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Cleveland at Minnesota

Scoreboard
Cleveland (51-46)000301001580
Minnesota (46-51) «20020003x7131

Twins 7, Indians 5

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Danny Valencia thinks of himself as one of the big hitters in the Minnesota Twins lineup.

If he keeps coming up with clutch hits like he did against the Cleveland Indians, there will be no doubting his importance.

Valencia singled home the go-ahead run for the second straight day, this time in the eighth inning, and Minnesota beat Cleveland 7-5 in a sloppy game played on another sweltering day at Target Field.

"You know, hitting behind Jim Thome, obviously you know they are going to pitch around him to get to me," Valencia said. "To be able to come into those situations and capitalize, and for our team to win is all I care about."

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Minnesota salvaged a split in the four-game series with the AL Central-leading Indians that was played in extreme heat and humidity. Temperatures were in the mid- to high-90s for each game.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire left the stadium during the game and was replaced by bench coach Scott Ullger. Gardenhire has been dealing with a viral infection and has had trouble dealing with the heat.

Matt Capps (3-5) earned the win in relief of Nick Blackburn, who gave up four runs -- one earned -- in six innings. Joe Nathan gave up a solo homer to Lonnie Chisenhall, but earned his sixth save.

Valencia, who won Tuesday night's game with an RBI single in the ninth, lined a ball to right field, which just eluded the glove of second baseman Orlando Cabrera, to score Alexi Casilla, who had three hits, two runs and an RBI. Tsuyoshi Nishioka added a two-run single to cap the Twins' rally.

"I like being in those situations," Valencia said. "Anybody on this team wants to be in that position. Fortunately it's been coming up in my hands and I've been able to take it and run with it, and come through. It was a huge team win. We needed this. We're within striking distance of getting back on top of this division."

Casilla had reached off Cleveland reliever Tony Sipp (4-2) after his long fly ball to the warning track fell between left fielder Luis Valbuena and center fielder Ezequiel Carrera. The ball bounced off the warning track and into the bullpen for a ground-rule double.

"Nobody called the ball," Valbuena said. "I tried to catch, but I feel he's right there next to me and I was scared I was going to run into him."

Sipp allowed three runs on two hits and a walk in just a third of an inning. Indians starter Josh Tomlin pitched six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits.

The misplay between Valbuena -- playing just his third major-league game in the outfield -- and Carrera was just one of several defensive miscues by both teams.

"If you have an everyday outfielder, I'm sure that it probably could have been caught," Cleveland manager Manny Acta said about Casilla's double. "But we know what we're dealing with. Luis is playing out of position he played a lot of left field in Triple-A but it's a different ballgame up here."

Carrera and Valbuena were part of a depleted outfield for the Indians, who were missing center fielder Michael Brantley and Travis Buck.

Acta said Brantley -- the team's leadoff hitter -- was diagnosed with heat exhaustion after playing in both games of Monday's doubleheader and was still having stomach issues on Wednesday.

With the Twins leading 4-3 in the sixth, the Indians tied it on a passed ball by Twins catcher Drew Butera that allowed Travis Hafner to score from third.

Butera was catching with Joe Mauer playing first base for the second straight game. Mauer was given the choice of where to play by Gardenhire.

Mauer had two hits and is hitting .563 (9 for 16) as a first baseman. His defense at first has been sparkling and he scooped a short-hop throw by Casilla to end the seventh inning, stranding two runners in scoring position.

"He looks pretty good," Ullger said. "He looks like he's been there awhile. He's just a natural athlete. I think he could probably play any position. He could probably play shortstop if he wanted to play shortstop. He's just that kind of athlete."

Notes

  • Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson said RH Scott Baker felt "great" throwing his bullpen session and will come off the DL to start Saturday's game against the Tigers.
  • Buck was still experiencing headaches before the game and was unavailable. Buck was hit in the head by a pitch from Francisco Liriano on Tuesday, but hasn't shown signs of a concussion. Acta said Buck is not subject to the MLB concussion testing.
  • Valencia is now 10 for 18 with the bases-loaded in his career, with 22 RBI. He also has 21 RBI this season in the seventh inning or later, which is tied for fifth in the league.
 
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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Danny Valencia hits the game winner for the second straight day to give the Twins a split of the four-game series. (US Presswire)
Danny Valencia hits the game winner for the second straight day to give the Twins a split of the four-game series. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

A. Casilla
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Cleveland

L. Chisenhall
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Cleveland Indians
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ezequiel Carrera, CF4120012 .259
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS4120010 .292
Travis Hafner, DH3210101 .321
Carlos Santana, C4000015 .225
Matt LaPorta, 1B3001011 .242
Orlando Cabrera, 2B4011000 .244
Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B4121021 .235
Austin Kearns, RF2000100 .219
Luis Valbuena, LF4000012 .136
Totals3258327  
Batting
2B - Asdrubal Cabrera (23, Mijares), Travis Hafner (10, Blackburn)
HR - Lonnie Chisenhall (2, Nathan)
SF - Matt LaPorta (4)
SH - Austin Kearns (2)
RBI - Matt LaPorta (34), Orlando Cabrera (38), Lonnie Chisenhall (4)
CS - Ezequiel Carrera (2, 2nd base by Blackburn/Butera), Austin Kearns (4, 2nd base by Blackburn/Butera)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - LaPorta-Chisenhall-Tomlin, Cabrera-LaPorta
Cleveland Indians
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Josh Tomlin 6844020 4.12
Joe Smith 1100020 1.24
Tony Sipp (L,4-2) 0.1233110 3.23
Vinnie Pestano 0.2200010 2.68
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Tomlin 91-63, Joe Smith 16-10, Tony Sipp 16-10, Vinnie Pestano 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Tomlin 6-8
Batters Faced - Josh Tomlin 24, Joe Smith 4, Tony Sipp 4, Vinnie Pestano 4
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ben Revere, CF4110011 .261
Alexi Casilla, 2B4231000 .259
Joe Mauer, 1B4121001 .297
Michael Cuddyer, RF4110023 .297
Jim Thome, DH3111101 .211
    Luke Hughes, PR-DH0100000 .237
Danny Valencia, 3B4011001 .232
Delmon Young, LF4011013 .266
    Jason Repko, LF0000000 .240
Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS4022011 .233
Drew Butera, C4010014 .181
Totals35713716  
Batting
2B - Alexi Casilla 2 (18, Tomlin, Sipp), Jim Thome (5, Tomlin)
RBI - Alexi Casilla (20), Joe Mauer (15), Jim Thome (23), Danny Valencia (51), Delmon Young (23), Tsuyoshi Nishioka 2 (11)
2-OUT RBI - Tsuyoshi Nishioka 2 (4)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
PB - Drew Butera (3)
E - Ben Revere (4, Dropped fly)
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Nick Blackburn 6441270 3.87
Alex Burnett 0.1200000 6.14
Jose Mijares 1100000 4.56
Matt Capps (W,3-5) 0.2000000 4.71
Joe Nathan (S,6) 1111001 5.26
Pitches-Strikes - Nick Blackburn 104-65, Alex Burnett 6-5, Jose Mijares 12-9, Matt Capps 11-7, Joe Nathan 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Blackburn 9-1, Alex Burnett 1-0, Jose Mijares 1-2, Matt Capps 1-1, Joe Nathan 2-1
Batters Faced - Nick Blackburn 23, Alex Burnett 3, Jose Mijares 4, Matt Capps 2, Joe Nathan 4
Game Information
Attendance - 39167
Game Time - 2:51
Temperature - 93
Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Gary Darling, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Al Porter