Cleveland at Minnesota

W: C. Fien (5-4) L: B. Shaw (4-2) S: G. Perkins (23)
HR: CLE - None   MIN - J. Willingham (9)

Twins 4, Indians 3 wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- Josh Willingham's time in Minnesota could be waning, with the trade deadline approaching and the veteran outfielder in the final year of his contract.

His swing is back, even if he might be going.

Willingham's tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning sent the Twins to a 4-3 victory against the Cleveland Indians on Monday night.

"I felt better, yeah, so hopefully I can keep going and help us win some games. That's my goal," Willingham said.

As for the possibility of being dealt?

"I pay seriously zero attention to it," Willingham said, while his three young sons played around in the clubhouse behind him, focused on their Popsicles and blissfully oblivious to a scenario in which their father would find himself on a new team later this summer.

Kurt Suzuki had a two-run double among his three hits, Trevor Plouffe hit an RBI double and the Twins beat the Indians at home for the first time in more than 11 months.

"Coming off the All-Star break and losing three in a row, you obviously don't feel real good about yourself. So we needed a big win," Willingham said.

Suzuki, a first-time All-Star selection who was the catcher for the ninth inning of the American League's victory here at Target Field last week, posted his ninth three-hit game this season. He raised his batting average to .311 and is 25 for 63 in his past 17 games.

In another All-Star game reprise, Glen Perkins pitched a perfect ninth for his 23rd save in 26 chances.

One week ago, the Home Run Derby was delayed by rain on a cool, autumn-like evening. Tack on about 30 degrees and thick humidity, and that's what the conditions were like for this series opener, which began with a first-pitch temperature of 89 degrees.

Willingham sent the sweaty Twins fans home happy with his dead-pull line drive that just cleared the left-field wall against Bryan Shaw (4-2), his ninth home run and only his second this month.

"We were all blowing really hard in the dugout for that to get out," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Shaw threw a full-count slider.

"Not where I was trying to put it," he said.

Casey Fien (5-4) picked up the victory, despite allowing an RBI single by Roberto Perez in the top of the eighth that cost Twins starter Kris Johnson his first career victory.

"Mine will maybe come later. Maybe not. You never know. It's the Twins' victory that counts the most," said Johnson, who was sent back to Triple-A Rochester after the game to make room for Tuesday's starter, rookie right-hander Yohan Pino.

Teetering on the brink of veteran-sell-off mode before the trade deadline, the Twins emerged from the All-Star break by being swept by Tampa Bay. But they snapped back from that and, in their first time hosting the Indians this year, ended a six-game home losing streak to their division rivals.

The Indians lost shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to spasms in his lower back after two innings. Chris Dickerson delivered a pinch-hit RBI single in his place, and Mike Aviles quickly shifted back to his natural shortstop spot after his first start of the season in center field.

Yan Gomes hit third, having not batted higher than fifth all season and getting most of his time in the seventh slot, and hit an RBI double. He's 10 for 21 with five RBI in his last six games.

Johnson finished five innings in his third major league start, his longest appearance yet.

Rookie T.J. House, who made eight starts earlier this season, was recalled from Triple-A Columbus to take the mound in Minnesota. House also completed five innings, giving up three runs.


The Twins tabbed Pino (1-2, 4.39 ERA) to pitch Tuesday, his sixth major-league start. Pino will be recalled from Rochester for the third time in a little more than a month. The Indians will also bring their starter, RHP Danny Santana, up from Triple-A. Santana (1-4, 5.53) was sent to Columbus on May 16. ... Twins 1B Joe Mauer (strained muscle on his right side) took grounders before the game. Gardenhire, asked whether he had ever hurt an oblique in his playing days, quipped, "I didn't even know I had one. I never swung good enough to really actually pull an oblique." ... Indians All-Star Michael Brantley started the game on the bench for a break and hit a pinch-hit double in the eighth. He stayed in the game in center field.

