Twins
Indians
3 - 4 Final
  for this game

Indians take advantage of rocky first inning by Santana

Aug 30, 2007 - 3:40 AM By Todd Krepop PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Even Johan Santana was not enough to brighten the Minnesota Twins dim playoff hopes.

C.C. Sabathia pitched six effective innings as the Cleveland Indians hung on to defeat the Twins, 4-3, on Wednesday night.

With their playoff lives hanging by a thread, the Twins turned to their ace in hopes of salvaging the final game of the three game series. But the Indians offense jumped on Santana (14-10) early, scoring four runs in the first to send the Twins ace to his fourth loss in five starts against Cleveland this season.

"It's not just me," Santana said. "It's the whole team. I've always said it takes the whole team to win."

It was the third time this season the Twins have been swept by Cleveland, which won its fifth straight contest. Minnesota (67-66) is now 8 1/2 games behind the Indians (75-57), their largest deficit since July 27.

"There's a month to play," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We have to go out and keep playing until someone tells us we're done. Obviously, we're in a deep hole. We're playing the leaders and we got swept. It was a disappointing series for us."

"It feels good to sweep (Minnesota) and let them know we are for real," Sabathia said.

Indians manager Eric Wedge though cautioned it was too early to think the Twins are out of it.

"We still have a long way to go," he said. "With what Minnesota has done the past five years it demands your respect and we fully understand that."

Sabathia (15-7) allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out two. The lefthander struggled with his command as he walked two and hit two hit before turning over a 4-2 lead to the bullpen.

Rookie Jensen Lewis pitched a perfect seventh, but Rafael Betancourt allowed a run in the eighth as the Twins closed the gap to 4-3. But Joe Borowski pitched around a leadoff single in the ninth to pick up his AL-leading 39th save in 44 chances.

Cleveland extended its lead to 4 1/2 games, which matches its largest lead of the season, over second place Detroit in the AL Central. The Indians have won 10 of their last 13 games to take control of the division.

"We definitely feel we have something to prove," Sabathia said. "People are still doubting us and think we are going to fall off, but I think we are here to stay.

"This is the best time to get hot and play well. Hopefully we can put it together and run away with this thing."

Rookie Asdrubal Cabrera's two-run homer highlighted Cleveland's four-run first. The Indians sent nine men to the plate as Santana had to throw 41 pitches to get through the frame. Victor Martinez also homered during the inning and Kenny Lofton added a two-out RBI single.

"I was trying to locate my fastball, but I wasn't able to catch up with my arm," Santana said. "A couple of balls left the park. That was the difference."

The long ball has hurt Santana this season as opposing batters have hit a league-leading 29 home runs off of him this season.

"That's the only way to beat him sometimes," Wedge said. "You're not going to string three or four hits together."

Santana held the Indians scoreless the rest of his outing, but didn't get enough run support to preserve his three-game winning streak. The two-time Cy Young winner allowed a career-high 10 hits for the fourth time in his career and struck out only two.

"It was a matter of throwing the right pitches," Santana said. "I stayed with it. We came back and scored some runs, but it wasn't enough."

Meanwhile Sabathia didn't have his best stuff as well, but the four runs of support were enough for the All-Star to pick up just his third win since the All-Star break.

"(The runs) almost relaxed me too much," Sabathia said. "I started thinking about stuff I shouldn't have. I thought maybe I could finish this game or maybe this and that, and got out of my game. I kind of got out of my game and got behind some guys and some tough innings."

Sabathia was on pace to win 20 games, but his offense and bullpen have offered him little help in the second half. The lefthander had a 2.13 ERA in his previous seven starts, but Cleveland was only 1-6 during that stretch.

Jason Tyner extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games and rookie Alexi Casilla had three hits for the Twins, who have lost seven of 11 games against Cleveland this season.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 3 9 0
    CLEVELAND 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 4 10 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: MIN - JOHAN SANTANA, JUAN RINCON (7TH) AND MIKE REDMOND
    CLE - C.C. SABATHIA, JENSEN LEWIS (7TH), RAFAEL
    BETANCOURT (8TH), JOE BOROWSKI (9TH) AND VICTOR MARTINEZ

    H

    Aug 29 10:02 PM
  • 45
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    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Twins vs. IndiansAug 29 9:54 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY RONDELL WHITE SCORED MICHAEL CUDDYER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 3
    CLEVELAND 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M REDMOND (.289, 2-FOR-3, RBI)

    Twins vs. IndiansAug 29 9:41 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE REDMOND SCORED RONDELL WHITE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M REDMOND ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 2
    CLEVELAND 4 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J TYNER (.302, 1-FOR-2)

    Twins vs. IndiansAug 29 9:03 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY TORII HUNTER SCORED JASON TYNER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T HUNTER ON FIRST, A CASILLA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 1
    CLEVELAND 4 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MORNEAU (.285, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Twins vs. IndiansAug 29 8:47 PM
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    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Twins vs. IndiansAug 29 7:41 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KENNY LOFTON SCORED FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, K LOFTON ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 0
    CLEVELAND 4 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: C GOMEZ (.305, 1 HR, 18 RBI)

    Twins vs. IndiansAug 29 7:37 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY VICTOR MARTINEZ (21) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 1ST OFF JOHAN SANTANA.
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 0, CLEVELAND 3
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: R GARKO (.303, 14 HR, 48 RBI)

    Twins vs. IndiansAug 29 7:28 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ASDRUBAL CABRERA (2) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF JOHAN SANTANA SCORED GRADY SIZEMORE.
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 0, CLEVELAND 2
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: T HAFNER (.257, 19 HR, 77 RBI)

    Twins vs. IndiansAug 29 7:23 PM
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    2buthy5 Added 5 roots

    Twins vs. IndiansJul 14 2:43 AM