Tribe Staves Off Twins Rally
CLEVELAND (AP) – Michael Bourn had three hits and three RBI to help Corey Kluber win his third consecutive start as the Cleveland Indians won their fourth straight with an 8-7 victory against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.
Cleveland took advantage of five first-inning walks to score six runs. Jason Kipnis added three hits to pace the Indians, who are 8-2 since losing eight in a row.
Kluber (6-4) gave up three runs in 5 2-3 innings. The right-hander has allowed four earned runs in 21 2-3 innings in his last three starts.
Minnesota starter P.J. Walters (2-3) walked five of the nine batters he faced, hit one and didn’t get through the first inning when Cleveland had only two hits. Kipnis and Bourn both had two-run singles while Jason Giambi and Drew Stubbs drew bases-loaded walks.
Joe Mauer hit a two-run homer in the first for Minnesota, which has homered in seven straight games. Oswaldo Arcia added a solo shot in the fourth while Chris Parmelee homered to lead off the eighth.
Minnesota cut the lead to 8-5 in the eighth and had the tying run at the plate with one out but Rich Hill struck out Mauer and Ryan Doumit.
Vinnie Pestano allowed two runs in the ninth, including Parmelee’s second homer of the game but struck out pinch-hitter Josh Willingham on a 3-2 pitch with the tying run on first for his third save.
Walters’ problems began when he walked Bourn and hit Mike Aviles to start the first. Kipnis’ double into the left corner tied the score. After Michael Brantley flied out, Carlos Santana and Mark Reynolds walked to load the bases. Walters then walked Giambi, who was batting .180, to force in a run.
Lonnie Chisenhall flied out but a walk to Stubbs made it 4-2 and ended Walters’ night. Bourn greeted Anthony Swarzak with single to center and Cleveland led 6-2. Walters threw 46 pitches, only 18 of which were strikes in two-thirds of an inning. He failed to pitch into the sixth inning for the first time in six starts this season.
Minnesota jumped ahead 2-0 when Mauer homered to right-center on Kluber’s first pitch following Clete Thomas’ single.
Arcia homered to lead off the fourth.
Kluber ended the Indians’ eight-game slide when he held Texas to one run in eight innings on June 11. He followed that with eight shutout innings against Washington on June 16. Kluber, who threw 100 pitches Saturday, gave up eight hits, struck out four and walked one.
Stubbs and Bourn added RBI singles in the fifth off Ryan Pressly. Kipnis, who singled, doubled and tripled, is batting .379 (25-for-66) in 19 games in June.
Trevor Plouffe added an RBI single for the Twins in the seventh.
Minnesota came to town riding a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox but lost to the Indians 5-1 on Friday. The Twins are 13-7 against Cleveland since June 2, 2012.
Indians first baseman Nick Swisher, who has missed six games with a sore left shoulder, will probably return for Sunday’s series finale or Monday when the Indians open a series in Baltimore. Swisher, who is in a 6-for-55 slump. took batting practice Saturday.