The Minnesota Twins seemed to have mailed in the rest of their season and the Cleveland Indians are taking advanage on the way to finishing the season at .500 or better. Cleveland used the big inning to win both ends of a day/night double header, winning the lid lifter 8-2 with a 6-run sixth and won the nightcap 7-6 with a 5-run sixth after trailing 6-0.
In both games, the Indians saw rookie pitchers Zach Putnam and Nick Hagadone get their first big league wins in relief while the Twins moved ever so close to their second 100-loss season since mocving to Minnesota back in 1961. The Twins last lost 100 games when they went 60-102 in 1982.
The Twins, who fell to 60-98 by losing both ends of the double header, dropped the opener when Francisco Liriano started the sixth in relief of Brian Duensing and gave up five runs in just 1/3 of an inning of work.
Lirianoaon walked the first two hitters he faced and hit the third before Shelley Duncan delivered a sacrifice fly, Matt LaPorta doubled home a run and Jack Hannahan singled home another run to end Liriano’s day.
Jim Hoey then gave up an RBI single to Kosuke Fukudome and a a 2-run single to Jason Kipnis to allow the Indians to break from a 2-2 tie to the 8-2 victory.
Putnam, (1-0) who gave up one hit and struck out three in 1.1 innings in relief of David Huff, got the win while Liriano (9-10), who allowed five of the six Cleveland runs in the sixth, took the loss.
Huff, who went 5.2 innings, gave up two runs on eight hits, striking out seven without a walk in a no-decision for the Indians.
Duensing gave up two runs in three hits with a walk and four strike outs in the start for the Twins.
The nightcap saw the Tribe send nine hitters to the plate against three Twins pitchers in the fateful sixth with Duncan delivering the first Indians run on a single. He was followed by Lonnie Chisenhall, who doubled in a run off starter Scott Diamond, who went 5.1 innings, giving up four runs on six hits.
Diamond had retired the Indians on three hits and a walk through the first five innings.
Alex Burnett went just 1/3 of an inning, giving up consecutive RBI at-bats with Lou Marson getting an RBI single, Cord Phelps a run scoring ground out and Ezequiel closing out the 5-run inning with a 2-run single.
Jose Mijares got Kosuke Fukudome on strikes to end the inning but gave up a pair of singles to Jason Donald and Carlos Santana before striking out Jim Thome and leaving for Matt Capps.
Capps, who threw one pitch on Friday night that turned out to be a game winning home run by Santana in the ninth inning, came in and gave up a 2-run double to Duncan that gave the Indians a 7-6 lead and an intentional walk before getting an inning ending double play on a line drive.
Cleveland starter Mitch Talbot gave up six runs in 5.1 innings but was taken off the hook for a loss with the big sixth inning rally and Duncan’s 2-run double in the seventh. The win went to Hagadone, (1-0) who pitched a scoreless seventh.
The Indians, 44-36 at Progressive Field, conclude their home schedule Sunday against the Twins before finishing the season on the road with a 3-game series at Detroit beginning Monday. Cleveland is now 30-34 at home since starting the year 14-2 at Progressive Field that included a 14-game win streak that followed losses in the first two games.