Cleveland at Minnesota

W: D. Huff (1-0) L: T. Robertson (1-2)
S: C. Perez (35)
HR: CLE - R. Canzler (1)   MIN - None

Indians 7, Twins 6 wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- Russ Canzler provided the type of hitting performance that made him one of Cleveland top minor-league prospects. David Huff finally turned in the type of pitching effort that had eluded him in the majors.

Both players have another month to show they can consistently perform like this and prove they belong in the big leagues.

More on Indians-Twins
Related links
More MLB coverage

Canzler hit his first major-league homer, Huff came on in relief to get his first win this season and the Cleveland Indians beat the Minnesota Twins 7-6 on Friday night. Canzler went 3 for 4 with a walk and three RBI -- the first RBI of his major league career -- and Huff retired all 10 batters he faced after relieving starter Jeanmar Gomez in the fourth.

With his team 16 ½ games behind Chicago in the AL Central, Indians manager Manny Acta's focus has turned to evaluating his prospects for next season. Canzler and Huff both spent most of the year in Triple-A Columbus before being called up this month.

That was particularly tough on Huff, who started 48 games in his major-league career but won only two games in 2011. Friday night marked only his second career relief appearance.

"Honestly, I didn't even know I was going to get in tonight," Huff said. "I had, from what I was told, a 10-percent chance of getting in. And when that phone rang, they called my name."

Minnesota built an early lead on Indians starter Jeanmar Gomez before Huff's name was called. Josh Willingham hit a two-run double and Justin Morneau added a sac fly in the third to give Twins starter Liam Hendriks a 4-0 lead.

"He pretty much saved the day for us," Acta said. "He came in and shut them down and gave us an opportunity to come back and win the ball game."

Canzler started the rally with a two-run homer in the fourth.

Then in the fifth, Shin-Soo Choo added an RBI single and Canzler drove in Jason Kipnis on a grounder down the third-base line to tie it.

Acta, though, cautioned against reading too much into Canzler's hitting.

"Let the kid play," he said. "It's not enough to make an assessment. He goes 0 for next week and you'll be asking me `why is he up here?"'

For now, anyway, the signs are encouraging. Hendriks, meanwhile, couldn't hold onto a four-run lead for the second straight game and remained winless in 16 career starts.

"I'm trying not to think about it too much," Hendriks said. "It's going to come."

Unlike Huff, Hendriks wasn't able to keep his fastballs down in the strike zone.

"You get a lead, you have to go attack the strike zone," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "If he wants to get a win in this league, you have to go attack hitters. If they beat you, make them beat you swinging. Not putting guys on, not going to 3-2 counts with every hitter. He hasn't been able to do it consistently."

Sloppy play hurt the Twins in the seventh when Tyler Robertson (1-2) caught Kipnis stealing, but Kipnis reached second anyway when Pedro Florimon missed a throw from Morneau.

Two batters later, Michael Brantley gave Cleveland the lead when he singled off Alex Burnett to drive in Kipnis. Casey Kotchman then snapped a 0-for-15 slide when he singled home Carlos Santana and Burnett walked in a run to make it 7-4.

Willingham added another double in the eighth off Vinnie Pestano to drive in Joe Mauer. Pestano and Joe Smith combined for 1 2/3 innings of relief. Chris Perez gave up a leadoff double and a run in the ninth, but held on for his 35th save in 39 chances.

"It feels good, it feels really good," Huff said. "It's one of those things you just accept it and move on and get ready for the next one."


Willingham has a career-high 101 RBI. ... Acta said 3B Lonnie Chisenhall could rejoin the team soon if Double-A Akron is eliminated from the Eastern League playoffs this weekend. Chisenhall broke his right arm in June. ... Vinny Rottino was in the lineup in LF for the first time since being called up from Triple-A Columbus earlier this week. He's also the team's third catcher. ... Twins RF Denard Span (collarbone) said he planned to take some swings in the batting cage Friday and possibly hit outside on Saturday. He's scheduled to come off the DL next week. "The next couple days will tell me," Span said. ... The teams play the second game of their four-game series Saturday when Minnesota's Cole De Vries faces Cleveland's Zach McAllister.

