Minnesota Shuts Down Tribe Offense; Twins 3, Indians 0
By Evan Matsumoto
Saturday night’s game was similar to Friday night’s contest in one way: Cleveland’s starting pitcher only lasted three innings.
Minnesota evened the series at 1-1 as they beat the Tribe 3-0. Cleveland dropped to 59-80 on the season, 17.0 games behind the Chicago White Sox.
The first inning promised more than it delivered. Shin-Soo Choo hit a leadoff single and was followed by Jason Kipnis, who walked. With men on first and second, Asdrubal Cabrera struck out looking before Carlos Santana short-hopped into a double play to end the inning.
Minnesota followed suit after Ben Revere and Josh Willingham occupied first and second, each taking their respective bases on balls, but were stranded after Justin Morneau flied out for out number three.
The first runs of the game came in the bottom of the third inning.
Revere lined a single to center field to get on base. He was moved to second when Carroll was awarded first after his acting job convinced the home-plate umpire that he was hit by a pitch that ricocheted off the knob of his bat.
A one-out, double steal ended with Revere on third and Jamey Carroll on second. Joe Mauer singled to center to score Revere and advance Carroll to third. The very next batter, Willingham, hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Carroll and put the Twins up 2-0.
Zach McAllister threw 48 pitches in the inning before getting Ryan Doumit to fly out to center field; twenty-five of his 49 pitches that inning ended in foul ball souvenirs for the Target Field fans. Just fewer than 90 pitches through the first three innings were enough to end McAllister’s night early.
In stark contrast the bottom of the third, the Indians fell in order in the top of the fourth inning, only seeing 10 pitches from Chris De Vries.
Chris Seddon relieved McAllister in the fourth and retired the side, with the help of a double play, in only seven pitches.
His low pitch count did not escape the fifth, though; Seddon was pulled after one and one-third innings and replaced by Scott Maine—his first appearance for Cleveland since being claimed off waivers from the Chicago Cubs.
Maine inherited a pond full of ducks and only one out, to face Morneau, who has six career grand slams. Morneau drew a walk that forced in a run to put Minnesota up 3-0. Maine struck out Doumit and got Chris Parmelee to ground out to Russ Canzler at first to escape the inning.
The Indian’s aversion to scoring, however, continued into the sixth inning. Choo led off with another single, his second of the game, but was effectively stranded by Cabrera who hit into a double play with one out already in the books.
Frank Herrmann relieved Maine in the bottom of the sixth and got the Twins to sit down in the same order as they stood up. Tony Sipp copied Herrman in the seventh and got Carroll, Mauer and Willingham to fall in order.
Cleveland’s sixth pitcher of the night, Scott Barnes, gave up the first hits in the game since Choo’s single in the sixth, a pair of singles to Morneau and Doumit. Barnes got out of the inning aided by a 5-3 double play.
The Indians went without a fight in the ninth to end the game. McAllister drops to 5-7 as the team is shut out for the ninth time of the season.
Game three of this four game series can be seen tomorrow at 2:10 p.m. Eastern time on SportsTime Ohio. The Indian’s rotation will feature Corey Kluber (1-3, 4.79 ERA) while the Twins counter with Esmerling Vasquez (0-1, 7.94 ERA).
Photo: Marilyn Indahl/Getty Images