Time Ticking Away as Twins Clean Kluber’s Clock; Twins 4, Indians 2

Each game has become the most important game in the Cleveland Indians’ season. Each loss puts the team closer to a 161-game schedule. Minnesota used a three-run first inning against Cleveland’s Corey Kluber to support spot starter Tommy Milone and the Twins held on for a 4-2 win.

The loss knocked the Indians (77-78) five games back in the American League Wild Card second spot race with just seven games potentially left. Time is rapidly expiring on Cleveland’s season with three confirmed games left with the Twins and three more over the weekend with the Boston Red Sox. If, by some stroke of luck, the team is still able to tie come the completion of all of the 3:10 PM ET starts on Sunday, they will play a makeup game on Monday against the Detroit Tigers.

As for game action, the Twins jumped Kluber in the first. After a pair of groundouts to start the game, Joe Mauer and Miguel Sano combined on back-to-back doubles to left-center. The latter scored Mauer for the game’s first run. Trevor Plouffe followed with his 22nd homer of the season to the bleachers to give the Twins a three-spot.

Francisco Lindor cut into the deficit in the bottom of the inning against Milone, who was filling in for an ill Phil Hughes. Lindor’s solo shot was a near carbon copy of Plouffe’s and was his eleventh of the season.

In the fourth, Brian Dozier hit a sacrifice fly to score Eddie Rosario, who had led off the inning with a double, one of his three hits in the game. Lindor got his second run batted in on the night in the bottom of the sixth, scoring Jason Kipnis, who had led off the inning with a triple to center. Cleveland would bring the tying run to the plate in both the seventh and eighth innings, but were unable to push another run across. Kevin Jepsen closed it out in the ninth for his 14th save of the season.

W: T. Milone (9-5)
L: C. Kluber (8-16)
S: K. Jepsen (14)

HR: T. Plouffe (22, 1st inning off Kluber, 1 on, 2 out); F. Lindor (11, 1st inning off Milone, 0 on, 1 out)

Photo: AP Photo/Tony Dejak

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