Maxed out: Kepler homers twice more off Bauer, Twins win 6-2

CLEVELAND (AP) Max Kepler owns Trevor Bauer at the moment. And unless something changes, the AL Central will soon belong to the Twins.

Kepler hit two more home runs off Bauer, Jake Cave drove in three runs and Minnesota tightened its grip on the division with a 6-2 win Saturday night over the Cleveland Indians, who have slipped two games further back this weekend.

Kepler homered leading off the game and again in the second inning off Bauer (8-7), giving the Twins outfielder five homers in five consecutive at-bats in two games - both in Cleveland - against the right-hander.

With three homers off Bauer on June 6, Kepler is the first player in history to hit five straight homers off the same pitcher in a single season.

''It's unfathomable that it's happening right in front of our eyes,'' Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. ''Nobody has seen anything like it.''

Cave homered in the second and added a two-run double in the eighth to give the Twins a 5-2 lead.

Jake Odorizzi (11-4) didn't get to pitch in Tuesday's All-Star Game at Progressive Field because of a blister on his middle finger. But the right-hander came off the injured list and held the Indians to one run in 5 1/3 innings.

By winning the first two games of the series, the Twins have moved 7 1/2 games ahead of the Indians, who knocked six off Minnesota's lead in the weeks leading into the break.

''There has been a lot of questions about this particular series, but I don't think our guys have approached it any differently,'' Baldelli said. ''They've gone out there and produced and gotten it done in big moments. It's been impressive to watch.''

Jose Ramirez and rookie Bobby Bradley homered for Cleveland, which will turn to All-Star MVP Shane Bieber to avoid being swept Sunday.

The Twins and Indians will meet 11 more times this season, but these three games could determine whether Cleveland buys or sells before the July 31 trading deadline.

Kepler, who has 11 career homers in Cleveland, connected on Bauer's third pitch, driving it over the right-field wall for his 22nd homer.

Kepler's second homer made it 3-0, and came one batter after Cave hit his second, an opposite-field shot to left that dropped Bauer's head and elicited a collective groan from Cleveland's big crowd.

Bauer finally bested Kepler in the fourth, striking him out swinging but only after the slugger hit a foul ball into the upper deck down the right-field line.

According to Elias, Kepler matched the longest streak in the expansion era for homers in consecutive at-bats against one pitcher. Carlos Delgado did it against Jorge Sosa (2003-04) and Frank Howard connected against Bob Hendley (1963-64).

Kepler didn't make much of his achievement.

''Every pitcher is the same,'' Kepler said. ''I have the same approach. I just try to simplify it when I go up there.''

Bauer can't understand Kepler's success against him.

''I don't know,'' he said. ''How do you explain it? It's just one of those baseball things ... he's just locked in against me - for whatever reason. It won't be that way forever. He'll cool down and he'll go through a 0 for 10 with seven punch-outs or whatever and miss pitches. It's just one of those things right now.''

Bauer shook off the early adventure and kept the Indians close, striking out 11 in six innings.

BRADLEY'S BOMB

Bradley, brought up late last month from Triple-A Columbus to give the Indians' some needed power, connected for his first career homer in the seventh, a 457-foot smash to right off Tyler Duffey to pull the Indians within 3-2.

''That was amazing, a dream come true,'' Bradley said.

BUXTON HURT

Twins center fielder Byron Buxton got banged up while making a head-first, diving catch on Oscar Mercado's sinking liner in the eighth.

Baldelli didn't know if Buxton had sustained a concussion.

ROAD CREW

The Twins moved to 30-18 in road games, surpassing their win total (29) away from home in 2018.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Twins: OF Eddie Rosario is nearing a return after being sidelined since June 27 with a sprained left ankle. He's worked out the past few days and the team will test his in-game speed conditions before he's activated.

Indians: OF Tyler Naquin (back) didn't play for the second straight day. He strained his back while getting out of a car Thursday night.

UP NEXT

Twins: Jose Berrios (8-5, 3.00 ERA) pitched a scoreless inning of relief for the AL in Tuesday's All-Star Game. He's 0-3 since June 6 despite a 2.65 ERA.

Indians: Bieber (8-3, 3.45 ERA) is 2-0 with a 4.05 ERA in four career starts against Minnesota. The right-hander was a late injury replacement to the AL All-Star roster and then struck out the side in his one inning with Indians fans chanting ''Let's go, Bieber.''

