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Bullpen woes continue to hurt Indians

By JOE NOGA • Jun 4, 2018 at 1:54 AM

MINNEAPOLIS — Edwin Encarnacion might not want to leave Minnesota any time soon, but the rest of the Cleveland Indians can't get out of town fast enough.

Encarnacion continued to crush Twins pitching at Target Field on Sunday, belting a pair of home runs to power the Tribe offense, but Minnesota rallied with back-to-back homers in the seventh inning and Eddie Rosario's walk-off home run in the ninth lifted Minnesota to a 7-5 victory.

The Indians pulled even in the eighth as Michael Brantley snapped an 0-for-16 skid with a home run to right field that tied the score at 5-5, but closer Cody Allen (2-2, 3.75) walked Brian Dozier to lead off the ninth and Rosario launched his third home run of the game to right center to end it.

Mike Clevinger took the mound for Cleveland in the seventh with a 4-3 lead after throwing 103 pitches. His 106th delivery of the day was deposited in the left field seats by Twins second baseman Brian Dozier.

It was Dozier's first home run at Target Field this year, tying the score at 4-4. Rosario then greeted reliever Tyler Olson with a solo shot to right to put the Twins in front 5-4.

Clevinger (4-2, 3.36), allowed four runs on seven hits and walked three in six innings, and did not factor in the decision. He struck out three batters and allowed two home runs.

The Indians trailed 3-0 before rallying for four runs on a pair of Encarnacion upper-deck blasts in the fifth and sixth innings. Encarnacion's solo shot in the fifth ended Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson's bid for a perfect game and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. During the streak, the 35-year-old slugger is batting .421 with six home runs, 15 RBI and 14 runs.

Encarnacion hit three home runs during the four-game weekend series and now has four this season against the Twins. He's hit 16 home runs on the season and has 15 career homers at Target Field, the most by any visiting player.

Eduardo Escobar collected his sixth RBI of the series on a double in the first inning to put Minnesota in front 2-0. And Dozier's RBI single in the third made it 3-0, but the damage could have been worse were it not for a fine defensive effort by Bradley Zimmer in center field.

With Robbie Grossman aboard via a leadoff walk, Ryan LaMarre sent a drive to center field that seemed destined for extra bases. But Zimmer raced back and made a leaping catch at full extension for the first out of the inning, chasing Grossman back to first.

Meanwhile, Gibson dominated the Indians lineup through four innings, striking out six of the first 12 batters he faced. He pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing a run on two hits and a pair of walks while striking out seven.

Gibson (2-3, 3.41) earned a no-decision for his efforts. He entered the game having lost four straight decisions against Cleveland. Gibson last defeated the Indians in September of 2015.

Five for 10

Brantley's 10th home run came off Twins reliever Addison Reed in the eighth inning. It made Cleveland the first team in baseball to have five players with double-digit home runs.

Under review

Indians catcher Yan Gomes hit a ball to left field in the seventh inning that appeared to clear the wall and bounce back into play, but umpires initially ruled the play a double and after an official's review, the call was confirmed. Gomes was erased on a fielder's choice as Greg Allen tried to bunt him to third base, but catcher Bobby Wilson made a nice play in front of the plate and threw to Escobar for the tag at second.

What it means

The Indians were unable to salvage a split of the four-game weekend series in Minnesota and drop to 2-4 on the season against the Twins. Cleveland is now 12-17 on the road and to 10-4 in its last 14 games at Target Field.

The pitches

Clevinger threw 106 pitches, 66 (62 percent) for strikes. Gibson threw 99 pitches, 63 (64 percent) for strikes.

See you there

The Twins and Indians drew 26,096 fans to Target Field on Sunday. First pitch was at 2:12 p.m. with a temperature of 60 degrees.

Up next

Cleveland gets an off day today before opening a two-game series against Milwaukee at Progressive Field. Corey Kluber (8-2, 2.02) faces Junior Guerra (3-3, 2.65) at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday. Carlos Carrasco (6-4, 4.50) faces Chase Anderson (4-4, 4.85) at 1:10 p.m. on Wednesday. SportsTime Ohio will carry both games.

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