Indians
Twins
3 - 4 Final
  for this game

Span, Twins complete three-game sweep of Indians

Jul 7, 2008 - 12:12 AM By Anthony Maggio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Not even All Star Cliff Lee could avoid being burned by the red hot Minnesota Twins.

Minnesota scratched across three seventh-inning runs against the Cleveland Indians' lefthander to complete its second three-run comeback in as many nights and defeat the Indians, 4-3, on Sunday at the Metrodome.

Nick Punto, Denard Span and Carlos Gomez all drove in a run in the decisive frame for the Twins, who completed their seventh series sweep of the season and won their seventh consecutive series overall.

Glen Perkins (5-2), pitched seven innings for the win - Minnesota's 16th victory in its last 18 games.

"Its fun to watch," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's fun to be on the bench with these guys because they are really rooting for each other and really into it."

Lee (11-2) allowed just two hits through the first five innings as the Indians built a 3-0 lead on Jhonny Peralta's sixth inning two-run homer. With a 5-0 record in his last loss coming on May 18, the Indians appeared poised to snap its season-long seven-game losing streak.

Instead, Span and the rest of the Twins chipped away.

Span hit a leadoff triple in the sixth and scored on Alexi Casilla's groundout, cutting the deficit to two.

Craig Monroe drew a one-out walk in the seventh and Indians third baseman Andy Marte couldn't come up with a diving play on Delmon Young's grounder to put runners on first and second. Brendan Harris and Punto then hit back-to-back singles with Monroe scoring on Punto's line drive, and Span followed with a five-pitch walk to tie the score at three.

"I knew he was on the hook and was going to try to get me to chase," Span said. "I just wouldn't bite."

Gomez, who had words with Lee earlier in the contest after trying to bunt for a hit, then came back from an 0-2 count to hit a slow chopper to Marte and bring home Harris for the go-ahead run.

"I've got to do a better job of damage control and I didn't," Lee said. "They got a win because of it. That's totally on me.

"We can't be walking guys with the bases loaded. That's something I did, that to be a winning team you can't be doing stuff like that."

The comeback made a winner of Perkins, who allowed an RBI single to Ryan Garko in the second inning and Peralta's 13th home run of the season, but not much else. Perkins allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts and hasn't lost in his last seven starts.

Matt Guerrier retired the side in the eighth inning for Minnesota and closer Joe Nathan recorded his 25th save in 27 chances with a perfect ninth.

"We've been playing good baseball and we've got a good attitude on the bench, you feel like something's going to happen eventually, you have to just keep plugging away," Gardenhire said. "We've been doing it so many times that you feel like you've got a way to get it done."

The feeling is opposite for the Indians, who have now lost a season-high eight consecutive games and fell to 0-6 on their eight-game road trip. Even with its best pitcher on the mound and a three-run lead, Cleveland couldn't find a way to keep from falling to a season-worst 14-games below .500.

"When you're going through stretches like we're going through right now, that's usually the way it works," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "It's part of baseball. When things are going good, the ball is bouncing the right way and you're catching the breaks. But when you're scuffling as a ballclub or even individually, it goes the other way."

Cleveland has lost five consecutive games at the Metrodome and was swept by the Twins for the first time since Minnesota took a three-game series August 20-22, 2004 at the dome.

Young and Harris both singled for the Twins, who have won five straight home games against the Indians. Since a season-high six-game losing streak that ended with a 1-0 loss in Cleveland on June 10, Minnesota has gone 19-4.








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

    BATTERIES: CLE - CLIFF LEE, RAFAEL BETANCOURT (8TH) AND KELLY SHOPPACH
    MIN - GLEN PERKINS, MATT GUERRIER (8TH), JOE NATHAN
    (9TH) AND MIKE REDMOND

    HOME RUNS: CLE - JHONNY PER

    Jul 6 4:37 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY CARLOS GOMEZ SCORED BRENDAN HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, D SPAN ON SECOND, N PUNTO ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    MINNESOTA 4 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: A CASILLA (.321, 1-FOR-3, RBI)

    Indians 3, Twins 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 6 4:10 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 37 roots (Close Finish)

    Indians 3, Twins 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 6 4:10 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO DENARD SPAN SCORED DELMON YOUNG.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D SPAN ON FIRST, N PUNTO ON SECOND, B HARRIS
    ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    MINNESOTA 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: C GOMEZ (.270, 1-FOR-3)

    Indians 3, Twins 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 6 4:07 PM
  • 72
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 37 roots (Close Finish)

    Indians 3, Twins 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 6 4:07 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NICK PUNTO SCORED CRAIG MONROE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N PUNTO ON FIRST, B HARRIS ON SECOND, D
    YOUNG ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D SPAN (.313, 1-FOR-2)

    Indians 3, Twins 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 6 4:04 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Indians 3, Twins 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 6 4:04 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY ALEXI CASILLA SCORED DENARD SPAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    MINNESOTA 1 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M REDMOND (.290, 0-FOR-2)

    Indians 3, Twins 1  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 6 3:42 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JHONNY PERALTA (13) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF GLEN PERKINS SCORED BEN FRANCISCO.
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3, MINNESOTA 0
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: C BLAKE (.278, 0-FOR-2)

    Indians 3, Twins 0  Top 6, 0 OutsJul 6 3:31 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN GARKO SCORED KELLY SHOPPACH.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R GARKO ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 1
    MINNESOTA 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: A MARTE (.150, 0 HR, 1 RBI)

    Indians 1, Twins 0  Top 2, 0 OutsJul 6 2:27 PM