|Cleveland (47-63) «||3||1||0||0||0||1||0||1||1||7||12||2|
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire still has plenty of doubt -- and an ejection to go with it -- after losing a protest over a long ball by Jim Thome in the top of the ninth inning that was ruled a double.
LaPorta homered leading off the bottom of the ninth to give the Indians a 7-6 victory over Minnesota on Friday night -- after Thome had an apparent homer taken away by the umpires even after a replay review.
"That was a good feeling," LaPorta said after being mobbed by teammates at home plate following his shot into the left-field bleachers. "I've never hit a walkoff. I can't remember doing it."
The game-tying hit off Perez, who had not allowed a run over 15 outings since June 28, came after Thome's pinch-hit drive was ruled a double. The umpires used replay to uphold their call, further upsetting Gardenhire. Some television angles showed the ball hitting a railing above the yellow home-run line atop the wall in left-center.
"Did you see it in HD?" Gardenhire said. "It's a home run. HD showed it plain as day. The angle from the side showed it plain as day, off the railing. Go ask the cook [in the Twins clubhouse]. He can tell you and he's from Cleveland."
Perez was seeking his ninth consecutive save and 14th in 17 chances.
"I'd rather get a save, but LaPorta picked me up," Perez said. "I made a mistake to Thome and thought it was gone."
The right-hander stayed loose by tossing a few pitches during the 3-minute replay delay.
"In my mind, I thought it was going to be a home run," he said. "So then I give up the single and it's tied anyway. The big thing is I got out of the inning.
"I'd take the same approach again. I've been going good for a month-and-a-half. I just made a couple mistakes."
Shelley Duncan had a two-run double in Cleveland's three-run first inning off Francisco Liriano, breaking the left-hander's 21-inning scoreless streak. Duncan scored when Trevor Crowe grounded into a forceout.
Liriano tied a career-high with six walks, making 109 pitches over 4 2/3 innings as his four-game win streak was snapped. He struck out six and allowed seven hits and four runs.
Cabrera's RBI single made it 4-0 in the second. Cleveland then got runners to second and third, but Liriano had three straight strikeouts to get out of the jam.
Joe Mauer's sacrifice fly got the Twins to 4-1 in the third.
Indians starter Jeanmar Gomez gave up one run over 5 1/3 innings. He left after walking Mauer and yielding a one-out single to Jason Kubel. Justin Germano quickly ended the threat by getting Michael Cuddyer to bounce into a double play.
Casilla's two-run double off Rafael Perez got Minnesota within 5-3 in the seventh. Both runs were unearned after a throwing error by third baseman Nix.
Kubel's 14th homer in the eighth off Joe Smith made it 5-4.
Cabrera doubled and scored on a ground-rule double by Choo in the eighth. An over-zealous scoreboard operator triggered the fireworks that signal an Indians home run at Progressive Field. Maybe it rattled Choo, too. He was picked off second by Guerrier before the right-hander made another pitch.
Mauer, used at DH for the fourth straight game because of shoulder problems, went 0 for 3, but has hit .516 (17 for 33) with 15 RBI in his last nine games.Notes
|It's all smiles for Matt LaPorta after saving the Indians with a walk-off homer in the ninth. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Denard Span, CF||5||0||1||0||0||3||5||.272|
|Alexi Casilla, 2B||5||0||2||4||0||0||3||.272|
|Joe Mauer, DH||3||0||0||1||1||0||2||.315|
|Delmon Young, LF||5||0||1||0||0||1||3||.329|
|Jason Kubel, RF||4||1||2||1||0||1||1||.265|
|Michael Cuddyer, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.271|
|Danny Valencia, 3B||3||1||1||0||1||1||0||.347|
|J.J. Hardy, SS||4||1||1||0||0||0||3||.270|
|Drew Butera, C||2||2||1||0||0||0||0||.211|
|a- Jim Thome, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.255|
|Trevor Plouffe, PR||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.115|
|Jose Morales, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-doubled for Butera in the 9th|
|2B - Denard Span (16, Gomez), Alexi Casilla (3, R. Perez), Delmon Young (34, Gomez), Jim Thome (13, Perez)|
|HR - Jason Kubel (14, Smith)|
|SF - Joe Mauer (5)|
|RBI - Alexi Casilla 4 (12), Joe Mauer (58), Jason Kubel (66)|
|2-OUT RBI - Alexi Casilla 2 (8)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Valencia-Casilla-Cuddyer, Hardy-Casilla|
|Matt Guerrier (L,2-7)||0.2||1||1||1||0||0||1||3.44|
|HBP - Crowe (by Jon Rauch)|
|WP - Francisco Liriano (9)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Francisco Liriano 109-61, Anthony Slama 26-15, Jon Rauch 16-11, Jose Mijares 11-6, Matt Guerrier 7-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Francisco Liriano 5-2, Anthony Slama 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Francisco Liriano 26, Anthony Slama 6, Jon Rauch 4, Jose Mijares 3, Matt Guerrier 2|
|Michael Brantley, CF||4||2||2||0||1||0||0||.170|
|Asdrubal Cabrera, SS||4||1||3||1||1||1||1||.271|
|Shin-Soo Choo, RF||5||1||2||2||0||2||4||.296|
|Shelley Duncan, DH||4||1||1||2||1||1||3||.270|
|Matt LaPorta, 1B||3||1||1||1||2||1||3||.251|
|Jayson Nix, 3B||4||0||3||0||0||0||2||.235|
|Andy Marte, 3B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.204|
|Trevor Crowe, LF||3||0||0||1||0||1||3||.248|
|Jason Donald, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||2||5||.255|
|Lou Marson, C||3||1||0||0||1||1||5||.188|
|2B - Asdrubal Cabrera (9, Mijares), Shin-Soo Choo 2 (22, Slama, Mijares), Shelley Duncan (8, Liriano)|
|HR - Matt LaPorta (6, Guerrier)|
|RBI - Asdrubal Cabrera (11), Shin-Soo Choo 2 (52), Shelley Duncan 2 (22), Matt LaPorta (24), Trevor Crowe (27)|
|PK - Shin-Soo Choo (2, Guerrier)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|DP - A. Cabrera-Donald-LaPorta|
|E - Trevor Crowe (3, Throwing), Jayson Nix (8, Misplayed grounder)|
|Justin Germano (H,1)||1||1||2||0||0||0||0||0.00|
|Rafael Perez (H,6)||0.2||1||0||0||0||1||0||3.66|
|Joe Smith (H,12)||1||1||1||1||0||1||1||5.11|
|Chris Perez (BS,4; W,1-2)||1||3||2||2||0||2||0||2.44|
|HBP - Butera (by Jeanmar Gomez)|
|WP - Jeanmar Gomez (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeanmar Gomez 97-58, Justin Germano 18-14, Rafael Perez 15-11, Joe Smith 14-11, Chris Perez 18-16|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeanmar Gomez 7-6, Justin Germano 2-1, Rafael Perez 1-0, Joe Smith 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Jeanmar Gomez 23, Justin Germano 4, Rafael Perez 3, Joe Smith 4, Chris Perez 6|
|Attendance - 25275|
|Game Time - 3:28|
|Temperature - 76|
|Umpires - Home - Scott Barry, First Base - Gerry Davis, Second Base - D.J. Reyburn, Third Base - Greg Gibson|