Brian Duensing pitched six solid innings in his best start of the season to help the Minnesota Twins deal the Cleveland Indians a possibly fatal blow with a 5-1 victory to complete a three-game sweep.
Duensing (2-6) allowed one run and five hits to win as a starter for the first time this year. He had been dealt the loss in his first four starts of 2012, but helped the Twins to their third sweep of 2012 on Sunday.
Justin Morneau hit his 198th career homer among three hits, and Ben Revere drove in a pair of runs in the win for Minnesota.
Shelley Duncan had two hits and knocked in the lone run for Cleveland, which continued its slide down the AL Central standings. The Indians came into the weekend having taken two of three from Detroit, but this weekend's sweep might force the team into sell mode as the trade deadline approaches.
Ubaldo Jimenez (8-10) was shaky as usual, allowing five runs on six hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings for the Indians.
Both pitchers matched zeroes for the first three innings, but Cleveland forged ahead when Asdrubal Cabrera, Michael Brantley and Duncan strung together three hits in a five-batter span to plate the game's opening run.
The lead was short-lived, however, as Morneau followed a Josh Willingham walk with a blast to right to put Minnesota ahead, 2-1, in the bottom of the fourth.
Revere added to the Twins' lead in the fifth when he doubled, moved to third on a balk and scored on a wild pitch, and Duensing allowed one baserunner in his final two innings.
After Alex Burnett pitched a perfect seventh for Minnesota, Revere provided some insurance with a two-run single in the bottom of the inning. The Indians put a baserunner on in each of the last two innings, but never mounted a serious threat to their deficit.
Minnesota leads the season series, 5-3, and has won the last five between the teams...The Twins' last sweep came against Oakland from May 28-30...The Indians fell to 6-11 since the All-Star break and are now 10-22 versus left- handed starters.