Minnesota at Cleveland

W: Z. Putnam (1-1) L: F. Liriano (9-10)
HR: MIN - None   CLE - None

Indians 8, Twins 2

CBSSports.com wire reports

CLEVELAND -- Shelley Duncan is giving the Cleveland Indians a late-season boost.

Duncan drove in three runs to lead Cleveland over Minnesota 8-2 Saturday in the opener of a day-night doubleheader and send the Twins to their 17th loss in 19 games. At 60-97, the Twins matched their 1999 mark for the second-most losses since the team moved to Minnesota, ahead of only a 60-102 record in 1982.

Duncan leads the Indians this month with 17 RBI and six homers. He has been particularly effective in the clutch all season, getting 20 of 41 RBI with two outs.

"Getting more playing time has helped," Duncan said. "Now, if I don't get a hit I can say, 'Well, there's always tomorrow.' Before, it was there's always next week. I've always believed I can play well up here. I'm 31 going on 32, but I want to play as long as I can."

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Duncan had a two-out, two-run single in the first inning and a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in Cleveland's six-run sixth.

"With so many guys out, Shelley has picked us up," manager Manny Acta said.

The Indians lost another player when center fielder Trevor Crowe strained his left shoulder trying to make a diving catch in the first inning on a double by Ben Revere. Acta said Crowe, who missed t five months recovering from right shoulder surgery in March, was taken for tests and will not play in Cleveland's final five games.

Cleveland scored five runs off reliever Francisco Liriano (9-10) in a six-run sixth and won for the seventh time in 10 games. The Indians have won seven straight from the Twins.

"One minute everything was fine," Liriano said. "I think I was rushing and trying to overthrow. The ball was moving everywhere. It was one of those days."

Zach Putnam (1-1) struck out three in 1 1/3 innings for his first major league win. Three Cleveland pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts and no walks.

"I'm glad I could contribute and getting a win is exciting," said Putnam, whose father and mother were among several family members watching.

Minnesota's Danny Valencia and Denard Span were back in the lineup after missing one game. They were involved in a minor car accident on the way to the airport on Thursday, when Span drove into the back of Valencia's car.

Trevor Plouffe's RBI double tied the score 2-all in the sixth before the Indians broke away in the bottom half.

Liriano loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batter, and Duncan's sacrifice fly regained the lead. Matt LaPorta's RBI double and Jack Hannahan's run-scoring bloop single made it 5-2, and Jim Hoey was greeted by Kosuke Fukudome's RBI single and Kipnis' two-run single.

Cleveland's David Huff struck out a career-high seven in 5 2/3 innings. He gave up two runs and eight hits. He wild-pitched home a run in the fourth and yielded an RBI double to Trevor Plouffe in the sixth to tie it at 2.

"David did a good job," Acta said. "He was more aggressive with his fastball, had good life on it and that made him able to use his changeup and curve."

Twins starter Brian Duensing allowed two runs and three hits in five innings, his first start since leaving a game Sept. 3 with a strained right oblique. He had worked three times in relief since.


  • Huff is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in two starts against the Twins this year.
  • Twins rookie 1B Chris Parmelee was 0 for 4 with four strikeouts.
  • Minnesota placed C Joe Mauer (pneumonia), 1B Justin Morneau (concussion symptoms) and IN Tsuyowshi Nishioka (strained oblique) on the disabled list. All the moves were retroactive to mid-September.
  • The Twins were set to send LHP Scott Diamond (1-5) to the mound in the second game against Cleveland RHP Mitch Talbot (2-6).
  • Cleveland closes its home season Sunday with RHP Fausto Carmona (7-15) opposing Twins RHP Liam Hendricks (0-2).
Copyright 2017 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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Shelley Duncan drives in three runs in the opener for Cleveland.  Duncan leads the team with 17 RBI and six homers this month. (AP)
Shelley Duncan drives in three runs in the opener for Cleveland. Duncan leads the team with 17 RBI and six homers this month. (AP)

Players of the Game

S. Duncan
AB 3
R 0
H 1
HR 0

J. Kipnis
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 0

Related Video

Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF5010011 .259
Ben Revere, LF4020003 .267
Michael Cuddyer, DH4000035 .282
Chris Parmelee, 1B4000043 .362
Danny Valencia, 3B4220010 .246
Trevor Plouffe, SS4031010 .237
Luke Hughes, 2B4000003 .225
Joe Benson, RF4000033 .220
Rene Rivera, C2010000 .149
   a- Matt Tolbert, PH1000000 .195
a-popped out for Rivera in the 9th
2B - Ben Revere 2 (8, Huff, Huff), Trevor Plouffe (18, Huff)
RBI - Trevor Plouffe (28)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Hughes-Plouffe-Parmelee
Minnesota Twins
Brian Duensing 5322140 5.23
Francisco Liriano (L,9-10) 0.1255200 5.09
Jim Hoey 0.2311010 5.64
Scott Baker 2100020 3.14
HBP - Hafner (by Francisco Liriano)
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Duensing 80-50, Francisco Liriano 25-10, Jim Hoey 12-9, Scott Baker 26-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Duensing 5-6, Jim Hoey 1-0, Scott Baker 2-1
Batters Faced - Brian Duensing 19, Francisco Liriano 6, Jim Hoey 5, Scott Baker 6
Cleveland Indians
Jason Donald, SS4010010 .309
Jason Kipnis, 2B3222100 .294
Carlos Santana, C3100103 .238
Travis Hafner, DH3210000 .280
Shelley Duncan, LF3013010 .259
Matt LaPorta, 1B3111121 .246
Jack Hannahan, 3B4121011 .246
Trevor Crowe, CF0000000 .214
    Kosuke Fukudome, RF4111011 .267
Ezequiel Carrera, RF-CF4000012 .246
2B - Shelley Duncan (15, Duensing), Matt LaPorta (23, Liriano)
SF - Shelley Duncan (2)
RBI - Jason Kipnis 2 (19), Shelley Duncan 3 (41), Matt LaPorta (52), Jack Hannahan (38), Kosuke Fukudome (35)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Kipnis 2 (9), Shelley Duncan 2 (20)
Team LOB - 4
Cleveland Indians
David Huff 5.2822070 4.09
Zach Putnam (W,1-1) 1.1100030 6.35
Frank Herrmann 2000030 5.11
HBP - Rivera (by Zach Putnam)
WP - David Huff 2 (4)
Pitches-Strikes - David Huff 101-67, Zach Putnam 21-12, Frank Herrmann 27-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Huff 3-7, Frank Herrmann 2-1
Batters Faced - David Huff 25, Zach Putnam 6, Frank Herrmann 6
Game Information
Attendance - 26197
Game Time - 2:41
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Mark Lollo, Second Base - Jim Reynolds, Third Base - Al Porter