Cleveland, OH – With one big swing of the bat, Jason Kipnis led the struggling Cleveland Indians to a 7-1 win over the Minnesota Twins in the first of a three-game series.
Kipnis' fourth-inning grand slam gave the Indians, who had lost five of their previous six games, a 7-0 lead, from which Cleveland would never look back.
Lonnie Chisenhall crushed a second-inning home run for the Tribe.
"The young kids really stepped up today," said Cleveland manager Manny Acta. "Kipnis had a huge day, so did Lonnie."
Derek Lowe (7-3) shut down the Twins for most of the night, allowing one run on five hits in 6 2/3 innings.
"We hit a number of line drives right at people," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "If those balls go through he's up the creek."
The Indians chased Carl Pavano (2-5) from the game after 3 2/3 frames, getting all seven of their runs -- six earned -- off the right-hander.
"They blooped some in, but they hit some hard," Gardenhire said. "Just didn't go his way."
After Johnny Damon grounded out to start the fourth, Chisenhall singled, Lou Marson walked and Shin-Soo Choo singled to load the bases for Kipnis. On the first pitch, Kipnis sent Pavano's high changeup over the right-center field fence to break the game open.
After Chisenhall gave Cleveland an early lead, the Indians added an unearned run in the third. Choo led off the inning with a base hit, then, after Pavano retired Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera, Twins third baseman Jamey Carroll kept the inning alive with a two-out throwing error. Michael Brantley took advantage of the mistake and lined an RBI double off the left-field wall to give Cleveland a 3-0 lead.
Lowe cruised early on, giving up only two hits over the first six frames. He ran into some trouble in the seventh when he allowed three hits and the Twins' lone run, but Nick Hagadone entered and ended Minnesota's rally.
After Hagadone pitched a scoreless eighth, Jeremy Accardo pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to seal the win.
Coming into the game, Pavano had a career 2.68 earned run average against Cleveland (50 1/3 innings, 15 earned runs)...Kipnis, who stole his 12th base in the first inning, has 10 straight successful stolen base attempts dating back to April 24 vs. Kansas City...Cleveland is 14-7 against Minnesota over the past two seasons and 3-0 in 2012...Lowe is tied with David Price and Yu Darvish for the most wins in the American League...Kipnis has three four-RBI games this season...Lowe is 4-1 with a 1.38 ERA (six earned runs in 39 1/3 innings) at Progressive Field this year...Lowe has won four of five starts against AL Central opponents this season.