MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 18: Brian Dinkelman #26 of the Minnesota Twins singles scoring a run against Cleveland Indians in the sixth inning at Target Field on September 18, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Indians defeated the Twins 6-5. (Photo by Marilyn Indahl/Getty Images)

Indians At Twins: Minnesota Blows Late Lead To Drop Eighth Straight

As the Twins wind down their season, be sure to keep your eyes on Twinkie Town for the latest news on the team.

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Six-Run Seventh Gives Indians Sweep Of Twins

Things just keep getting worse for the Minnesota Twins. Despite putting out a lineup on Sunday afternoon that featured only one Opening Day starter, the Twins had the lead over the Cleveland Indians late into Sunday's game. However, the Indians eventually got to Carl Pavano, and the bullpen didn't do the Twins any favors as Minnesota fell 6-5 to the Indians.

The loss was the eighth in a row for the Twins, who got swept for the third consecutive series. Minnesota has not registered a victory since defeating the Chicago White Sox back on September 7.

The Twins scored single runs on three separate occasions in the first six innings. They scored a run in the bottom of the second on Joe Benson's RBI groundout, in the bottom of the fourth when Cleveland catcher Lou Marson's attempt to throw Benson out stealing wound up in center field (allowing Luke Hughes to score), and in the bottom of the sixth on Brian Dinkelman's RBI single to right to give themselves a 3-0 lead.

The top of the seventh, however, would prove disastrous for Minnesota. Shelly Duncan led off the inning with a solo home run off of Twins' starter Carl Pavano to cut Minnesota's lead to 3-1. Lonnie Chisenhall then grounded one to Chris Parmelee wide of first base. Parmelee tried to throw the ball to Pavano covering first base, but threw wide, allowing Chisenhall to reach. Pavano then registered the next two outs, and looked to be on his way to getting out of the inning.

However, Marson then singled to center, and Pavano walked Kosuke Fukudome to load the bases. The Twins then lifted Pavano in favor of Jose Mijares. Mijares proceeded to walk Jason Kipnis, forcing in a run to make the score 3-2. Mijares was then lifted in favor of Alex Burnett. Burnett then proceeded to walk Carlos Santana, forcing another run home and tie the score at three.

Burnett was then lifted in favor of Glen Perkins. The first hitter Perkins faced was Jim Thome, who reached on a broken bat single that never got out of the infield, scoring another run and giving Cleveland a 4-3 lead. Then Duncan, who started the entire mess, doubled off of the left field wall to bring home two more runs and put Cleveland ahead 6-3.

Not to be outdone, Cleveland reliever Vinnie Pestano walked in two runs of his own in the bottom of the eighth, as he issued free passes to Danny Valencia and Ben Revere with the bases loaded to make the score 6-5, but the Twins would get no closer. Chris Perez came in for the Indians in the bottom of the ninth, and the Twins were sent to their eighth straight defeat.

The Twins have a bit of a schedule anomaly coming up, as they have to travel to Yankee Stadium tomorrow to take on the Yankees in a make-up game for the rain-out that occurred way back on April 6 before returning home for a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners. The starters for tomorrow's tilt in New York, which is scheduled to get underway at 12:05 PM Central time, will be A.J. Burnett (10-11, 5.20 ERA) for the Yankees and Scott Diamond (1-4, 3.94 ERA) for Minnesota.

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Twins Host Indians, Look To Avoid Sweep

The Minnesota Twins have been bad all season, but they've been absolutely putrid since the calendar flipped over to the month of September. In 14 games this month, the Twins have only won twice, including their current seven-game losing skid. They will attempt to avoid their eighth straight loss, as well as getting swept for the third consecutive series, when they host the Cleveland Indians on Sunday afternoon at Target Field.

The Twins have all but guaranteed themselves a last-place finish in the American League Central. Their seven-game losing streak, coupled with a seven-game winning streak by the Kansas City Royals, has put the Twins 6.5 games behind the Royals in the "race" for last place in the AL Central. The Twins are the only team in the American League with a winning percentage under .400, and are three games worse than the Baltimore Orioles in the chase for the worst record in the Junior Circuit.

To try to avert an eighth straight loss, the Twins will turn to right-hander Carl Pavano (8-12, 4.50 ERA). Pavano has actually pitched pretty well against Cleveland this season. In three starts against the Tribe, encompassing 21.1 innings pitched, he has allowed only six runs (five earned). He has pitched at least seven innings in each of his starts against Cleveland this season, and has compiled a record of 1-1 with one no-decision.

The Indians will counter with right-hander Justin Masterson (11-10, 3.20 ERA). He has also pitched well against his opponents today, allowing just four runs on 18 hits in 23.1 innings over three starts. Despite that, he has a record of just 1-0 with two no-decisions in those starts.

First pitch from Target Field is scheduled for 1:10 PM Central time. Be sure to hang out with the folks at Twinkie Town for their Game Thread, and come back here for the recap when the game is over.

