CLEVELAND (AP) — Minnesota pitcher Liam Hendriks earned his first major league win at Progressive Field. His second victory still hasn’t come.
Hendriks allowed a career-high tying seven runs, including two-run homers by Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis, as the Cleveland Indians handed the Twins a 7-2 loss on Saturday night.
The right-hander only lasted 4 1-3 innings in his fourth start of 2012, allowing seven hits without recording a strikeout. Hendriks’ career record — covering 24 starts over three seasons — fell to 1-12.
“Obviously, I want to get a couple more wins, but outings like tonight aren’t going to help,” Hendriks admitted. “It’s been almost one year since I won that game here, which is kind of irritating when you think about it, but I don’t let it affect me.”
Hendriks (0-2) earned his only big league victory in his last appearance in Cleveland, tossing six strong innings on Sept. 19, 2012 as the Twins beat the Indians 6-4.
Cleveland right-hander Zach McAllister (7-7) was also his opponent in that start, but won the rematch by limiting Minnesota to two runs over 7 1-3 innings.
The Indians, who never trailed, scored twice in the first inning on Santana’s homer and two more times in the third on Kipnis’ shot. They tacked on three runs in the fifth in chasing Hendriks, highlighted by a two-run double off the bat of Nick Swisher.
“Every other inning, Hendriks was giving up two runs because he made too many mistakes with people on base,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He was leaving stuff over the center of the plate and it ended up being a six-pointer early, which you can’t have in this game.
“Our plan is for him to start again, but we’ll just have to go down the road and see what happens.”
Second baseman Brian Dozier accounted for both Twins runs with a sacrifice fly in the third and a solo homer in the eighth. Third baseman Trevor Plouffe went 1 for 3 to extend his hitting streak at Progressive Field to 10 games.
Josh Willingham, Ryan Doumit and Pedro Florimon added one hit apiece for Minnesota, which went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position. Florimon fouled a pitch off his right foot in the first inning, but remained in the game.
“This was another night where you kept waiting for something good to happen, and it never did,” Gardenhire said. “Offensively, we didn’t do a lot. They just outplayed us tonight. It didn’t go our way at all.”
Hendriks assumed the rotation spot of rookie right-hander Kyle Gibson, who was optioned to Triple-A Rochester after allowing four runs in 3 2-3 innings Monday in a 6-1 loss to the New York Mets. Hendriks was recalled from the Red Wings earlier in the day.
Anthony Swarzak followed Hendriks with 2 2-3 scoreless innings, while Ryan Pressly pitched the eighth.
“As always, Swarzak gave us a chance by keeping us in the game,” Gardenhire said. “But the problem is, now him and (Brian) Duensing aren’t available tomorrow because we keep getting short starts. This was another rough game for us.”
Minnesota had its two-game winning streak snapped, while McAllister notched his third consecutive victory for the first time in his three big league seasons.
The Indians remained 2 1-2 games behind Oakland in the race for the final American League wild-card spot. Five of their nine hits went for extra bases.
“We needed a nice little offensive day like this,” Kipnis said. “The pitchers have been doing their jobs. We know the offense has been struggling a little bit, so this was a good night for us to have.”
Before the game, Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony updated the status of catcher Joe Mauer, who was placed on the seven-day concussion list Tuesday.
Antony said the six-time All-Star will not be activated when he is eligible to come off the disabled list, but is resting comfortably at home. Mauer will be examined by doctors at the Mayo Clinic on Tuesday.
“The doctors advised him to lay low and rest right now,” Antony said. “That’s the best thing for him. He’ll come in Tuesday, and we’ll go from there.”
NOTES: Twins LF Oswaldo Arcia (left wrist) returned to action missing four games with a bone bruise. He went 0 for 4 batting and mishandled a line drive. … Twins C Chris Herrmann made his fifth straight start, but went hitless in four at-bats. … The Twins optioned RHP Michael Tonkin to Triple-A Rochester to make room for Hendriks on their 25-man roster. Tonkin made two relief appearances for Minnesota, pitching 2 1-3 innings without allowing an earned run. … Indians LHP Scott Kazmir (7-6) takes on Twins RHP Mike Pelfrey (5-10) in the three-game series finale Sunday. Kazmir was originally slated to pitch Saturday, but was given an additional day between starts by manager Terry Francona.
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