MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Mike Clevenger won his 10th straight decision, and Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor homered as the Cleveland Indians beat the Minnesota Twins 5-2 on Sunday.
The Indians moved back to 5 1/2 games behind the Twins in the AL Central. The teams close the season series with a three-game set in Cleveland that begins on Friday.
Clevenger (11-2) pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. He hasn’t lost since June 28. In his last 13 starts, Clevenger is 10-0 with a 2.00 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 81 innings.
Brad Hand pitched around a walk and a hit batter in the ninth to earn his 34th save of the season.
The Indians took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on Franmil Reyes’ two-run single off Twins starter Randy Dobnak (0-1).
Santana hit his 33rd homer of the season, a solo shot off reliever Devin Smeltzer in the third. Lindor tagged Smeltzer for his 29th of the season in the fifth.
The Twins got a solo home run from Mitch Garver – his third in two days and 29th of the season – in the fourth inning.
Rookie LaMonte Wade Jr. drove in a run with an infield single in the seventh to make it 5-2. The Twins loaded the bases with one out, but reliever Nick Wittgren struck out C.J. Cron and Garver to end the threat.
BUXTON TO SEE SPECIALIST
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said CF Byron Buxton flew to California on Sunday to have a specialist check out his injured left shoulder.
Buxton was sidelined for a month after injuring his shoulder while crashing into a wall on Aug. 1. He was activated on Sept. 1 and has made five appearances as a defensive replacement and pinch runner, but he hasn’t been able to swing a bat yet, and his status for the rest of the season remains uncertain.
“I don’t really think anybody can say for sure, or with any confidence,” Baldelli said of Buxton’s return date. “And that’s why we’re trying to seek out as many opinions as we can.”
Jake Cave, who has filled in for Buxton the past five weeks, left Friday’s game with a strained left groin, leaving the Twins thin in the outfield. On Sunday, they acquired veteran outfielder Ryan LaMarre in a trade with Atlanta. The 30-year-old hit .311 at Triple-A Gwinnett this season. He appeared in 46 games with the Twins in 2018.
Twins: RF Max Kepler left the game in the second inning with upper-chest discomfort. He is considered day-to-day. … Baldelli said DH Nelson Cruz (wrist) was “petitioning to play,” but with a day off Monday, the Twins decided to give him an extra day of rest. He aggravated a left wrist injury while swinging a bat on Friday. … Baldelli expressed optimism that Cave (groin) would return to action “well before the season ends.”
Indians: RHP Shane Bieber (13-7, 3.24 ERA) takes the mound on Monday night as Cleveland opens a three-game series against the Angels in Anaheim. Bieber has given up more than three earned runs just once in his last 16 starts.
Twins: RHP Jose Berrios (11-8, 3.78) will start the opener of a three-game series against Washington on Tuesday night at Target Field. The two-time All-Star has struggled in the second half, and is 1-3 with an 8.07 ERA in six starts since Aug. 6.
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