CLEVELAND – Jim Thome hit a two-run shot for career homer No. 578 and the Minnesota Twins rallied to beat the Cleveland Indians 5-4 on Sunday.
Thome's drive against his former team during Minnesota's five-run fifth inning against David Huff (2-11) helped the Twins take two of three in the series and earn their 12th win in 16 games. Minnesota also pulled within a half-game of the AL Central-leading White Sox heading into their key three-game series in Chicago starting Tuesday night.
Brian Duensing (5-1) pitched a career-high 7 1-3 innings for the Twins, yielding three earned runs and nine hits.
Matt Guerrier retired the two men he faced in the eighth and Matt Capps worked a perfect ninth for his second save in three tries since being acquired July 29 from Washington. He had 26 saves with the Nationals.
Thome, who played for Cleveland from 1991 until leaving as a free agent following the 2002 season, hit his 185th homer at Progressive Field. Thome's 14th homer of the season gave him 1,601 RBIs, passing former Indians player-manager and Baseball Hall of Famer Napoleon Lajoie for 31st on the career list.
Fresh off the disabled list, Orlando Hudson added a tying two-run double and eventually scored on Delmon Young's infield out to give the Twins a 5-4 lead.
Cleveland pushed across three runs in the first. Michael Brantley tripled and scored on a one-out single by Shin-Soo Choo. One out later, Matt LaPorta hit his seventh homer into the left-field bleachers.
Trevor Crowe singled and scored on Lou Marson's double-play grounder in the second, making it 4-0.
Duensing retired 12 of his last 14 batters, striking out three without a walk in his fourth start this season and 13th in 67 career games. The left-hander moved into the rotation July 23, filling the spot that opened when Nick Blackburn was sent back to the minors.
Huff gave up five runs and six hits over 4 1-3 innings. The left-hander is 1-10 with a 7.24 ERA in 13 starts since April 21. Optioned to Triple-A Columbus on June 21, he went 6-0 for the Clippers and was recalled Tuesday.
Hudson went 1 for 3 with a throwing error. Sidelined since July 24 by a strained right oblique muscle, he was activated and reliever Anthony Slama optioned to Triple-A Rochester before the game.
Twins star Joe Mauer was 1 for 3 with a walk in his first start at catcher since getting a cortisone shot for right shoulder tendinitis July 31. The three-time batting champion and reigning AL MVP stayed in the lineup as the DH and has hit .537 (22 for 41) with 16 RBIs in his last 11 games.
NOTES: Twins 2B Alexi Casilla sat out with a sprained left ankle. Casilla, hurt in a home-plate collision Saturday, said he hopes to play in a few days. ... Twins RHP Kevin Slowey did not throw his scheduled bullpen session because of some elbow tendinitis. He expects to take his regular rotation turn Tuesday. ... Cleveland signed its 13th-round pick in the June draft, RHP Michael Goodnight of the University of Houston. The Indians have signed 16 of their 50 picks, but none of their top five. ... Indians RHP Mitch Talbot, on the DL since July 30 with a strained back, is scheduled to make a rehab start Monday at short-season Mahoning Valley. ... Cleveland has lost seven of its last nine home games. ... Thome, the Indians' career homer leader with 334, needs five more to tie Mark McGwire for ninth all-time.