Blown Save Redeemed, Twins Win In 10th
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CLEVELAND (AP) — Their home-field magic has disappeared, vanishing almost as unexpectedly as it arrived. The timely, two-out hits are dropping for the other guys now.
For two months, the Cleveland Indians were baseball’s biggest surprise.
Now, they’re shocked.
“What comes around goes around,” Indians manager Manny Acta said.
Cleveland lost for the sixth time in seven games on Wednesday as Ben Revere’s two-out RBI single in the 10th inning off closer Chris Perez gave the coming-to-life Minnesota Twins a 3-2 win over the slumping Indians, who can’t seem to shake free of their June swoon.
The Indians, who were once 14-2 at Progressive Field, went 1-6 on their homestand, losing four straight to Texas and two of three to Minnesota, which has the majors’ worst record.
“Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong,” Acta said.
After Drew Butera doubled with two outs off Perez (2-2), Revere flared his base hit into shallow left. Butera scored sliding ahead of outfielder Michael Brantley’s one-hop throw that skipped past catcher Lou Marson, helping the last-place Twins take the series and win for the sixth time in seven games.
Matt Capps (2-3) got the win after giving up Jack Hannahan’s tying, two-out homer in the ninth — a shot that briefly had the Indians believing they would win again. But after Carlos Santana hit a two-out double in the 10th, Phil Dumatrait retired Shin-Soo Choo on a comebacker for his first career save.
Grady Sizemore homered for Cleveland, which has lost eight of nine at home and is 2-6 overall this month. The Indians, who are missing DH Travis Hafner, are 1 for 40 since June 2 with runners in scoring position.
“We’re not getting the big hits. It’s not a secret,” Brantley said. “I’ve got to do a better job of getting big hits and so does everybody. We have to put some hits together at the same time. We’re getting hits sporadically, but you have to put them together.”
The road isn’t going to get easier. The Indians play four in New York against the Yankees before visiting second-place Detroit.
“We knew we were going to hit a rough stretch,” said starter Justin Masterson, who went eight innings but remains winless since April 26. “It’s quite all right. You just have to continue to fight. Guy’s minds are in a good spot.”
Revere had three hits and Justin Morneau had an RBI single for the Twins, who started the month 20 games under .500 and have been ravaged by injuries.
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire has had to juggle his lineup on an everyday basis. He used his 57th different one in 61 games on Wednesday. The Twins have had to use 39 players and have eight on the disabled list, including superstar Joe Mauer and designated hitter Jim Thome.
They’re so far back, the Twins can’t think about winning a third straight AL Central title.
“We’re just trying to win a ballgame each day,” Gardenhire said. “That’s all we’re doing.”
Minnesota starter Carl Pavano wound up with a no-decision, and probably deserved better.
The right-hander allowed just one run in seven strong innings. Pavano gave up seven hits and never let an Indians lineup that has been struggling for several weeks get anything going.
Pavano, who pitched his first complete game since 2010 his previous start, carried a four-hit shutout into the sixth inning, when Sizemore led off with his seventh homer, an opposite-field shot over the wall in left. Sizemore’s homer brought the Indians within 2-1.
They had Pavano in his only real jam with two outs in the seventh, when Marson snapped an 0-for-23 slump with a single and Brantley singled him to third. But Pavano got Asdrubal Cabrera to hit a routine grounder to first for the final out.
With their offense sputtering, the Indians promoted infielder Cord Phelps from Triple-A Columbus before the game and immediately threw him in the starting lineup.
Playing second and batting seventh, Phelps didn’t provide a spark with his bat during his major league debut, going 0 for 4. But the rookie made a nice diving catch on Luke Hughes’ soft liner in the seventh.
Notes: The Twins have played just 21 home games, but will have 30 of their next 40 at home. … Twins 1B Hughes made a diving stab at first to rob Sizemore of a hit in the eighth. … SS Francisco Lindor, the Indians’ first-round draft pick, gave no indication if he’ll sign with the club. Lindor, who batted .528 as a senior at Montverde (Fla.) Academy, has a scholarship offer to Florida State. … Twins RHP Nick Blackburn, who left his last start against Kansas City on Saturday with a stiff back, will pitch Thursday against Texas. “He says he’s fine but I’m a little worried about him,” Gardenhire said. … Twins OF Denard Span returned to Minnesota to have his sore neck examined. He played Monday after missing two games, but felt light-headed. … Revere has hit safely in 11 straight games.
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