Published September 07, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS – Russ Canzler hit his first major league homer and reliever David Huff won his first game this season and the Cleveland Indians beat the Minnesota Twins 7-6 on Friday night.
Minnesota built an early 4-0 lead on Indians starter Jeanmar Gomez before Canzler and Huff (1-0) — who both spent most of the year in Triple-A Columbus before being called up this month — lifted Cleveland to its fourth win in six games.
Canzler went 3 for 4 with a walk and three RBIs — the first RBIs of his major league career — and Huff retired all 10 batters he faced after relieving Gomez in the fourth.
Twins starter Liam Hendriks couldn't hold onto a four-run lead for the second straight game and remained winless in 16 career starts.
Josh Willingham hit a two-run double and Justin Morneau added a sac fly in the third to give Hendriks a 4-0 lead.
But Canzler started the rally with a two-run homer in the fourth.
Then in the fifth, Shin-Soo Choo added an RBI single and Canzler drove in Jason Kipnis on a grounder down the third-base line to tie it.
Sloppy play hurt the Twins in the seventh when Kipnis was caught stealing but reached second when Pedro Florimon missed a throw from Tyler Robertson (1-2).
Two batters later, Michael Brantley gave Cleveland the lead when he singled off Alex Burnett to drive in Kipnis. Casey Kotchman then snapped a 0-for-15 slid when he singled home Carlos Santana and Burnett walked in a run to make it 7-4.
Willingham added another double in the eighth off Vinnie Pestano to drive in Joe Mauer. Pestano and Joe Smith combined for 1 2-3 innings of relief. Chris Perez gave up a leadoff double and a run in the ninth, but held on for his 35th save in 39 chances.
Notes: Willingham has a career-high 101 RBIs. ... Indians manager Manny Acta said 3B Lonnie Chisenhall could rejoin the team soon if Double-A Akron is eliminated from the Eastern League playoffs this weekend. Chisenhall broke his right arm in June. ... Vinny Rottino was in the lineup in LF for the first time since being called up from Triple-A Columbus earlier this week. He's also the team's third catcher. ... Twins RF Denard Span (collarbone) said he planned to take some swings in the batting cage Friday and possibly hit outside on Saturday. He's scheduled to come off the DL next week. "The next couple days will tell me," Span said. ... The teams play the second game of their four-game series Saturday when Minnesota's Cole De Vries faces Cleveland's Zach McAllister.