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Minnesota at Cleveland

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Minnesota «0140000106100
Cleveland100000000183

Twins turn five DPs; Baker strong in 6-1 win over Indians

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- While trying to catch first-place Detroit, the Minnesota Twins are catching everything hit their way, too.

Minnesota turned five double plays for the first time in 11 years and Scott Baker pitched six strong innings as the Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 6-1 Sunday to move within one game of the Tigers in the AL Central.

"Guys made good plays behind me all day," Baker (5-8) said after pitching six strong innings. "It gives you a lot of confidence knowing guys will make the plays."

The Twins came in three games ahead of Chicago in the wild-card chase and won for the eighth time in 10 games. Minnesota is 41-21 since a 6-4 loss to Cleveland dropped the Twins 12 games back on July 13.

Baker (5-8) finally put together a good outing against Cleveland, allowing one run and six hits. The right-hander came in 0-3 with a 6.64 ERA in four career starts against the Indians.

"I can't tell you how good it feels to pitch well in this kind of situation," Baker said.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said Baker has been a different pitcher in three September starts since returning from a one-month stay at Triple-A Rochester.

"He made a lot of good pitches to get double plays," Gardenhire said. "That's the one thing we've been preaching to him. If you pitch to contact, we'll catch it. We're good at that. We made a lot of good plays in the infield."

Matt Guerrier pitched the final three innings for his first career save. Kevin Kouzmanoff grounded into his second double play of the game to end it.

The last time Minnesota made five double plays in a game was June 3, 1995, against Texas.

Jason Tyner had three hits while Torii Hunter and Phil Nevin each drove in two runs to help Minnesota improve to 20-7 on the road since opening the season 9-24 away from the Metrodome. The Twins are 3-1 on their final trip of the season, which concludes with three games each at Boston and Baltimore.

"We know what's at hand," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "If you can't get read to play in Boston, you can't play anywhere. It's a great atmosphere."

Hunter is keeping the Twins' situation in perspective, too.

"I'm a realist," he said. "Were not going to win 13 in a row. We're going to lose some games. I'm only thinking about Tuesday in Boston."

Cleveland has lost 10 of 14 since designated hitter Travis Hafner was lost for the season with a broken right hand on Sept. 2. The Indians made three errors and a misplayed a couple other situations.

"Go ask them if you think they should make plays," manager Eric Wedge said of his young team. "I'm not pleased and it will be addressed."

Hunter's two-run single with the bases loaded broke a 1-1 tie in the third against Paul Byrd (9-8). Left fielder Franklin Gutierrez's throwing error on the play allowed the runners to advance, and two more runs scored when Nevin followed with a grounder off third baseman Andy Marte's glove that was ruled a single.

"That play should be made," Wedge said. "You saw Minnesota play defense."

The Indians, who totaled only 16 runs in a 1-5 homestand against the Twins and Kansas City Royals, took a 1-0 lead before making an out. Grady Sizemore walked, took second on a single by Hector Luna and scored on Casey Blake's single.

The Twins tied it with an unearned run in the second. With two outs, Hunter reached when first baseman Ryan Garko couldn't handle a throw for an error. Nevin singled and Tyner's single evened it.

Byrd allowed four earned runs and eight hits over six innings, walking four and striking out three. He has not issued a walk in 12 of 29 starts.

Nick Punto drove in the final run with a sacrifice fly off Matt Miller in the eighth.

Notes

  • Cleveland also hit into five double plays in Anaheim on July 19.
  • The Twins batted .303 (46-for-152) and scored 23 runs in the series, but also stranded 46 baserunners in four games.
  • Hunter drove in seven runs in the four-game series.
  • Luna is 20-for-61 (.328) in his last 16 games.
  • Tyner has hit .361 (30-for-83) with 10 RBIs in his last 24 games.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Torii Hunter drives in two runners in this at-bat. The Twins outfielder records seven RBI in the series.  (AP)
Torii Hunter drives in two runners in this at-bat. The Twins outfielder records seven RBI in the series. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

T. Hunter
AB 5
R 2
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
Minnesota

P. Nevin
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Minnesota Twins
Luis Castillo, 2B2000303 .293
Nick Punto, 3B4111013 .296
Joe Mauer, C5120003 .344
Michael Cuddyer, RF5010011 .279
Justin Morneau, DH4100102 .320
Torii Hunter, CF5212012 .271
Phil Nevin, 1B3022100 .246
Jason Tyner, LF3131100 .323
Jason Bartlett, SS4000015 .322
Totals3561066419 
Batting
2B - Jason Tyner (5, Byrd)
SF - Nick Punto (7)
RBI - Nick Punto (43), Torii Hunter 2 (84), Phil Nevin 2 (67), Jason Tyner (17)
2-OUT RBI - Torii Hunter 2 (40), Phil Nevin 2 (38), Jason Tyner (9)
CS - Luis Castillo (9, 2nd base by Byrd/Shoppach)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Bartlett-Castillo-Nevin, Punto-Nevin, Punto-Castillo-Nevin, Bartlett-Nevin, Punto-Castillo-Nevin
Minnesota Twins
Scott Baker (W,5-8) 6611230 6.33
Matt Guerrier (S,1) 3200000 3.13
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 100-66, Matt Guerrier 20-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 6-5, Matt Guerrier 4-4
Batters Faced - Scott Baker 22, Matt Guerrier 10
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF3110101 .290
Hector Luna, 2B4030001 .288
Casey Blake, RF4011003 .287
Ryan Garko, 1B4010002 .301
Kevin Kouzmanoff, DH4010002 .226
Jhonny Peralta, SS3000001 .252
Franklin Gutierrez, LF3000010 .279
Andy Marte, 3B3000020 .225
Kelly Shoppach, C2010100 .266
Totals301812310 
Batting
RBI - Casey Blake (58)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Shoppach-Peralta, Peralta-Luna-Garko, Peralta-Luna-Garko
E - Ryan Garko (5, ), Franklin Gutierrez 2 (4, )
Cleveland Indians
Paul Byrd (L,9-8) 6854430 4.88
Rafael Perez 1100010 3.72
Matt Miller 1010200 4.09
Brian Slocum 1100000 10.57
IBB - Morneau by Paul Byrd
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Byrd 106-64, Rafael Perez 16-12, Matt Miller 28-14, Brian Slocum 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Byrd 5-9, Rafael Perez 1-1, Matt Miller 2-2, Brian Slocum 1-1
Batters Faced - Paul Byrd 29, Rafael Perez 4, Matt Miller 6, Brian Slocum 3
Game Information
Attendance - 20324
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Marvin Hudson