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.
Players of the Game

R. Canzler
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1

J. Willingham
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0

Related Video

Cleveland Indians
Shin-Soo Choo, RF5031001 .282
Jason Kipnis, 2B4210113 .258
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS2000303 .271
Carlos Santana, C5100007 .247
Michael Brantley, CF3221202 .287
Russ Canzler, DH4133113 .400
Casey Kotchman, 1B5011004 .227
Vinny Rottino, LF3000010 .146
   a- Cord Phelps, PH0001100 .000
    Ezequiel Carrera, LF1000000 .267
Jack Hannahan, 3B5120001 .229
a-walked for Rottino in the 7th
2B - Jason Kipnis (18, Hendriks), Jack Hannahan (13, Hendriks)
HR - Russ Canzler (1, Hendriks)
RBI - Shin-Soo Choo (53), Michael Brantley (58), Russ Canzler 3 (3), Casey Kotchman (49), Cord Phelps (1)
2-OUT RBI - Russ Canzler (1)
SB - Shin-Soo Choo (18, 2nd base off Hendriks/Mauer), Jason Kipnis (27, 2nd base off Waldrop/Mauer)
CS - Jason Kipnis (7, 2nd base by Robertson/Mauer)
Team LOB - 11
Cleveland Indians
Jeanmar Gomez 3344330 5.33
David Huff (W,1-0) 3.1000040 0.00
Joe Smith (H,18) 0.2100110 3.05
Vinnie Pestano (H,35) 1211000 2.08
Chris Perez (S,35) 1111010 3.62
IBB - Mauer by Jeanmar Gomez
Pitches-Strikes - Jeanmar Gomez 59-31, David Huff 33-24, Joe Smith 21-13, Vinnie Pestano 17-12, Chris Perez 19-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeanmar Gomez 2-4, David Huff 1-5, Joe Smith 1-0, Chris Perez 2-0
Batters Faced - Jeanmar Gomez 15, David Huff 10, Joe Smith 4, Vinnie Pestano 5, Chris Perez 4
Minnesota Twins
Ben Revere, CF5111010 .298
Eduardo Escobar, 2B3000012 .216
   a- Matt Carson, PH1000010 .273
Joe Mauer, C3210120 .315
Josh Willingham, DH3123100 .263
Justin Morneau, 1B2001101 .274
Ryan Doumit, LF4000013 .283
Chris Parmelee, RF3001011 .245
Trevor Plouffe, 3B3010121 .238
    Alexi Casilla, PR0100000 .218
Pedro Florimon, SS4120001 .270
a-struck out for Escobar in the 9th
2B - Josh Willingham 2 (28, Gomez, Pestano), Trevor Plouffe (14, Perez)
SF - Justin Morneau (8), Chris Parmelee (1)
SH - Eduardo Escobar (2)
RBI - Ben Revere (29), Josh Willingham 3 (101), Justin Morneau (69), Chris Parmelee (15)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Florimon-Escobar-Morneau, Waldrop-Mauer-Morneau
E - Pedro Florimon (5, Missed catch of throw)
Minnesota Twins
Liam Hendriks 5844321 6.20
Tyler Robertson (L,1-2) 1021200 5.85
Alex Burnett 0.1311100 3.06
Kyle Waldrop 1.2100210 2.84
Glen Perkins 1000000 2.58
IBB - Brantley by Liam Hendriks, Brantley by Kyle Waldrop
WP - Kyle Waldrop (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Liam Hendriks 108-65, Tyler Robertson 20-8, Alex Burnett 19-10, Kyle Waldrop 23-12, Glen Perkins 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Liam Hendriks 7-5, Tyler Robertson 2-1, Alex Burnett 1-0, Kyle Waldrop 3-0, Glen Perkins 3-0
Batters Faced - Liam Hendriks 25, Tyler Robertson 5, Alex Burnett 5, Kyle Waldrop 7, Glen Perkins 3
Game Information
Attendance - 30111
Game Time - 3:21
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Dan Iassogna, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - David Rackley, Third Base - D.J. Reyburn