Indians fend off Twins, maintain hold on wild card
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Yan Gomes went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and two runs scored as the Cleveland Indians picked up their seventh straight victory with a 6-5 win over the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a four-game series.
Michael Brantley went 3-for-5 with two RBI for the Indians, who remained one game ahead of the Texas Rangers for the second AL wild-card spot. Carlos Santana also drove in a run.
Cleveland starter Zach McAllister tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings. Bryan Shaw (7-3) pitched 1 2/3 spotless frames of relief to pick up the win.
Josmil Pinto hit a two-run homer during a four-run ninth for the Twins, who have dropped three in a row. Brian Dozier, Alex Presley and Ryan Doumit each had an RBI.
Minnesota starter Andrew Albers (2-5) gave up four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings. The left-hander has lost his last five decisions.
Holding a 6-1 lead, the Indians sent Chris Perez to the mound in the ninth. Eduardo Escobar led off with a single to left, moved to second on defensive indifference and raced home on Presley's triple to right-center field.
The Twins plated another run when Dozier grounded out. Doumit singled and scored on Pinto's two-out homer to right. Joe Smith came in from the bullpen and put men on first and second. However, he got pinch-hitter Oswaldo Arcia to go down swinging for his third save.
Perez stopped by the office of Indians manager Terry Francona after the game to apologize for his performance.
"He felt bad. He was actually very team-oriented. That's what you're looking for," Francona said. "He's having a tough time, and he's owning up to it, and he doesn't want to cost us wins."
Cleveland scored three runs in the fourth to break a scoreless tie. Ryan Raburn singled to center and moved to second on a balk. Asdrubal Cabrera put down a sacrifice bunt and Albers' throwing error to first allowed a run to score. Gomes followed with a homer to left.
Brantley's RBI single in the sixth and Santana's run-scoring double in the seventh made it 5-0 Cleveland.
The Twins finally got on the board in the bottom of the seventh. Doumit's RBI single to center scored Presley, who was hit by a pitch earlier in the inning.
Brantley's RBI single in the eighth made it a 6-1 contest.
Cleveland improved to 10-6 versus the Twins this season ... The Twins were 2- for-13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 ... The Indians will start Corey Kluber on Friday night against Pedro Hernandez.
09/27 02:29:01 ET