The Indians got their bats out in Minnesota Sunday afternoon, but the Twins knocked Corey Kluber and the Tribe’s bullpen around before Justin Morneau doomed Cleveland with a walkoff homer as the Tribe dropped their second straight game, an 8-7 loss to the Twinkies. The loss drops the Indians to 59-81, 16.5 games behind the first-place White Sox with 22 games to play.
After a scoreless first inning, Cleveland got the ball rolling in the second. Carlos Santana took Esmerling Vazquez yard for a leadoff home run to break in the scoring. Brent Lillibridge‘s double and Jason Donald and Lou Marson‘s walks loaded the bases with one out for Shin-Soo Choo, who delivered with a sacrifice fly. Vazquez threw a wild pitch en route to walking Jason Kipnis to bring Donald home and put the Tribe up 3-0.
Cleveland added another run in the third via Brent Lillibridge’s sacrifice fly, but the 4-0 lead would not last. The Twins got on the board in the bottom of the third as Joe Mauer‘s triple brought home former Indian Jamey Carroll; Kluber then served up a two-run homer to Justin Morneau as Minnesota made it a one-run game. Then, in the fourth, Pedro Florimon and Ben Revere came through with RBI singles as the Twins took a 5-4 lead and knocked Kluber out of the game.
It didn’t take long for the Indians to answer the runs. With one out and nobody on the top fo the fifth, Michael Brantley reached with a single and scored on Santana’s game-tying RBI double. Canzler’s subsequent RBI single brought Santana home and put the Tribe back on top, 6-5.
The score stayed stagnant for two-and-a-half innings before Chris Parmelee‘s two-run bases-loaded single off Tony Sipp put Minnesota ahead 7-6. But Jason Donald’s RBI triple in the top of the eighth knotted the score up again; the Indians proceeded to strand the go-ahead run at third base in both the eighth and ninth innings. Then, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Justin Morneau ripped the first pitch he saw from Vinnie Pestano into the right-field stands for a walkoff homer that gave the Twins an 8-7 victory.
The Good: The Indians scored seven runs Sunday afternoon—definitely an encouraging showing. Leading the way was Carlos Santana, who went 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, two runs, and two RBI.
The Bad: Corey Kluber got hammered. The Twins torched him for four runs on eight hits, including a home run, before chasing him from the mound in the fourth inning. The four strikeouts were nice and he didn’t walk anyone, but clearly those aren’t good results.
Also, Asdrubal Cabrera was pulled from the game in the seventh inning with a sore wrist. The official line is that it’s not serious and he expects to play again Monday, but this is the second time this month that he’s missed game time because of his wrist.
Interesting Tidbit: Sunday was the second time in Corey Kluber’s eight major league starts that he got knocked out of the game in fourth inning; he didn’t allow a walk the other time either.