Cleveland, OH — Jason Kipnis
hit a two-run bloop single and the Cleveland offense posted three runs in the seventh inning off three different Minnesota pitchers, as the Indians beat the Twins, 5-1, in the opener of a three-game series at Progressive Field.
The Indians now trail Detroit by three games in the American League Central following a Tigers loss against the Boston Red Sox.
The Indians scored two runs in the second and third to build an early lead against Twins starter Samuel Deduno. After a one-out double by Michael Brantley
in the second, Mark Reynolds
drove him home with a single off the wall in left-center field. Reynolds was thrown out trying to advance to second on the play.
The RBI was the first for Reynolds since June 15, when he hit a home run against the Washington Nationals.
In the third, Drew Stubbs
walked to leadoff the inning and advanced to third on a single by Michael Bourn
. Following an infield ground out, Kipnis blooped a ball that was caught by Minnesota second baseman Brian Dozier
. Stubbs tagged and scored on the play, aided by a bad ball transfer by Dozier. Stubbs has now scored at least one run in seven of his last 10 games.
"That was an unbelievable piece of base running," Indians manager Terry Francona
said. "He has no business scoring right there. The instincts to go on that and have the speed to match."
Deduno pitched well, but received just one run of support. In six-plus innings of work, he allowed four earned runs on six hits and two walks. He left the game after allowing the first two runners to reach in the seventh, both of which would score.
relieved Deduno and allowed a sacrifice fly to Yan Gomes
, putting runners at second and third with one out. Stubbs followed with a RBI-single between short and third, making the score 3-1. After the single, Roenicke was done after retiring just one hitter.
came on in relief and walked the bases loaded with two outs. Kipnis hit another bloop between the infield and center and this time it dropped, plating two base runners. After the offensive outburst against three different Minnesota pitchers, the Tribe had extended their lead to 5-1.
(4-4, 5.37) was effective for the Indians, as he shut out the Twins for the first five innings of the game. He had allowed 13 runs over his last three starts, including five earned runs in just two and two-thirds innings in his last start.
"If we thought he would get through the whole year without some hiccups, that's probably unrealistic," Francona said. "This was more of the guy that we expect to see. He bounced back and pitched a really good game."
Kazmir’s only hiccup came in the top of the sixth, when on a 1-0 pitch, Dozier lined a solo homer to left field, his seventh of the season, to decrease the Tribe lead to 2-1. Kazmir responded by retiring the next three hitters in order, including strike outs of Joe Mauer
and Josh Willingham
"It's getting there," Kazmir said. "I took a big step in the direction with this start."
Kazmir allowed a double with one out in the seventh, but struck out the next two hitters to retire the side. In all, Kazmir went seven innings, allowing just one earned run on five hits while striking out seven.
came on in the eighth and retired the side in order while striking out one. Pestano pitched the final inning with no issues and sat in the low 90s with his fastball.
Game two of the three-game series will be played Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Corey Kluber
(5-4, 3.58) will take the mound for the Indians against Minnesota right-hander P.J. Waiters (2-2, 3.23).
Notes: Nick Swisher
was available to pinch hit, but was not needed. … Lonnie Chisenahll picked up his first hit since being recalled by the Indians from Triple-A Columbus. He had gone 0-for-7 with a strike out before hitting a single in the second inning.