A leadoff home run from Brian Dozier started a four-run fourth inning as the Minnesota Twins did significant damage to the AL Wild Card hopes of Corey Kluber and Cleveland on Wednesday night in a 4-2 loss for the Indians.
Phil Hughes gave the Twins five scoreless innings in his return from the bullpen. His counterpart Kluber was good at times, but just like teammate Danny Salazar the night before, one inning of damage would be enough for Minnesota. The Indians lost no ground on Houston with the loss, but the Twins and the Los Angeles Angels gained a game, while the Baltimore Orioles leaped over the Tribe in the standings.
Dozier hit his 28th homer of the year to lead off the fourth against Kluber, who had been effective against the Twins this season. Joe Mauer doubled, Miguel Sano walked, and Trevor Plouffe knocked Mauer in. After a strikeout, Torii Hunter was hit by a pitch to load the bases and barked at Kluber while heading to first. A strikeout of Kurt Suzuki had the Tribe ace an out away from escape, but Eduardo Escobar doubled in a pair to make it a 4-0 contest.
The Indians would get on the board with two outs in the ninth against Twins reliever Glen Perkins. Francisco Lindor doubled with two retired and scored on the 17th homer of the season by Carlos Santana, just his third off of a left-handed pitcher. Perkins would be ejected following the game for arguing balls and strikes.
W: P. Hughes (11-9)
L: C. Kluber (8-15)
HR: B. Dozier (28, 4th inning off Kluber, 0 on, 0 out); C. Santana (17, 9th inning off Perkins, 1 on, 2 out)
Photo: AP Photo/Jim Mone