It's been nearly two weeks since the Cleveland Indians last tasted victory, but the drought is finally over.
The Indians, who had been outscored 95-36 during their 11-game losing skid, got seven strong innings from Justin Masterson as they salvaged the finale of a three-game set against the Minnesota Twins with a 6-2 victory Wednesday at Progressive Field.
Masterson (8-10) was charged for two runs on just three hits and four walks with seven strikeouts to earn the victory.
"We finally got back on track, doing what we're supposed to do," said Masterson of snapping the losing streak. "It's nice for the team, nice for everybody, to get a nice little victory."
Shin-Soo Choo finished with four hits, two RBI and a run scored, while Casey Kotchman added an RBI and scored twice for the Indians, who fell one loss shy of tying the franchise record for consecutive defeats, set from May 7-21, 1931.
Brian Duensing (2-7) absorbed the loss after giving up six runs -- four earned -- on 11 hits over seven innings. Alexi Casilla registered two of Minnesota's four hits, including a two-run homer, as the Twins wrapped up a seven-game road trip at 5-2.
"Tough ballgame for us," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "Duensing deserved a little better than he got. We just didn't play well out there."
The Indians struck first in their first at-bat as Jason Kipnis walked to start things and then quickly stole second. Choo followed two batters later with a run-scoring double to center before crossing home on Carlos Santana's line- drive base hit to make it a 2-0 game.
Cleveland added to its lead in the second as Kotchman stroked a one-out single before Brent Lillibridge reached first when Tsuyoshi Nishioka was unsuccessful in an effort to flip to second for the force out.
After Kipnis fanned, Asdrubal Cabrera and Choo ripped back-to-back RBI singles to double the home team's advantage.
Minnesota trimmed the lead in half in the fifth when Brian Dozier worked a leadoff walk to set the table for Casilla, who crushed his first home run of the year into the right field seats to bring the visitors within 4-2.
In the sixth, Nishioka lost a ball in the sun to start the frame, which allowed Shelley Duncan to cruise into second for a double.
A bunt from Lou Marson moved pinch-runner Ezequiel Carrera to third and Kotchman's grounder to second scored Carrera as Nishioka's throw to the plate was high.
Lillibridge then scorched a double into left to put runners on second and third before Kipnis made it a 6-2 game with a sacrifice fly.
Masterson was done after seven frames, but Vinnie Pestano fired a perfect eighth before Esmil Rogers closed out the victory with a scoreless ninth.
Duensing dropped to 5-1 over 15 appearances (seven starts) against Cleveland...Ben Revere went 0-for-4 to snap his 21-game hitting streak...The Twins had won seven straight games against the Indians...Masterson improved to 2-6 against the Twins in his career.