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Cleveland at Minnesota

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Cleveland (39-54) «02005001210200
Minnesota (49-44)0001020014121

Indians pile up 20 hits on Twins for fifth straight win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- All that's likely left for the Cleveland Indians this season is playing the spoiler in the AL Central. They can't be forgotten, though, as two of the division front-runners have been reminded.

Trevor Crowe drove in two runs and had a career-best four of Cleveland's season-high 20 hits, and the Indians further exposed Minnesota's pitching problems in a 10-4 win over the Twins on Monday night.

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Cleveland is 5-0 to start the second half for the first time in team history.

"You do the right thing, and you're going to end up winning ballgames," manager Manny Acta said. "What's impressive is the two teams that we're playing."

Scott Baker (7-9) surrendered 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings for the Twins, increasing their concern about the rotation. After winning three out of four games from the first-place Chicago White Sox to cut the lead to 1½ games over the weekend, the Twins lost to Aaron Laffey (2-3) and an Indians team that began the day 12½ games back in the AL Central despite a four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers out of the break.

Crowe and Jason Donald, two of the youngsters thrust into action in this rebuilding, injury-marred season for Cleveland, each drove in two runs.

"It feels good to win five in a row, especially against two teams in the division," Crowe said. "But these guys are a good team. They're going to come back ready to play."

Though their relievers never had a lead, the Twins bullpen was pretty bad, too. The 20 hits was a season most allowed, punctuated by the five-run seven-hit fifth inning against Baker and a pair of relievers.

The Twins started a stretch of 13 straight games against losing teams, but pitching like this won't beat anyone in the majors. They all left balls up and over the plate.

"Four hours worth of not too good stuff," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Jensen Lewis gave up Jim Thome's towering home run, his 11th in 159 at-bats this season, and Orlando Hudson's RBI double in the sixth -- the first runs allowed by the Cleveland bullpen since the break after 13 1/3 scoreless innings.

That was the only hiccup for the Indians, however.

Baker took the mound for the first time in 11 days because of elbow tendinitis, but that wasn't to blame.

"I'm thinking about it, but in no way shape or form is there anything keeping me from making my pitches," he said.

As for the struggles by his fellow starters?

"You become close with these guys, and you kind of feel like you're out there sometimes with them," Baker said. "But we'll get it together."

The fifth inning started ominously with a twisting fly ball to the wall in left field that Delmon Young dropped, ruled a double for Carlos Santana.

"That's a play he can make," Gardenhire said.

Baker's ERA since June is well over 6, and Nick Blackburn and Kevin Slowey share the same dubious distinction. With Brian Duensing ready to move from the bullpen to the rotation, a change or two could be coming.

Laffey, who has walked 28 batters in 50 2/3 innings this season, had his own problems finding the plate and failed to finish six innings for the fourth time in five starts. Still, with third and fourth hitters Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer going a combined 0 for 7 with runners on base for the game, the Twins couldn't find a spark a day after their four-run rally beat the White Sox in the ninth inning.

The only run against Laffey was unearned, when Jason Kubel slid home on a passed ball in the fourth. The inning started in strange, stifling fashion for the Twins, when Kubel tagged up at second base with none out. Young's drive nearly cleared the left-field wall, hitting the padding, bouncing up and back to Crowe. There was no catch, only a long single for Young after a replay review by the umpires confirmed the hit was not a homer.

Laffey said he's fighting arm fatigue.

"Sometimes it just feels like I'm throwing a pitch with a parachute attached to it," he said. "Sometimes that's good because it throws guys timing off, but when I try to ramp it up it's just not there right now."

Notes

  • With changes possible for the pitching staff, the Twins could make a series of roster moves this week. INF Alexi Casilla is due back from his rehab assignment, and Gardenhire hinted he could be activated in time for the game Wednesday afternoon.
  • Shelley Duncan replaced Austin Kearns in RF in the fourth inning for the Indians. Kearns had a sore right knee.
 
