The Cleveland Indians made things interesting but their comeback ultimately fell short as they lost to the Minnesota Twins 10-6 Tuesday night. The loss dropped the Indians to 60-44 on the season while they fell to just 4-7 against the Twins in 2016. The Twins moved to 42-64 on the year with the win and continue to be a thorn in the Tribe’s side despite bringing up the rear in the American League Central.
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For the second day in a row, the Tribe’s starting pitcher got rocked by the Twins’ offense. Carlos Carrasco was tagged for eight runs (all earned) in just 3 2/3 innings on the night. He looked very good over the first two innings but ran into major trouble in the 3rd inning when the Twins scored four times to take a 4-0 lead. Brian Dozier got the scoring started with a two-run home run, his 20th on the season before Max Kepler hit his fourth home run in two days to make it 4-0 Twins.
The Twins then knocked Carrasco out of the game with another four-run inning in the 4th with Joe Mauer and Miguel Sano delivering the big blows with a pair of RBI doubles between the two. Overall, Carrasco allowed nine hits and walked a pair while only striking out one as he dropped to 7-5 on the year. Dan Otero got the bullpen going with 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. He allowed just one hit and lowered his season ERA to 1.25. Kyle Crockett then came on in the 6th inning and got two huge strikeouts against lefties Joe Mauer and Max Kepler.
Bryan Shaw then worked a scoreless 7th inning before running into some trouble in the 8th. However, Cody Allen came on to get a big double play against Mauer to keep the deficit at two runs. Unfortunately, Austin Adams (pitching the 9th inning to the surprise of many) allowed two runs on a home run to Eduardo Escobar putting the game out of reach late. It raised his season ERA to 7.04 and may be his final appearance for a while with Mike Clevinger possibly taking his place in the next two days.
Offensively the Indians struggled for the first four innings before exploding for six runs in the 5th inning off Twins’ starter Kyle Gibson. In fact, all six runs scored after two were out in the 5th inning as the Tribe knocked Gibson out and prevented him from getting the win. Carlos Santana hit his 23rd home run of the year, a no-doubt two-run home run making it 8-2. Francisco Lindor made it 8-3 with a RBI single to left field, his third hit of the game. One batter later, Mike Napoli hit his 26th home run of the season and fourth in his last four games to make it 8-5 Twins. Finally, Lonnie Chisenhall made it 8-6 with his 16th double of the year, scoring Jose Ramirez and ending Gibson’s day.
The Indians failed to score the rest of the night though they did have a few chances and brought the small crowd to their feets a couple times. The Indians struggled though with runners in scoring position going just 2 for 10 and leaving nine on base. They did pound out 13 hits on the night and only Roberto Perez did not get a hit for the Tribe. Both Lindor and Santana had three hits apiece while Santana reached four of the five times he came to bat.
The Indians will look to end their brief two-game slide Wednesday night as Trevor Bauer (7-4, 3.64 ERA) is set to take on Twins’ right-hander Tyler Duffey (5-8, 6.12). The Indians will need Bauer to give them some innings after Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco lasted just 5 2/3 innings combined the previous two nights. The Tribe will also look to at least maintain their Central Division lead, if not extend it after it fell to three games with the Detroit Tigers winning seventh in a row Tuesday night.