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Six-Run Second Highlights Indians' Throttling Of Twins

The march to 100 losses continues for the Minnesota Twins, as they were blasted by the Cleveland Indians on Saturday afternoon at Target Field by a score of 10-4.

The Indians came up with a pair of runs in the first inning on a two-run single by Travis Hafner to take a 2-0 lead, and things just got worse from there for Twins' starter Anthony Swarzak. The Indians sent ten men to the plate in the top of the second inning, scoring six times. Carlos Santana deposited a ball into the right field seats for a two-run homer to push the Cleveland lead to 7-0, and that was all for Swarzak, who was pulled after 1.2 innings of work after allowing seven runs.

There was one highlight to be had for the Twins, however, as rookie first baseman Chris Parmelee hit his first major league home run, a two-run shot to right field in the top of the eighth to close the gap to 8-4. However, the Indians would put up two more runs in the top of the ninth for the final margin of victory. The Twins used eight pitchers in this game, including relief appearances from Francisco Liriano (who allowed two hits and struck out three in two scoreless innings) and Brian Duensing.

The loss is the sixth in a row for Minnesota, and their 91st on the year. They will conclude the three-game set with the Indians on Sunday afternoon at Target Field, with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 PM Central time. The pitchers for that one will be Justin Masterson (11-10, 3.20 ERA) going for Cleveland and Scott Diamond (1-4, 3.94 ERA) taking the hill for Minnesota.

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Twins Try Again To Snap Losing Streak In Saturday Matinee

The American League Central race officially came to an end last night, and the season can't end a moment too soon for the Minnesota Twins. The Twins fell to the Cleveland Indians on Friday night by a final score of 7-6, marking their sixth consecutive loss and their eleventh loss in their last twelve games.

The loss for the Twins was number ninety on the season, and the team has to find four wins in their final thirteen games to avoid the second 100-loss season since the team moved to Minnesota from Washington, D.C. in 1961. With the team having won just twice in the month of September, one has to wonder where, exactly, those wins could potentially come from.

The Twins will try again on Saturday as they host the Indians in the second of their three-game weekend set, and they will send right-hander Anthony Swarzak (3-6, 3.89 ERA) to the mound. Swarzak has faced the Indians once this season, back on July 18. He allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits in six innings of work as the Twins fell to the Indians at Target Field by a score of 5-2. Swarzak has not been credited with a victory since a 11-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels on August 3.

The Indians will counter with right-hander Jeanmar Gomez (3-2, 3.95 ERA). Gomez has not started against the Twins this year, but did pitch three innings of relief against the Twins on April 24. He allowed one run on three hits in those three innings of work in a game the Twins wound up winning, 4-3. Gomez has won his last three starts, allowing just four runs (three earned) on 18 hits in 17.1 innings of work over those three games.

First pitch from Target Field is scheduled for 12:10 PM Central time. The good folks at Twinkie Town will have their Game Thread up and running in time for the start of the game, and we'll have the recap right here for you when the game is over.

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Twins Drop Sixth Consecutive Game In Loss To Indians

The Minnesota Twins came up just short on Friday night at Target Field, as their late rally wasn't enough to prevent a 7-6 loss to the Cleveland Indians. The loss was the sixth in a row for Minnesota, and marked their 90th loss of the 2011 season.

Cleveland got off to a fast start in this one against Twins' starter Kevin Slowey, building a 5-0 lead after the first four innings and sending the Twins' right-hander to the showers. However, the Twins kept chipping away at the lead, as a two-run error on Indians' outfielder Grady Sizemore helped them cut the lead to 5-2. Cleveland added a run in the top of the sixth on a single by Lonnie Chisenhall, making the score 6-2, but the Twins added two more in the bottom of the seventh on a single by Ben Revere and a sacrifice fly by Trevor Plouffe to make the score 6-4.

The score stayed that way until the top of the ninth, when Jim Thome stepped to the plate. Thome, who had been dealt to the Indians by the Twins a few weeks ago, received a standing ovation before his first at-bat of the evening, and gave his fans something to remember in his last at-bat. Facing Twins' reliever Joe Nathan, he blasted a solo home run into the right field seats to increase Cleveland's lead to 7-4.

That run turned out to be huge for the Indians, as the Twins put together another rally in the bottom of the ninth, with an RBI groundout by Revere and a single by Plouffe cutting the deficit to 7-6. However, Indians' closer Chris Perez struck out Rene Tosoni to end the game and send the Twins to defeat.

Ubaldo Jiminez was given credit for the victory for the Indians, while Kevin Slowey became the first Twins' pitcher in 18 seasons to lose six consecutive starts, falling to 0-6 since his return to the Twins.

The Twins and Indians will continue their series on Saturday afternoon at Target Field, with first pitch scheduled for 12:10 PM Central time. The pitching match-up will see Indians' right-hander Jeanmar Gomez (3-2, 3.95 ERA) battling it out against Twins' right-hander Anthony Swarzak (3-6, 3.89 ERA).

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Jim Thome Returns To Minnesota As Twins Host Indians

As the Twins wind down their season, be sure to keep your eyes on Twinkie Town for the latest news on the team.

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