Indians send Huff to mound in opener with Twins

Hoping to work his way into the Cleveland Indians' plans for 2013, David Huff will make his first start of this season in the opener of a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins.

Huff has gone 16-25 with a 5.37 earned run average across 51 major league appearances, going 2-6 with a 4.09 ERA in 11 games last year. He spent most of the 2012 campaign with Triple-A Columbus and went 7-6 with a 4.97 ERA in 24 games.

The 28-year-old joined the Indians in September and has pitched twice out of the bullpen without allowing a run. He will now replace Jeanmar Gomez in the rotation and figures to get two or three starts before the close of the season.

"I'm trying to get back on the radar," Huff told his team's official website. "To be honest, for next year, I'm out of options. So it's either I'm going to be playing for these guys or I'm going to be somewhere else. Hopefully, I can put myself in a good position for next year and just finish strong this year."

Huff is off to a good start. He got a win with 3 1/3 hitless innings of relief against the Twins on Sept. 7 and then held the Texas Rangers to three hits and a walk in 2 2/3 frames on Wednesday.

The lefty is 4-5 with a 4.92 ERA in 10 lifetime meetings with the Twins, including nine starts, and will try to help the Indians to just their third victory in 10 games following Sunday's 7-6 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

Down by a run in the ninth, Jason Kipnis scored the tying run for Cleveland on Carlos Santana's triple to right. Then, after Michael Brantley and Ezequiel Carrera were walked intentionally, Lonnie Chisenhall drove in the winning run with a single to right-center field.

"You have got to get the ball into the outfield right there," Chisenhall said. "They weren't walking guys to get to me I'd like to think. They were just trying to get the bases loaded and have a force out."

Cleveland takes its swings tonight versus Minnesota's P.J. Walters, who has lost both of his starts since rejoining the rotation for the first time since June.

Walters has allowed 12 runs, 12 hits and walked five over nine combined innings of setbacks to the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals. The 27- year-old righty has served up three homers in that span and is 2-4 with a 6.70 ERA in nine starts this season.

He hasn't won since May 22.

Walters did not get a decision when he faced the Indians for the first time in his career on June 2, yielding four runs over 4 1/3 frames of his club's eventual 7-4 victory.

Minnesota has lost five of its past six and suffered a three-game sweep at the hands of the White Sox with Sunday's 9-2 loss.

Scott Diamond gave up six runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings to lose his second straight start.

"I feel like I've been battling a lot lately and today was no different," said Diamond. "I felt a little better today and I did make some pitches, but they put some good swings on them."

Joe Mauer hit a solo home run in the loss for the Twins.

Minnesota has won three straight and 10 of 12 versus Cleveland since losing the first three meetings of the 2012 season series.