---

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123456789RHE
MIN58-33
1200000216110
CLE50-40
010000100251
  • W: J. Odorizzi (11-4)L: T. Bauer (8-7)
  • HR: MIN - M. Kepler 2 (23), J. Cave (2), CLE - J. Ramirez (8), B. Bradley (1)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Kepler RF-CF52222022.264.336.535.87111.0
J. Polanco SS51300021.315.371.515.8863.0
N. Cruz DH30000212.275.368.554.9221.5
M. Gonzalez 1B-LF40110034.253.319.414.7330.5
L. Arraez 3B51200002.387.442.505.9483.0
J. Schoop 2B51100035.259.309.464.7730.5
J. Castro C30000023.252.325.517.842-1.0
J. Cave LF-RF31231110.195.319.312.63010.5
B. Buxton CF40000012.249.308.490.798-0.5
M. Sano 1B00000000.237.320.572.8920.0
J. Odorizzi P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
R. Harper P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
T. Duffey P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
B. Parker P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
T. Rogers P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    F. Lindor SS40100012.291.350.500.8500.5
    O. Mercado CF30000101.275.325.416.7401.0
    C. Santana 1B40000012.293.412.539.951-0.5
    J. Kipnis 2B40000012.238.299.370.669-0.5
    J. Ramirez 3B41111000.222.309.354.6636.0
    B. Bradley DH31111120.211.268.421.6896.0
    J. Bauers LF30000001.239.312.401.7140.0
    R. Perez C30100011.257.343.519.8620.5
    G. Allen RF10100000.216.280.419.6992.0
    a- J. Luplow PH-RF10000001.250.329.486.8160.0
    T. Bauer P0000-000.200.200.200.000-
    T. Olson P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    T. Clippard P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    A. Cole P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    • a-fouled out for G. Allen in the 7th
    BATTING
    • 2B - J. Cave (3)
    • HR - M. Kepler 2 (23), J. Cave (2)
    • SF - M. Gonzalez
    • SH - J. Castro
    • RBI - M. Kepler 2 (58), M. Gonzalez (30), J. Cave 3 (7)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - M. Kepler, J. Polanco, M. Gonzalez 2 (2), J. Schoop 2 (2), J. Castro 3 (3)
    BATTING
    • HR - J. Ramirez (8), B. Bradley
    • RBI - J. Ramirez (36), B. Bradley (4)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Kipnis 2 (2), R. Perez, J. Luplow
    FIELDING
    • DP - 2 (Polanco-Schoop-Gonzalez; Gonzalez-Polanco)
    FIELDING
    • E - J. Ramirez (13)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. Odorizzi (W, 11-4)5.13112213.061.1117.0
    R. Harper (H, 7)0.20000102.791.010.5
    T. Duffey (H, 2)0.22110013.721.24-3.0
    B. Parker (H, 8)1.10000203.621.274.0
    T. Rogers1.00000101.690.943.5
    PITCHERSIP
    J. Odorizzi (W, 11-4)5.1
    R. Harper (H, 7)0.2
    T. Duffey (H, 2)0.2
    B. Parker (H, 8)1.1
    T. Rogers1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    T. Bauer (L, 8-7)6.063331133.651.199.5
    T. Olson0.11000103.961.60-0.5
    T. Clippard1.03220203.900.98-1.0
    A. Cole1.21100103.541.432.5
    PITCHERSIP
    T. Bauer (L, 8-7)6.0
    T. Olson0.1
    T. Clippard1.0
    A. Cole1.2
    PITCHING
    • HBP - J. Odorizzi (3)
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. Odorizzi 89-54, R. Harper 6-5, T. Duffey 19-11, B. Parker 15-8, T. Rogers 8-8
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Odorizzi 7-5, T. Rogers 1-1
    • Batters Faced - J. Odorizzi 20, R. Harper 2, T. Duffey 4, B. Parker 4, T. Rogers 3
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - T. Bauer 117-75, T. Olson 7-5, T. Clippard 25-17, A. Cole 17-12
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - T. Bauer 2-5, T. Clippard 1-0, A. Cole 1-4
    • Batters Faced - T. Bauer 27, T. Olson 2, T. Clippard 6, A. Cole 7
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    MIN58-33
    1200000216110
    CLE50-40
    010000100251
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    M. Kepler RF-CF52222022.264.336.535.87111.0
    J. Polanco SS51300021.315.371.515.8863.0
    N. Cruz DH30000212.275.368.554.9221.5
    M. Gonzalez 1B-LF40110034.253.319.414.7330.5
    L. Arraez 3B51200002.387.442.505.9483.0
    J. Schoop 2B51100035.259.309.464.7730.5
    J. Castro C30000023.252.325.517.842-1.0
    J. Cave LF-RF31231110.195.319.312.63010.5
    B. Buxton CF40000012.249.308.490.798-0.5
    M. Sano 1B00000000.237.320.572.8920.0
    J. Odorizzi P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    R. Harper P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    T. Duffey P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    B. Parker P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    T. Rogers P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    Total376116331521-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      F. Lindor SS40100012.291.350.500.8500.5
      O. Mercado CF30000101.275.325.416.7401.0
      C. Santana 1B40000012.293.412.539.951-0.5
      J. Kipnis 2B40000012.238.299.370.669-0.5
      J. Ramirez 3B41111000.222.309.354.6636.0
      B. Bradley DH31111120.211.268.421.6896.0
      J. Bauers LF30000001.239.312.401.7140.0
      R. Perez C30100011.257.343.519.8620.5
      G. Allen RF10100000.216.280.419.6992.0
      a- J. Luplow PH-RF10000001.250.329.486.8160.0
      T. Bauer P0000-000.200.200.200.000-
      T. Olson P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      T. Clippard P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      A. Cole P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      Total3025222610-----
      • a-fouled out for G. Allen in the 7th
      BATTING
      • 2B - J. Cave (3)
      • HR - M. Kepler 2 (23), J. Cave (2)
