Cleveland, OH – The Cleveland Indians scored six runs in the first inning and survived a ninth-inning scare to defeat the Minnesota Twins, 8-7, in the middle test of a three-game series at Progressive Field.
Michael Bourn drove in three runs while Jason Kipnis went 3-for-4 with two RBI and was a home run shy of the cycle. Drew Stubbs also drove in two runs for the Indians, who have won four straight and eight of their last 10 games.
Cleveland starter Corey Kluber (6-4) allowed three runs on eight hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. Vinnie Pestano gave up two runs in the ninth but was able to notch his third save.
"I thought he was more crisp tonight than he has been before," said Cleveland manager Terry Francona about Kluber. "He made a couple of mistakes and when you get into a situation like that, you have to really pitch because one swing can beat you."
Joe Mauer had a two-run home run while Chris Parmelee had two solo homers among his three hits. Oswaldo Arcia and Trevor Plouffe had an RBI apiece for the Twins.
Minnesota starter P.J. Walters (2-3) lasted just 2/3 of an inning. He threw 46 pitches, surrendering six runs on one hit and five walks.
"Walters just really didn't have it tonight," said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire. "He couldn't throw the ball over the plate and we haven't seen that in a while, and hopefully we won't see that again."
Mauer clubbed a two-run homer in the first, but the Indians battered Walters in the home half.
Bourn walked to lead off and Mike Aviles was hit by a pitch prior to Kipnis' two-RBI double to left.
After Michael Brantley flew out, Carlos Santana and Mark Reynolds drew walks to load the bases. Jason Giambi forced a third consecutive walk, plating Kipnis.
Following a fly out by Lonnie Chisenhall, Stubbs was walked, allowing Santana to reach home.
Anthony Swarzak came in relief for the Twins, but he gave up a Bourn base hit up the middle, scoring Reynolds and Giambi.
In the fourth. Arcia smashed a 1-0 pitch to center to cut the deficit to 6-3. The Twins had a chance to score more after putting runners at the corners with one out, but Clete Thomas struck out and Mauer grounded out to end the inning.
Cleveland added two more runs in the fifth. Giambi walked and Lonnie Chisenhall ripped a double to center, before Stubbs and Bourn connected on back-to-back RBI singles to right.
The Twins scored a run in the seventh and eighth innings. Plouffe delivered a two-out single that scored Thomas in the seventh while Parmelee homered to lead off the eighth.
With Pestano pitching in the ninth, Justin Morneau smacked a leadoff double and scored on a ground out by Arcia two batters later. Parmelee then crushed a two-out 2-1 fastball over the right field wall to put the Twins within one of tying the game.
However, after walking Brian Dozier, Pestano struck out pinch-hitter Josh Willingham to end the game.
Walters is the first starter with at least six earned runs and five walks in one inning or less against the Indians since Baltimore's Bob Turley on July 7, 1954 ... The Indians hit 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position while the Twins were 1-for-13 with RISP and left 11 runners on base ... Mauer has 102 home runs, passing Corey Koskie for 14th in franchise history ... Minnesota reliever Caleb Thielbar pitched a scoreless eighth. He has not allowed a run over 13 2/3 innings in 12 appearances this season.