth with his seventh homer to cut Cleveland's lead to 2-1.
Dozier turned on a 1-0 pitch and belted it into the bleachers in left. Kazmir, though, regrouped and struck out Joe Mauer, got Ryan Doumit on a grounder and fanned Josh Willingham looking to preserve the lead.
Kazmir was in trouble in the seventh, when he appeared to hurt himself on a 3-1 pitch to Trevor Plouffe. After Kazmir bounced his pitch way short of the plate, Indians manager Terry Francona and trainer Lonnie Soloff came out to visit the starter, who told them "I'm all right" but then gave up a double on his next pitch.
But with Cody Allen warming up in the bullpen and Francona inching his way toward the dugout steps, Kazmir struck out Oswaldo Arcia and Clete Thomas to end the inning.
The Indians chased Deduno and added three runs in the seventh on Drew Stubbs' RBI single and Kipnis' blooper to left.