      • SF - M. Gonzalez
      • SH - J. Castro
      • RBI - M. Kepler 2 (58), M. Gonzalez (30), J. Cave 3 (7)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - M. Kepler, J. Polanco, M. Gonzalez 2 (2), J. Schoop 2 (2), J. Castro 3 (3)
      BATTING
      • HR - J. Ramirez (8), B. Bradley
      • RBI - J. Ramirez (36), B. Bradley (4)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Kipnis 2 (2), R. Perez, J. Luplow
      FIELDING
      • DP - 2 (Polanco-Schoop-Gonzalez; Gonzalez-Polanco)
      FIELDING
      • E - J. Ramirez (13)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Odorizzi (W, 11-4)5.13112213.061.1117.0
      R. Harper (H, 7)0.20000102.791.010.5
      T. Duffey (H, 2)0.22110013.721.24-3.0
      B. Parker (H, 8)1.10000203.621.274.0
      T. Rogers1.00000101.690.943.5
      Total9.0522262---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Odorizzi (W, 11-4)5.1
      R. Harper (H, 7)0.2
      T. Duffey (H, 2)0.2
      B. Parker (H, 8)1.1
      T. Rogers1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      T. Bauer (L, 8-7)6.063331133.651.199.5
      T. Olson0.11000103.961.60-0.5
      T. Clippard1.03220203.900.98-1.0
      A. Cole1.21100103.541.432.5
      Total9.011653153---
      PITCHERSIP
      T. Bauer (L, 8-7)6.0
      T. Olson0.1
      T. Clippard1.0
      A. Cole1.2
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • HBP - J. Odorizzi (3)
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Odorizzi 89-54, R. Harper 6-5, T. Duffey 19-11, B. Parker 15-8, T. Rogers 8-8
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Odorizzi 7-5, T. Rogers 1-1
      • Batters Faced - J. Odorizzi 20, R. Harper 2, T. Duffey 4, B. Parker 4, T. Rogers 3
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - T. Bauer 117-75, T. Olson 7-5, T. Clippard 25-17, A. Cole 17-12
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - T. Bauer 2-5, T. Clippard 1-0, A. Cole 1-4
      • Batters Faced - T. Bauer 27, T. Olson 2, T. Clippard 6, A. Cole 7
      • 9TH INNING
        Gonzalez hit sacrifice fly to left, Polanco scored62
      • 8TH INNING
        Cave doubled to right, Arraez and Schoop scored52
      • 7TH INNING
        Bradley homered to right32
      • 2ND INNING
        Ramirez homered to right31
        Kepler homered to right center30
        Cave homered to left20
      • 1ST INNING
        Kepler homered to right center10
      • 9TH INNING
        • A. Cole Pitching:
        • J. Polanco: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Polanco singled to center
        • N. Cruz: Cruz safe at first on 3rd baseman Ramirez fielding error, Polanco to third, Cruz to second
        • M. Gonzalez: Gonzalez hit sacrifice fly to left, Polanco scored
        • L. Arraez: Ball, Strike looking, Arraez flied out to center
        • J. Schoop: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Schoop struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 9th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 1 Error)
        • Miguel Sano at first base
        • Taylor Rogers relieved Blake Parker
        • J. Kipnis: Strike looking, Kipnis flied out to left
        • J. Ramirez: Foul, Foul, Ramirez grounded out to second
        • B. Bradley: Foul, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Bradley struck out looking
        • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • T. Clippard Pitching:
        • L. Arraez: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Arraez reached on an infield single to first
        • J. Schoop: Schoop singled to right center, Arraez to second
        • J. Castro: Castro hit sacrifice bunt to pitcher, Arraez to third, Schoop to second
        • J. Cave: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Cave doubled to right, Arraez and Schoop scored
        • A.J. Cole relieved Tyler Clippard
        • B. Buxton: Ball, Buxton popped out to second
        • M. Kepler: Kepler flied out to center
        • Middle of the 8th (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • B. Parker Pitching:
        • F. Lindor: Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Lindor struck out swinging
        • O. Mercado: Mercado flied out to center
        • C. Santana: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Santana struck out swinging
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • Tyler Olson relieved Trevor Bauer
        • M. Kepler: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Kepler struck out swinging
        • J. Polanco: Strike looking, Ball, Polanco singled to right center
        • Tyler Clippard relieved Tyler Olson
        • N. Cruz: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Cruz struck out swinging
        • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Strike swinging, Gonzalez struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Tyler Duffey relieved Ryne Harper
        • J. Ramirez: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ramirez lined out to right
        • B. Bradley: Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Bradley homered to right
        • J. Bauers: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Bauers flied out to left
        • R. Perez: Ball, Ball, Perez singled to center
        • Blake Parker relieved Tyler Duffey
        • Jordan Luplow hit for Greg Allen
        • J. Luplow: Ball, Ball, Luplow fouled out to right
        • End of the 7th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • T. Bauer Pitching:
        • J. Castro: Foul, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Castro struck out swinging
