Cleveland, OH – Jason Kipnis drove in three runs and Scott Kazmir pitched seven solid innings as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Minnesota Twins, 5-1, in the opener of a three-game series at Progressive Field.
Mark Reynolds and Drew Stubbs had an RBI apiece for the Indians, who have won seven of their last nine games.
Kazmir (4-4) allowed just one run on five hits while striking out seven in his outing.
"I know we shouldn't speak too soon, but we feel comfortable out there," said Kazmir. "We're making quality pitches and we're taking good at-bats, so it's a good sign."
Brian Dozier had a home run, but the Twins mustered just five hits. Starter Scott Deduno (3-2) gave up four runs on six hits and two walks in six-plus innings.
"I'm not realy happy because we lost the game but I am happy with what I've been doing and we just got to keep going," said Deduno.
The Indians got on the board in the second inning. Michael Brantley smacked a double to right center and scored on Reynolds' hit up the middle.
An inning later, Drew Stubbs drew a leadoff walk, advanced to third on a Michael Bourn single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kipnis.
Dozier homered to start the sixth, but the Indians scored three runs in the seventh.
Reynolds hit a leadoff single and Lonnie Chisenhall walked. Following a fly out by Yan Gomes, Stubbs delivered an RBI single to left.
Bourn grounded into a fielder's choice that forced Stubbs out at second, but after Mike Aviles drew a walk, Kipnis delivered a blooper to left center, plating Chisenhall and Bourn.
Vinnie Pestano pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for Cleveland to end the game.
The Twins were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position ... Stubbs recorded his 200th career RBI ... Kipnis is hitting .363 and has seven RBI over the last seven games.