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Players of the Game

K. Suzuki
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0

C. Dickerson
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 0

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Cleveland Indians
Jason Kipnis, 2B5010011.258.367.339
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS1000010.247.392.308
   a-Chris Dickerson, PH-CF-LF3111121.407.667.467
Yan Gomes, DH3011121.273.460.320
Carlos Santana, 1B4010002.205.379.347
Ryan Raburn, LF3010012.201.274.247
   b-Michael Brantley, PH-CF1110000.328.523.388
Nick Swisher, RF3000101.207.344.285
Roberto Perez, C4011002.364.727.417
Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B4010012.325.502.394
Mike Aviles, CF-SS4100001.264.349.282
T.J. House, P0000000.000.000.000
   Chen-Chang Lee, P0000000.000.000.000
   Nick Hagadone, P0000000.000.000.000
   John Axford, P0000000.000.000.000
   Bryan Shaw, P0000000.000.000.000
a-singled for A. Cabrera in the 3rd
b-doubled for Raburn in the 8th
2B - Yan Gomes (15, Johnson), Michael Brantley (25, Fien)
RBI - Chris Dickerson (4), Yan Gomes (38), Roberto Perez (3)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Dickerson (3), Yan Gomes (10), Roberto Perez (1)
SB - Jason Kipnis (14, 3rd base off Thielbar/Suzuki), Mike Aviles (9, 2nd base off Johnson/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 8
Outfield Assists - Chris Dickerson 1
Cleveland Indians
T.J. House 5633320 4.50
Chen-Chang Lee 0.1200000 4.26
Nick Hagadone 0.2000010 3.60
John Axford 1000010 3.26
Bryan Shaw (L,4-2) 1111011 2.76
Pitches-Strikes - T.J. House 89-56, Chen-Chang Lee 8-7, Nick Hagadone 10-7, John Axford 11-8, Bryan Shaw 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - T.J. House 6-5, John Axford 1-1, Bryan Shaw 1-1
Batters Faced - T.J. House 22, Chen-Chang Lee 3, Nick Hagadone 2, John Axford 3, Bryan Shaw 4
Minnesota Twins
Danny Santana, CF4110000.313.429.348
Brian Dozier, 2B4000001.234.420.333
Trevor Plouffe, 3B3011110.247.420.320
Kendrys Morales, 1B4110011.240.336.266
Josh Willingham, LF3221100.217.422.365
   Sam Fuld, LF0000000.269.386.355
Kurt Suzuki, C4032000.311.398.368
Chris Colabello, DH4010022.239.411.286
Chris Parmelee, RF2000113.267.390.303
Eduardo Escobar, SS3000005.272.399.315
Kris Johnson, P0000000.000.000.000
   Caleb Thielbar, P0000000.000.000.000
   Jared Burton, P0000000.000.000.000
   Casey Fien, P0000000.000.000.000
   Glen Perkins, P0000000.000.000.000
2B - Danny Santana (11, House), Trevor Plouffe (29, House), Kurt Suzuki (19, House)
HR - Josh Willingham (9, Shaw)
RBI - Trevor Plouffe (45), Josh Willingham (28), Kurt Suzuki 2 (40)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Escobar-Morales
E - Trevor Plouffe (8, Throwing), Caleb Thielbar (1, Throwing)
Minnesota Twins
Kris Johnson 5522340 4.73
Caleb Thielbar (H,5) 1.2100020 2.81
Jared Burton (H,10) 0.1000010 4.54
Casey Fien (W,5-4; BS,2) 1211000 2.34
Glen Perkins (S,23) 1000010 2.83
Pitches-Strikes - Kris Johnson 91-57, Caleb Thielbar 26-16, Jared Burton 4-3, Casey Fien 24-17, Glen Perkins 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kris Johnson 6-5, Caleb Thielbar 2-1, Casey Fien 2-1, Glen Perkins 1-1
Batters Faced - Kris Johnson 23, Caleb Thielbar 6, Jared Burton 1, Casey Fien 5, Glen Perkins 3
Game Information
Attendance - 25109
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 89
Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - D.J. Reyburn, Second Base - Will Little, Third Base - Brian O'Nora