        • J. Cave: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul tip, Cave struck out on foul tip
        • B. Buxton: Ball, Buxton lined out to right
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Odorizzi Pitching:
        • G. Allen: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Allen hit by pitch
        • F. Lindor: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Foul, Lindor lined out to left
        • O. Mercado: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Mercado walked, Allen to second
        • Ryne Harper relieved Jake Odorizzi
        • C. Santana: Ball, Strike looking, Santana flied out to deep center, Allen to third
        • J. Kipnis: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Kipnis struck out swinging
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • T. Bauer Pitching:
        • N. Cruz: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Cruz grounded out to shortstop
        • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Foul, Ball, Gonzalez singled to right
        • L. Arraez: Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Arraez lined out to center
        • J. Schoop: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Schoop struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • J. Odorizzi Pitching:
        • J. Ramirez: Strike looking, Ramirez popped out to second
        • B. Bradley: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Bradley walked
        • J. Bauers: Strike looking, Ball, Bauers reached on fielder's choice to second, Bradley out at second
        • R. Perez: Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Perez struck out looking
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • T. Bauer Pitching:
        • J. Cave: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Cave walked
        • B. Buxton: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Buxton struck out swinging
        • M. Kepler: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Kepler struck out swinging
        • J. Polanco: Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Polanco struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Odorizzi Pitching:
        • O. Mercado: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Mercado grounded out to shortstop
        • C. Santana: Strike looking, Ball, Santana grounded out to first
        • J. Kipnis: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Kipnis flied out to left
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • T. Bauer Pitching:
        • L. Arraez: Strike looking, Ball, Arraez lined out to center
        • J. Schoop: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Schoop fouled out to catcher
        • J. Castro: Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike (foul tip), Strike swinging, Castro struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Odorizzi Pitching:
        • R. Perez: Strike looking, Ball, Perez grounded out to second
        • G. Allen: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Allen singled to right center
        • F. Lindor: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Lindor grounded into double play shortstop to first, Allen out at second
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • T. Bauer Pitching:
        • J. Cave: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Cave homered to left
        • B. Buxton: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Buxton flied out to center
        • M. Kepler: Strike looking, Kepler homered to right center
        • J. Polanco: Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike looking, Polanco struck out looking
        • N. Cruz: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Cruz walked
        • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Gonzalez struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 2nd (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Odorizzi Pitching:
        • J. Kipnis: Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Kipnis flied out to left
        • J. Ramirez: Ball, Ramirez homered to right
        • B. Bradley: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Bradley struck out looking
        • J. Bauers: Ball, Ball, Bauers flied out to deep left
        • End of the 2nd (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • T. Bauer Pitching:
        • M. Kepler: Ball, Ball, Kepler homered to right center
        • J. Polanco: Polanco singled to right center
        • N. Cruz: Ball, Strike (foul tip), Foul, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Cruz walked, Polanco to second
        • M. Gonzalez: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Foul tip, Gonzalez struck out on foul tip
        • L. Arraez: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Arraez singled to right center, Polanco to third, Cruz to second
        • J. Schoop: Foul, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Schoop struck out swinging
        • J. Castro: Strike looking, Castro reached on fielder's choice to second, Arraez out at second
        • Middle of the 1st (1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Odorizzi Pitching:
        • F. Lindor: Strike looking, Lindor singled to center
        • O. Mercado: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Mercado grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Lindor out at second
        • C. Santana: Ball, Foul, Ball, Santana grounded out to second
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)