MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Josh Willingham’s tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning sent the Minnesota Twins to a 4-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Monday night.
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.
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 last 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 homer and only his second this month.