Final
  for this game

Twins-Indians Preview

Sep 5, 2009 - 3:56 AM By JEFF MEZYDLO STATS Senior Writer

Minnesota (67-66) at Cleveland (58-75), 4:10 p.m. EDT

Scott Baker is a big reason the Minnesota Twins are still in contention for the AL Central crown.

Looking for a seventh straight victory while trying to remain perfect against the Cleveland Indians this season, Baker hopes to help the Twins avoid a third consecutive loss when the teams continue their series Saturday at Progressive Field.

After beginning the season on the disabled list with shoulder stiffness and then losing his first four starts, Baker (12-7, 4.44 ERA) has turned things around and is 6-0 with a 3.18 ERA in 10 starts since losing to the New York Yankees on July 7.

The right-hander, who allowed three runs in seven innings and didn't receive a decision in a 5-3 win over Texas on Sunday, is 10-1 since June 4.

Though Baker is 6-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 14 career starts against Cleveland, he's 3-0 while allowing two earned runs and striking out 19 in 23 innings versus the Indians in 2009. He pitched a two-hitter in an 11-0 win against them in Minnesota on Aug. 14, giving him 16 consecutive scoreless innings against Cleveland.

"(He) had all his pitches working for him," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Just a great performance by him."

The Twins (67-67) hope Baker can give them another strong outing to help them bounce back from a 5-2 loss in Friday's opener.

Orlando Cabrera had two hits and Justin Morneau drove in a run, but Minnesota committed a season-high four errors to drop its third straight to the Indians.

Despite losing for only the fifth time in 16 contests overall, Minnesota is six games behind division-leading Detroit.

"We know what we've done to this point really means nothing," Twins closer Joe Nathan said. "We're in a race and what we've done to this point has kept us in a race, but we know if we can get on a streak here, anything can happen."

Though Morneau had an RBI, he's 4 for 40 in his last 12 games overall and 0 for 6 in his last two against Cleveland (59-75), which has won five of six against Minnesota.

The Twins might have a good chance to end that slump against Cleveland's scheduled starter Justin Masterson (4-6, 4.57), who struggled against Baker and the Twins in his only previous start against them Aug. 14. He allowed seven runs and walked five in 3 1-3 innings to take the loss.

The right-hander, who's 1-3 with a 5.33 ERA in five starts since coming to the Indians in a trade from Boston, gave up five runs in 5 2-3 innings to take the loss in a 5-2 defeat at Baltimore on Sunday.

Rookie Michael Brantley had two hits and his first career RBI on Friday to help the Indians snap a four-game losing streak.

Brantley, 6 for 15 in four games since being called up from the minors, is likely to see a majority of the time in center field after Cleveland announced star Grady Sizemore will miss the remainder of the season because of soreness in his left elbow.

"This is a great opportunity for me to show what I can do," said Brantley, acquired last season in the trade that sent CC Sabathia to Milwaukee.






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    Twins 4, Indians 1  FinalSep 6 2:01 AM
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    Twins 4, Indians 1  FinalSep 6 1:46 AM


  • Indians 1, Twins 4 - FINAL
    MINNESOTA ab r h rbi bb so lob avg
    D Span cf-lf 2 0 1 0 1 0 1 .311
    O Cabrera ss 3 0 0 1 1 2 2 .275
    J Mauer dh 4 0 2 0 1 0 1 .367
    J Morneau 1b 5 0 0 0 0 1 8 .282
    J Kubel lf 2 1 2 0 2 0 0 .309
    C Gomez pr-cf 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 .239
    M Cuddyer

    Sep 5 7:20 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ORLANDO CABRERA SCORED NICK PUNTO
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D SPAN ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 4
    CLEVELAND 1 TOP,9TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MAUER (.368, 2-FOR-3, BB)

    Twins 4, Indians 1  Top 9, 0 OutsSep 5 7:04 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY BRENDAN HARRIS SCORED CARLOS GOMEZ
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 3
    CLEVELAND 1 TOP,8TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MORALES (.361, 1-FOR-3)

    Twins 3, Indians 1  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 5 6:47 PM
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    Twins 3, Indians 1  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 5 6:47 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Twins 2, Indians 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 5 6:26 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY JAMEY CARROLL ALLOWED JOSE MORALES TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, N PUNTO ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 2
    CLEVELAND 1 TOP,4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D SPAN (.311, 0-FOR-0, BB, SAC)

    Twins 2, Indians 1  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 5 5:18 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY NICK PUNTO SCORED JASON KUBEL
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N PUNTO ON SECOND, J MORALES ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 1
    CLEVELAND 1 TOP,4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D SPAN (.311, 0-FOR-0, BB, SAC)

    Twins 1, Indians 1  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 5 5:18 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ANDY MARTE (5) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF SCOTT BAKER.
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 0, CLEVELAND 1
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: W TOREGAS (.200, 0 HR, 6 RBI)

    Twins 0, Indians 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsSep 5 4:56 PM