|Stubbs’ homer lifts Indians past Twins 3-1|
|Monday, August 26, 2013 12:25 AM|
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians looked like anything but a playoff contender for most of Sunday’s game against Minnesota.
The Indians committed four errors and made several other mistakes, both in the field and on the bases. In other words, they did just about everything a team could do to lose.
As has been the case several times this season, however, manager Terry Francona’s team defied the odds. Drew Stubbs hit a tie-breaking, 2-out homer in the eighth inning and the Indians overcame themselves for a 3-1 victory.
“We were trying every way we could to give it away,” Stubbs said. “We played a very sloppy game but it says a lot about this team that we were able to hang in there and pull out the win.”
Second baseman Jason Kipnis, who had one of the errors and drove in a run, had a similar point of view.
“When you try to lose and still win the game, that’s pretty impressive,” he said.
The win moved Cleveland to within 1 1/2 games of Oakland for the AL’s second wild-card spot as the Indians start a crucial road trip to Atlanta and Detroit that begins Tuesday.
“It wasn’t pretty but it’s a heck of a lot better when you win,” Francona said. “We know we can’t play like that but we won and that’s what we came to do.”
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire struggled to come up with a reason for why his team lost.
“I don’t know who was supposed to win the game,” he said. “I know they won it with a couple of hits but I don’t know who was supposed to win. Sounds like we were. You make four errors, you’re not supposed to win.”
Stubbs homered to dead center on a 0-1 pitch from Jared Burton (2-7) to snap a 1-all tie and lift the Indians to their fifth win in six games. Joe Smith (5-1) pitched a scoreless eighth and Chris Perez worked the ninth for his 21st save.
Stubbs is making a habit of late-game saves. His 2-run homer in the 14th inning on Wednesday was the key blow in a 4-1 win.
Burton retired the first two hitters in the eighth before Stubbs hit his ninth home run of the season to the deepest part of the ballpark. Michael Bourn turned his routine hit to center by hustling into second for a double and scored on Nick Swisher’s single.
Pitchers Scott Kazmir and Cody Allen and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera had throwing errors while Kipnis dropped a soft line drive. The Twins failed to take advantage of the Indians’ generosity. Minnesota stranded 13 runners and was 3 for 19 with runners in scoring position.
Neither starter was involved in the decision. Kazmir allowed one run and struck out eight in six innings while Mike Pelfrey walked six in five innings but held Cleveland to one run and two hits.
The Indians, who stranded 12 baserunners, took a 1-0 lead in the third on Kipnis’ RBI single.
Cleveland’s shoddy defense helped Minnesota tie the game in the fifth. Clete Thomas led off with a single, took second on a sacrifice and moved to third on Brian Dozier’s single. Thomas scored when Doug Bernier pushed a bunt to the right side of the mound. Swisher fielded the ball but no one covered first and Bernier reached with a single.
Josh Willingham struck out but Ryan Doumit walked to load the bases. The inning finally ended when Trevor Plouffe lined out to third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall.
A double and Cabrera’s bad throw put runners at second and third with one out in the Twins’ fourth but Kazmir worked out of the jam. Wilkin Ramirez flied out to shallow right field and Chris Colabello struck out.
The Twins played the final game of a stretch that saw them play 27 games in 27 days.
NOTES: Twins’ assistant general manager Rob Antony announced that All-Star C Joe Mauer (concussion) is resting at home and is expected to return to Target Field on Tuesday when the team begins a brief 3-game homestand against Kansas City. Mauer is on the 7-day concussion list but it’s likely he won’t be activated until the end of the week at the earliest. … Morneau wasn’t in the lineup against Kazmir. He pinch-hit in the eighth and reached on Kipnis’ error. … RHP Josh Tomlin, who is attempting to come back from Tommy John surgery, was activated from the 60-day DL and optioned to Triple-A Columbus. He is expected to rejoin the Indians when rosters are expanded in September.
YANKEES 3, RAYS 2
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Curtis Granderson hit a sacrifice fly in the 11th inning and the New York Yankees avoided a 3-game sweep by defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Sunday.
