Minneapolis, MN – Michael Brantley's sacrifice fly in the 12th inning lifted the Cleveland Indians to a 9-8 win over the Minnesota Twins in the rubber match of a three-game series.
The Indians rallied for four runs in the eighth to tie the game. With two on and no outs, Brantley singled to score Jason Kipnis. Jason Giambi followed with a three-run homer to right to tie the game.
Carlos Santana then slugged a leadoff homer in the 10th, but Joe Mauer hammered a solo shot in the home half to tie the contest.
With runners on the corners and one out in the 12th, Brantley smoked a a line drive to deep center field. Clete Thomas fielded the ball cleanly and fired it to the plate, but the throw was off target and Nick Swisher scored easily.
Brantley finished with two hits and three RBI while Mike Aviles had two hits and two RBI.
"Keep winning series. I think the biggest thing is win game by game and hopefully the series will pile up," Aviles said.
Chris Perez (5-2) earned the win despite giving up Mauer's homer and Joe Smith spun a perfect 12th to pick up his second save.
Mauer was 5-for-7 with four RBI and Chris Collabello had two hits and an RBI for the Twins, who went 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position, but stranded 12 runners on base.
"He came up with big at-bats all day long. Unfortunately we just didn't pitch well at the end to hold them," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Mauer.
Ryan Pressly (3-3) was pegged with the loss after giving up the game-winning run.
The Twins plated a pair of runs in both the first and second innings to jump out to an early lead.
In the first, Mauer singled and Justin Morneau doubled to put runners and second and third with one out. Josh Willingham followed with a sacrifice fly to right to score Mauer. Oswaldo Arcia then doubled to center to bring Morneau around.
In the second, Thomas doubled and Pedro Florimon singled to put runners in scoring position for Brian Dozier, who ripped a single through the hole on the left side. Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall made a diving attempt for the ball, but it skipped off his glove allowing Thomas to score. Mauer followed with a single to bring Florimon around.
The Indians pulled within 4-2 in the fourth inning. With two on and two out, Aviles singled to left to score Carlos Santana and Giambi.
Brantley's RBI single in the sixth made it 4-3, but the Twins added a pair of runs in the home half to go up 6-3. With the bases loaded and one out, Mauer ripped a single a up the middle to score Thomas and Florimon.
Collabello singled home Josh Willingham in the seventh to give the Twins a 7-3 edge.
The Indians' bullpen has blown 21 saves this season ... Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco lasted just 4 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on 10 hits while striking out four ... The Indians are 26-16 in day games this season ... Mauer has five career five-hit games ... Mauer has three games this season with at least four hits.