Santana Swats and Salazar Survives to Even Series; Indians 8, Twins 2

Carlos Santana fell a triple shy of the cycle and Danny Salazar pitched five innings to get the win in his return as the Cleveland Indians pounded the Minnesota Twins 8-2 Tuesday night at Target Field.

It was Salazar’s first appearance since he was optioned to Triple-A Columbus on May 16. Former Indians prospect Yohan Pino took the mound for the Twins.

Carlos Santana (4 hits, 2 RBI) led off the second inning with a double that just missed clearing the right field wall by a foot. Pino hit Lonnie Chisenhall and Nick Swisher (3 hits) singled to load the bases for Yan Gomes (2 hits, RBI). Pino painted a fastball on the outside corner to strike out Gomes, but David Murphy followed with a two-run single to give the Tribe an early 2-0 lead. Mike Aviles brought Swisher home with a sac fly to center to make it 3-0.

In the second, Salazar avoided damage in one of the weirdest innings you’ll ever see. After striking out the first hitter, Salazar walked the bases loaded and battled back to strike out the next two batters to keep the Tribe’s three-run lead intact.

Sam Fuld reached on a RBI fielder’s choice to get the Twins on the board in the fourth. After retiring Kurt Suzuki, Salazar gave up back-to-back singles to Oswaldo Arcia and Eduardo Escobar before Fuld brought Arcia home to cut the Tribe’s lead to 3-1. Danny Santana followed with an infield single to give the Twins runners on first and second with two outs, but Santana struck out Brian Dozier (3 hits) to end the frame.

With one out in the fifth inning, Carlos Santana blasted a 3-2 pitch over the right-field bleachers to make it 4-1.

Salazar’s night came to a close in the sixth after allowing a leadoff single to Suzuki. Salazar (2-4, 5.12) exited the game after 92 pitches (63 strikes, 29 balls), allowing just one run on six hits. He struck out six and walked three.

Kyle Crockett came on in relief of Salazar and retired three batters on seven pitches to end the sixth.

With one out in the seventh, Dozier took Scott Atchison deep for his 19th home run, trimming the Tribe’s lead to 4-2. Atchison, who relieved Crockett, retired Trevor Plouffe and then allowed a two-out single to Kendrys Morales. However, Chris Dickerson gunned down the slow-running Morales trying to stretch a single into a double.

Atchinson returned to the mound in the seventh and recorded two outs before giving the ball to Marc Rzepczynski. Eduardo Nunez pinch hit for Arcia and laced a triple to right. With Nunez at third and two outs, Terry Francona brought in Cody Allen who struck out pinch hitter Chris Parmelee.

Brian Duensing relieved Pino with one-out in the seventh. Pino (1-3, 4.64) got the loss and was charged with four runs on seven hits while striking out five.

The Tribe scored four runs on four hits and sent nine men to the plate in the ninth. Swisher and Gomes opened the inning with back-to-back doubles to extend the lead to 5-2. After getting Murphy and Aviles to ground out, Twins reliever Matt Guerrier got behind in the count on Jason Kipnis and opted to intentionally walk him. Kipnis stole second and then Dickerson brought him and Gomes around to score with a two-run single. Michael Brantley walked to put runners on first and second for Carlos Santana, who stepped to the plate a triple shy of the cycle. Santana would come up a base short when he roped a double down the right field line to score Dickerson and put the Tribe up 8-2.

Carlos Carrasco relieved Allen and pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the game.

The rubber match of this three game series is slated for Wednesday at 1:10pm ET from Target Field. Trevor Bauer (4-4, 3.89) will battle 26-year-old right-hander Kyle Gibson (8-8, 4.19).

Photo: Jim Mone/AP Photo

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