Indians
Twins
3 - 12 Final
  for this game

Young powers Twins past Indians

Jul 5, 2008 - 3:48 AM By Brian Hall PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Delmon Young is following the same path as the rest of his Minnesota Twins teammates - a strong month of June followed by a better start to July.

Young belted a three-run homer and Nick Punto added a solo shot and four RBI on Friday as the Twins cruised to a 12-3 triumph over the Cleveland Indians at the Metrodome.

Minnesota remains one of the hottest teams in baseball, going 17-4 in its last 21 games and winning six straight series in the process.

Acquired from Tampa Bay in the offseason, Young went 3-for-5 with four RBI, three runs scored and his third homer of the season to pace Minnesota's offense. Punto had his first home run in over a year and added a three-run double in the eighth.

"Delmon Young was really on the ball tonight, and it's good to see him hitting the ball the way he is," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Livan Hernandez (9-5) notched the victory by tossing six strong innings, allowing three runs and five hits while striking out four and walking three. Brian Bass, Matt Guerrier and Jesse Crain each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

Cleveland starter Paul Byrd (3-10) lost his fifth straight game, allowing six runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked three for the Indians, who have lost six in a row.

"This has been as tough a month, month and a half, that I have ever had in the big leagues," Byrd said. "My arm feels great. I feel like I have the good fastball. I am just not able to get through the game without giving up a lot of runs."

Young entered June hitting .264 with no home runs and 15 RBI. Expected to fill some of the offensive void left by the departed Torii Hunter, the second-year outfielder instead was dropped to the bottom third of the order.

However, he hit. 321 in June with two homers and 13 RBI, and has started July with a .500 average, one blast and five RBI.

"There might have been other games where I might've (had no hits) but I hit the ball harder," Young said of Friday's effort. "It's just that these all started finding holes."

With two outs in the third inning, Justin Morneau walked and Jason Kubel doubled. Young then hit a 1-1 pitch into the left field stands to give Minnesota a 5-2 advantage.

"I don't mind a solo shot; Nick Punto, that's OK," Byrd said. "I just threw a 3-1 fastball away and he did a good job hitting it. That didn't break our back, but the three-run homer (by Young) did. Especially after we score some runs and I give them a comfortable lead right back again. So that was extremely frustrating."

Punto started the scoring in the first with a solo homer, his first since June 6, 2007. The Twins then tacked on another run in the second after Young singled and scored on Brian Buscher's double to left-center.

The bottom of Cleveland's injury-riddled order got to Hernandez in the top of the third. Ryan Garko singled and Kelly Shoppach followed with his seventh home run of the season.

Ben Francisco got the Indians within 5-3 with a solo homer leading off the sixth. The Indians continued to threaten as Jhonny Peralta doubled and Shin-Soo Choo walked, but Hernandez retired the next three batters to avoid further damage.

"We're not playing as well as we would like," Cleveland's Casey Blake said. "It seems like it is somewhat of a snowball effect right now. The club is hurting. It's been hurting for quite a while. But, what do you do? Do you just quit and go home?

"We're competitors in here. We're going to show up and play hard. These guys play hard in here. It seems like we just need to give ourselves more opportunities to score runs."

Young scored in the sixth on a single by Brendan Harris. In the seventh, Morneau added an RBI double and scored on a base hit by Young, giving the Twins an 8-3 bulge.

An inning later, Punto delivered a three-run doubled and came home two batters later on Morneau's sacrifice fly, capping the scoring.

"It's nice to see different guys contribute," Punto said. "Tonight, it was me and Delmon, and Delmon's starting to swing the bat real well. That's the key to this team winning."

And it is what the Indians are searching for.

"Anytime you lose a baseball game, it's tough," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "You've got to handle it. You have to learn from it, and we have to work hard to get better. We know where we are at right now - we're deep in the trenches and we have to dig out. Each individual out there has to do their part to help up us be a little bit better tomorrow."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CLEVELAND 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 8 0
    MINNESOTA 1 1 3 0 0 1 2 4 x 12 15 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CLE - PAUL BYRD, JENSEN LEWIS (6TH), BRIAN SLOCUM (7TH), EDWARD
    MUJICA (8TH) AND KELLY SHOPPACH
    MIN - LIVAN HERNANDEZ, BRIAN BASS (7TH), MATT GUERRIER
    (8TH), JESSE

    Jul 4 10:13 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JUSTIN MORNEAU SCORED NICK PUNTO.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, J MAUER ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    MINNESOTA 12 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.267, 2-FOR-4)

    Indians 3, Twins 12  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 4 9:52 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY NICK PUNTO SCORED BRENDAN HARRIS, DENARD SPAN AND
    CARLOS GOMEZ.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, N PUNTO ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    MINNESOTA 11 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MAUER (.321, 0-FOR-4)

    Indians 3, Twins 11  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 4 9:48 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DELMON YOUNG SCORED JUSTIN MORNEAU.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D YOUNG ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    MINNESOTA 8 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: B BUSCHER (.344, 1-FOR-2, BB, RBI)

    Indians 3, Twins 8  Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 4 9:28 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JUSTIN MORNEAU SCORED NICK PUNTO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MORNEAU ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    MINNESOTA 7 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.268, 2-FOR-3)

    Indians 3, Twins 7  Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 4 9:25 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRENDAN HARRIS SCORED DELMON YOUNG.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B HARRIS ON FIRST, B BUSCHER ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    MINNESOTA 6 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D SPAN (.286, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Indians 3, Twins 6  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 4 8:58 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BEN FRANCISCO (7) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF LIVAN HERNANDEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3, MINNESOTA 5
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J PERALTA (.252, 0-FOR-2)

    Indians 3, Twins 5  Top 6, 0 OutsJul 4 8:35 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY DELMON YOUNG (3) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF PAUL BYRD SCORED JUSTIN MORNEAU AND JASON KUBEL.
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 2, MINNESOTA 5
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: B BUSCHER (.349, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Indians 2, Twins 5  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 4 8:01 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY KELLY SHOPPACH (7) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF LIVAN HERNANDEZ SCORED RYAN GARKO.
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 2, MINNESOTA 2
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: G SIZEMORE (.266, 0-FOR-1)

    Indians 2, Twins 2  Top 3, 0 OutsJul 4 7:46 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRIAN BUSCHER SCORED DELMON YOUNG.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B BUSCHER ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 0
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: B HARRIS (.245, 4 HR, 22 RBI)

    Indians 0, Twins 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsJul 4 7:37 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY NICK PUNTO (1) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF PAUL BYRD.
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 0, MINNESOTA 1
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MAUER (.326, 3 HR, 36 RBI)

    Indians 0, Twins 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsJul 4 7:19 PM