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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Trevor Crowe leads the Indians hit parade with a career-high four and drives in two runs.  (AP)
Trevor Crowe leads the Indians hit parade with a career-high four and drives in two runs. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

T. Crowe
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 0
RBI 2
Minnesota

D. Young
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Cleveland Indians
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Brantley, CF5021102 .165
Jayson Nix, 2B6032003 .227
Carlos Santana, C4121102 .282
Austin Kearns, RF2000012 .267
    Shelley Duncan, RF4220002 .288
Travis Hafner, DH5121003 .250
Jhonny Peralta, 3B3111101 .252
Matt LaPorta, 1B5120003 .256
Trevor Crowe, LF5242001 .263
Jason Donald, SS5222001 .276
Totals4410201031  
Batting
2B - Jayson Nix (6, Baker), Carlos Santana (13, Baker), Shelley Duncan (4, Mijares), Travis Hafner (15, Mijares), Trevor Crowe (12, Baker)
SF - Carlos Santana (3), Jhonny Peralta (6)
RBI - Michael Brantley (7), Jayson Nix 2 (17), Carlos Santana (19), Travis Hafner (31), Jhonny Peralta (43), Trevor Crowe 2 (24), Jason Donald 2 (17)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Brantley (3), Jayson Nix (6), Travis Hafner (7), Trevor Crowe (13), Jason Donald (7)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Nix-Donald-LaPorta
PB - Carlos Santana (4)
Cleveland Indians
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Aaron Laffey (W,2-3) 5510420 4.62
Jensen Lewis 0.2222101 4.18
Tony Sipp 1.1100120 5.08
Frank Herrmann 1200010 2.37
Jess Todd 1211000 9.00
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Laffey 100-58, Jensen Lewis 25-15, Tony Sipp 25-17, Frank Herrmann 18-12, Jess Todd 23-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Laffey 6-7, Tony Sipp 1-1, Frank Herrmann 1-0
Batters Faced - Aaron Laffey 24, Jensen Lewis 5, Tony Sipp 6, Frank Herrmann 4, Jess Todd 5
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Denard Span, CF4110103 .271
Orlando Hudson, 2B4021112 .286
Joe Mauer, C5010015 .297
Michael Cuddyer, 1B4110114 .274
Jason Kubel, RF5120012 .271
Delmon Young, LF5031002 .313
Jim Thome, DH3111114 .264
   a- Jason Repko, PH-DH1000001 .273
Danny Valencia, 3B4000104 .314
J.J. Hardy, SS3010102 .249
Totals38412365  
a-lined out for Thome in the 9th
Batting
2B - Orlando Hudson (15, Lewis), Michael Cuddyer (22, Todd), Jason Kubel (15, Laffey), Delmon Young (26, Sipp)
HR - Jim Thome (11, Lewis)
RBI - Orlando Hudson (26), Delmon Young (64), Jim Thome (30)
2-OUT RBI - Orlando Hudson (11)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
DP - Hudson-Hardy-Cuddyer, Hardy-Hudson-Cuddyer
E - Danny Valencia (1, Throwing)
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Scott Baker (L,7-9) 4.21066310 5.15
Alex Burnett0211000 4.39
Ron Mahay 0.1100000 3.49
Jeff Manship 2100000 2.45
Jose Mijares 1211000 2.75
Jon Rauch 1422000 3.31
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 94-59, Alex Burnett 15-9, Ron Mahay 13-8, Jeff Manship 18-13, Jose Mijares 18-11, Jon Rauch 24-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 6-6, Ron Mahay 1-0, Jeff Manship 2-4, Jose Mijares 1-2
Batters Faced - Scott Baker 26, Alex Burnett 2, Ron Mahay 2, Jeff Manship 7, Jose Mijares 5, Jon Rauch 7
Game Information
Attendance - 40853
Game Time - 3:54
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - Doug Eddings, Second Base - Dana DeMuth, Third Base - Kerwin Danley