Alfonso Soriano started the winning rally with a 1-out double off Jamey Wright (2-2). He stole third and came home on Granderson’s fly ball to center.
Mariano Rivera, making his last regular-season appearance at Tropicana Field, received a standing ovation before getting the final three outs for his 38th save. The closer is planning to retire after this season.
WHITE SOX 5, RANGERS 2
CHICAGO — Jordan Danks homered after replacing the injured Avisail Garcia, backing a solid start by his brother John and helping the surging White Sox beat the Rangers.
The White Sox took two out of three from the AL West leaders, giving them eight victories in their last nine games.
Josh Phegley went deep after hitting the winning single in the ninth inning the previous night. John Danks (4-10) outpitched Matt Garza (3-2), allowing two runs over six innings for his second straight win.
A rare bright spot in a miserable season for Chicago was tempered by Garcia crashing into the right-field fence and slowly walking off the field.
BLUE JAYS 2, ASTROS 1
HOUSTON — Mark Buehrle allowed one run over eight innings and the Blue Jays rallied for two runs in the ninth inning to snap a 7-game losing streak with a win over the Astros.
Buehrle (10-7) allowed seven hits and struck out seven in winning his fifth straight. He has allowed seven runs over 27 innings, spanning his last four starts. Casey Janssen pitched the ninth for his 23rd save.
Robbie Grossman had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 12 games for the Astros, who have yet to sweep a series at home this season.
Moises Sierra drew a bases loaded walk to tie the game at 1-1 in the ninth. Following Sierra’s walk, Chia-Jen Lo (0-2) struck out Kevin Pillar before Kevin Chapman induced a run-scoring groundout by Ryan Goins to put Toronto in front 2-1.
ORIOLES 10, ATHLETICS 3
BALTIMORE — Chris Davis had two hits and collected his 118th RBI and the Orioles hit three home runs in a rout of the Athletics.
J.J. Hardy, Nick Markakis and Nate McLouth connected for the Orioles, who took two out of three from Oakland to move within two games of the Athletics in the race for the second AL wild-card slot.
Oakland had gone 105 straight games since April 25 without allowing 10 runs. Rookie Sonny Gray (1-2) absorbed the brunt of the damage, yielding six runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Scott Feldman (4-3) gave up one run in five innings for the Orioles.
ANGELS 7, MARINERS 1
SEATTLE — Jered Weaver gave up just three hits in eight strong innings, Kole Calhoun added a 2-run homer and the Angels completed a 3-game sweep of the Mariners.
The Angels gave Weaver plenty of run support by coming through in clutch situations. The Angels first seven runs were scored with two outs, including Calhoun’s homer, a 2-run triple by Chris Nelson and an RBI triple from Peter Bourjos.
Weaver (8-7) continued the Angels pitching dominance in the 3-game series, where they allowed two runs. His only mistake was giving up a solo home run to Dustin Ackley with one out in the third inning. He struck out eight but wasn’t given the chance at his first complete game since August 2012.
ROYALS 6, NATIONALS 4
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Salvador Perez homered early, then drove in the tie-breaking run in the eighth and the Kansas City Royals ended their 7-game losing streak, rebounding for a victory after blowing a 4-0 lead against Washington.
With two out and a runner on first and the game tied 4-all in the eighth, Billy Butler hit a hard grounder that first baseman Adam LaRoche knocked down. The ball rolled several feet to his right and when Stammen was late to cover the bag, the slow-running Butler kept the inning going by chugging to first with an infield single. Stammen then walked Mike Moustakas on fourth pitches and Perez hit a hard grounder to shortstop Ian Desmond. He bobbled momentarily and his throw to third was late, allowing the tie-breaking run to cross the plate on what was first ruled a fielder’s choice and then changed to an infield single before David Lough’s RBI single made it 6-4.
Kelvin Herrera (5-6) pitched 1 1/3 innings of relief for only the Royals’ third victory in 13 games. Craig Stammen (7-6) took the loss and was part of a shaky defense that led to the Nationals’ first loss in six road outings.