CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: Catcher Ryan Doumit #18 of the Minnesota Twins tags Casey Kotchman #35 of the Cleveland Indians for the last out of the fourth inning at Progressive Field on September 20, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Twins Vs. Indians: Twins Fail To Complete Sweep On Thursday

The Minnesota Twins failed to complete a sweep of the Cleveland Indians on Thursday, falling 4-3 in extra innings.

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Darin Mastroianni Injury: Fractured Finger Ends Season At Plate

Minnesota Twins outfielder Darin Mastroianni has a fractured finger and won't be able to bat for the the rest of the baseball season, as X-rays taken Wednesday revealed the injury on his left hand. But it appears that the Twins like what they've seen from the outfielder enough for him to be part of their 2013 mix.

Mastroianni was injured sliding into home plate Tuesday night in a 6-5 extra-inning win over the Cleveland Indians. A guy known for his speed, at least his legs weren't affected. He will be available as a pinch runner.

Said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire:

"He's a pinch-runner, probably, the rest of the way -- unless miraculously he comes around... But they said this thing takes a while before it heals."

Mastroianni has played in 75 games this season since being called up from the minors. He's batting .252 with 21 stolen bases and 17 RBI.

Head over to Twinkie Town for more Twins coverage. Also be sure to visit Baseball Nation for even more news and analysis from around the league.

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Umpires stymie Joe Mauer's quest for batting title

Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer has quietly clawed his way back into the AL batting title race, but he didn't get any favors from the umpires during Wednesday's 6-4 win against the Cleveland Indians. Third-base umpire Mike Muchlinski initially called Mauer's eighth-inning line drive to left field a hit, but when Indians manager Manny Acta came out to argue the call on a close play, Muchinski changed his call to take the hit away from Mauer and the inning ended on an out instead.

The race for the highest batting average may not be as exciting in the sabermetric era, when it's all about on-base and slugging percentages, but the top mark would still be seen as a big accomplishment considering that Mauer (.324) is chasing AL MVP hopefuls Mike Trout (.327) and Miguel Cabrera (.333).

Mauer doesn't have much time left to make up the margin, so the call to take away a hit on Wednesday night stings a bit more. He has paced the A.L. in batting average three times during his career: in 2006 he hit .347, in 2008 he hit .328 and in 2009 he hit .365 for the year.

For more on the Twins, check out Twinkie Town or stick with SB Nation Minnesota. For more news, notes and analysis from around MLB, head over to Baseball Nation.

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Trevor Plouffe Injury: X-Rays Not Needed After Tuesday Win

Minnesota Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe left Tuesday's game with a hand injury, but X-rays were not needed, according to Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune.

Plouffe took a line drive off his bare throwing hand while trying to field a ball in the sixth inning Tuesday against the Cleveland Indians. Plouffe stayed in the game but was lifted for a pinch runner after grounding into a fielder's choice in the eighth inning.

Plouffe was once seen as a utility player but has been used as the Twins' everyday third baseman since the beginning of June with an occasional spot start elsewhere (he has played all positions at least once this year except for pitcher, catcher and center field). Since the beginning of June, Plouffe has 18 home runs and is batting .256/.314/.498 in 312 plate appearances.

The Twins play the second of three games against the Indians on Wednesday at 6:05 p.m. CT.

Head over to Twinkie Town for more Minnesota Twins coverage and Let's Go Tribe for some more info on the Indians. Check out Baseball Nation for even more news from around the league.

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Twins Vs. Indians Preview: Game Info, TV Time And More

Minnesota Twins pitcher Liam Hendriks goes to the mound Wednesday against the Cleveland Indians.

The Twins have not fared generally well in Hendriks' 17 career starts, 13 of which have come this season. He hasn't held up his end of the bargain particularly well, because he has a 6.15 ERA in 89 1/3 innings in those 17 starts (and a 6.14 ERA in 66 innings in 2012).

But the Twins haven't helped him much, either. The Twins are 5-12 in games Hendriks has started in his career, and six of those losses were by one run.

Zach McAllister will pitch for Cleveland. McAllister, who has a 4.15 ERA through 108 1/3 innings this season, threw what might have been his best start of the season in his last time out. On Thursday against the Texas Rangers, McAllister pitched six inning and gave up one earned run off eight hits with six strikeouts and no walks. The Indians won that game 5-4.

First pitch between the Twins and the Indians is set for 6:05 p.m. CT. The game will be televised in Minnesota on FS-N.

Take a look at Let's Go Tribe for some more info on the Indians. Head over to Twinkie Town for more Minnesota Twins coverage and check out Baseball Nation for even more news from around the league.

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AL Batting Title: Joe Mauer Is Moving Up

The 2012 season has been one to forget for the Minnesota Twins, but not quite for catcher Joe Mauer. Mauer has quietly put himself within striking distance of the A.L. lead in batting average after another solid night on Tuesday. Entering play on Wednesday, Mauer's .325 average is third in the league behind Mike Trout's .327 and Miguel Cabrera's .333.

The added intrigue to the race for the batting title in 2012 is that Cabrera is currently making a serious run at the A.L. Triple Crown. Aside from holding the league lead in batting average, he is also first in RBI with 129 and second in homers to Josh Hamilton with 40.

Mauer, for his part, has led the A.L. in batting three times: in 2006 when he hit .347, in 2008 when he hit .328 and in 2009 when he hit .365.

For more on the Twins, check out Twinkie Town or stick with SB Nation Minnesota. For more news, notes and analysis from around MLB, head over to Baseball Nation.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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