Dominican righty Esmerling Vasquez makes the second start of his big-league career for the Minnesota Twins today when they host the Cleveland Indians in the third of four games at Target Field.
A 28-year-old, Vasquez had made 141 straight major-league outings in a relief role before beginning the Twins' Sept. 2 game at Kansas City and allowing five runs on seven hits in a 6-4 loss.
Signed in 2003 as an undrafted free agent by Arizona, Vasquez debuted in the majors with the Diamondbacks in 2009 with 53 appearances, then pitched in 57 games in 2010 and 31 more in 2011.
He was 5-10 with Arizona overall and posted earned run averages of 4.42, 5.20 and 4.15 in the three National League seasons.
He was selected off of waivers by the Twins in September 2011 and had been 9-6 in 31 games -- eight starts -- in 2012 at Triple-A Rochester.
Vasquez has never faced the Indians, who go with second-year righty Corey Kluber, who's coming off a win for the first time in his big-league career.
The 26-year-old had no decisions in three relief outings with Cleveland in 2011 and had gone 0-3 in six starts this season before tossing six innings of two-run ball in a 3-2 victory at Detroit on Sept. 3.
Kluber walked one batter and struck out four in the win, which lowered his ERA for the season from 5.16 to 4.79 and marked just the third time in seven outings that he'd pitched six innings.
Kluber started against the Twins on Aug. 7 in Cleveland and emerged with a no-decision after allowing an earned run in six hits in six innings of the Twins' 7-5 victory.
He was 11-7 in 21 starts at Triple-A Columbus this season before getting the slot in the Indians rotation.
On Saturday, Cole De Vries worked six scoreless innings and the Twins blanked the Indians, 3-0.
De Vries (5-5) surrendered just four hits and fanned two while walking one to earn his third consecutive positive decision. Brian Duensing and Jared Burton tossed scoreless relief innings and Glen Perkins got through the ninth unscathed to earn his 11th save of the year, and first at home.
Joe Mauer hit an RBI single and Josh Willingham added a sacrifice fly for the Twins, who had lost four of their last five. Justin Morneau contributed an RBI with a bases-loaded walk in the triumph.
"I think we played well tonight," Twins infielder Jamey Carroll said. "We got some big hits when we needed them and played a pretty clean game."
Zach McAllister (5-7) took the loss after giving up two runs on two hits and three walks over three innings. Shin-Soo Choo had two hits in the Indians' second loss in their last three games.
The Twins won seven of the first 11 games between the teams in 2012, including two of three in a series in Cleveland from Aug. 6 to 8. The Indians won 11 of 18 games in the season series in 2011.