CLEVELAND -- Even in celebration, there was concern for the up-one-day, down-the-next Cleveland Indians.
Travis Hafner's bloop single scored pinch-runner Ronnie Belliard from second with two outs in the 10th inning to give the Indians a 3-2 comeback victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.
Hafner, who was batting just .167 against left-handers, hit a flare off lefty J.C. Romero that just cleared leaping shortstop Juan Castro's glove. Belliard was waved around by third-base coach Joel Skinner and scored when left fielder Lew Ford's throw was off the mark.
But while Hafner was being mobbed in the infield by his teammates, Cleveland starter Kevin Millwood stayed back in the trainer's room having his injured right groin examined by team doctors.
Millwood removed himself in the fifth inning after injuring his groin on what turned out to be his third-to-last pitch.
"I felt it tug and bite a little bit," Millwood said. "It didn't pop, so that's good. The doctor doesn't think it's real bad."
Millwood tried to remain in the game, but gave up when he couldn't push off the rubber without pain.
"Hopefully, it's not too bad," he said. "I'm really not as concerned as I am frustrated. It's been a frustrating year so far."
Millwood will have an MRI on Thursday. Manager Eric Wedge deemed Millwood's injury as "considerable" and said there's a possibility the right-hander may go on the 15-day disabled list.
Bob Howry (3-1), one of four relievers the Indians brought in after Millwood got hurt, won the fifth one-run game between the AL Central rivals this season.
Torii Hunter hit his sixth homer for Minnesota.
Trailing 2-1 in the ninth, the Indians, who managed just six hits in eight innings off starter Carlos Silva, tied it on Ben Broussard's leadoff homer against Joe Nathan. It was the first homer allowed by Minnesota's closer since Aug. 19 -- a span of 40 games.
"How many?" said a surprised Broussard. "He's tough, man. You don't see him give up homers, runs, anything."
In the 10th, slumping catcher Victor Martinez, who didn't start, walked on four pitches from Juan Rincon (2-2) and was replaced by Belliard. Grady Sizemore dropped a hard bunt that was quickly fielded by Rincon, who appeared to have time to get the lead runner at second but threw to first for the sure out.
Rincon got Casey Blake to ground out and was lifted for Romero, who got two strikes on Hafner but couldn't put him away.
It was one of the few times this season that Minnesota's bullpen hasn't come through. Twins relievers entered with a 2.46 ERA, the AL's lowest.
"You won't see that happen to our bullpen very often," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Nathan got the ball up and we walked the leadoff guy in the 10th and he scored. You set yourself up when you do that."
After giving up a two-out single in the fifth to Mike Redmond, Millwood grimaced and bent over behind the mound in pain. Wedge and Indians trainer Rick Jameyson rushed out to help Millwood, who gave up the ball after a few moments and walked dejectedly toward the Indians dugout.
Millwood, one win shy of his 100th career victory, came in just 1-4 with a 3.31 ERA in nine starts. The Indians signed him to a one-year $7 million contract loaded with incentives in January.
The 30-year-old was limited to 25 starts last season for Philadelphia with an elbow injury. He spent six weeks on the disabled list.
"It's unfortunate that we win and Kevin gets hurt," Hafner said. "He's pitched well. I was just glad to see that it had nothing to do with his arm."
Silva did not allow an earned run to the light-hitting Indians, who have the majors' lowest team batting average (.241). The right-hander didn't allow a walk for the sixth time this season and has issued just two in 60 innings.
Twins 3B Michael Cuddyer went 0-for-4 and had his career-high hitting streak stopped at 13 games. ... Millwood is 99-68 with a 3.87 ERA since coming up with Atlanta in 1997. ... In his previous start, Silva needed just 74 pitches in a complete game against Milwaukee. It was the lowest total by a starting pitcher in the past five seasons. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the fewest pitches in a complete game is 58 by Red Barrett of the Boston Braves on Aug. 10, 1944. ... Cleveland is 7-12 in one-run games.
|Players of the Game|
|Shannon Stewart, DH||4||0||1||0||1||1||1||.283|
|Nick Punto, SS-2B||4||0||1||0||1||2||4||.282|
|Lew Ford, LF||5||0||0||0||0||0||4||.275|
|Justin Morneau, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.319|
|Torii Hunter, CF||4||2||2||1||0||0||2||.244|
|Jacque Jones, RF||3||0||2||1||1||0||0||.283|
|Michael Cuddyer, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.270|
|Mike Redmond, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.273|
|Luis Rodriguez, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||1||1||.333|
|Juan Castro, SS||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.284|
|2B - Nick Punto (9, Millwood), Torii Hunter (9, Rhodes)|
|HR - Torii Hunter (6, Millwood)|
|RBI - Torii Hunter (24), Jacque Jones (17)|
|SB - Nick Punto (3, 2nd base off Betancourt/Bard)|
|CS - Jacque Jones (3, 3rd base by Howry/Bard)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Punto-Rodriguez-Morneau|
|E - Lew Ford (1, Dropped fly)|
|Joe Nathan (BS,2)||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||2.21|
|Juan Rincon (L,2-2)||0.2||0||1||1||1||0||0||3.00|
|Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Silva 87-60, Joe Nathan 18-9, Juan Rincon 9-3, J.C. Romero 6-4|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Silva 10-12, Joe Nathan 1-1, Juan Rincon 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Carlos Silva 30, Joe Nathan 5, Juan Rincon 3, J.C. Romero 1|
|Grady Sizemore, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.276|
|Casey Blake, RF||5||0||1||0||0||0||2||.205|
|Travis Hafner, DH||5||0||1||1||0||0||2||.268|
|Ben Broussard, 1B||4||1||2||1||0||0||0||.268|
|Jody Gerut, LF||3||1||0||0||1||0||1||.333|
|Josh Bard, C||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.205|
|Aaron Boone, 3B||3||0||1||1||0||0||2||.162|
|Alex Cora, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.233|
|Jhonny Peralta, SS||3||0||0||0||0||2||2||.257|
|a- Victor Martinez, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.191|
|Ron Belliard, PR||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.272|
|a-walked for Peralta in the 10th|
|HR - Ben Broussard (4, Nathan)|
|SF - Aaron Boone (2)|
|SH - Grady Sizemore (2)|
|RBI - Travis Hafner (20), Ben Broussard (19), Aaron Boone (15)|
|2-OUT RBI - Travis Hafner (10)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Outfield Assists - Jody Gerut 1|
|DP - Peralta-Cora-Broussard, Cora-Peralta-Broussard|
|Bob Howry (W,3-1)||1.2||2||0||0||0||1||0||2.66|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 51-34, Rafael Betancourt 35-19, Matt Miller 21-13, Arthur Rhodes 7-5, Bob Howry 32-24|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 9-2, Matt Miller 4-0, Arthur Rhodes 1-0, Bob Howry 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 17, Rafael Betancourt 7, Matt Miller 6, Arthur Rhodes 3, Bob Howry 6|
|Attendance - 15794|
|Game Time - 3:00|
|Temperature - 63|
|Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Tom Hallion, Second Base - Bruce Froemming, Third Base - Hunter Wendelstedt|