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Twins Drop Nightcap To Indians, 6-3

Scott Diamond did as much as he could in his Major League debut for the Minnesota Twins, but could not overcome the lack of offense the team generated on Monday night, as the Cleveland Indians concluded a doubleheader sweep of the Twins with a 6-3 victory on Monday night. The Twins, who could have moved to within three games of the Indians when play started on Monday, now find themselves seven games back and needing a split in the final two games of the series just to get back to where they started.

Minnesota got on the board first in the bottom of the third inning, as Alexi Casilla doubled to right field with one out and came in to score on a Joe Mauer single. Diamond retired the Indians in order in three of his first four innings, but ran into trouble in the top of the fifth. Diamond got the first two outs of the inning in short order, but then allowed a double to Lou Marson and walked Ezequiel Carrera to put runners on first and second. Michael Brantley then singled to center to bring Marson in to tie the game at one, and Asdrubal Cabrera followed that up with a single to center of his own to give the Indians a 2-1 lead.

The Twins tied the game up in the bottom of the sixth, thanks to Danny Valencia's eleventh home run of the year, a solo blast that came with one out in the inning. Diamond came out to start the seventh inning, and Marson untied the game with a solo home run of his own, a 423-foot blast to center field that put the Indians back on top, 3-2. After an error by Valencia allowed Carrera to reach, Carrera stole second and was sacrificed to third by Brantley. After an intentional walk to Cabrera, Diamond was lifted for Phil Dumatrait. Travis Hafner greeted Dumatrait with a single to right-center to score Carrera and make the score 4-2, Cleveland.

Things stayed that way until the bottom of the ninth, when lefty Chuck James came in to pitch. He retired Carrera, and gave up a single to right to Brantley. After a balk by James allowed Brantley to move to second, James retired Cabrera on a comebacker to the mound for the second out. However, Hafner singled again to score Brantley and give the Indians a 5-2 lead. Carlos Santana then smoothly tripled to deep right field, scoring pinch-runner Luis Valbuena to put Cleveland ahead 6-2.

Trevor Plouffe tried to bring the Twins back in the bottom of the ninth with a solo home run off of Chris Perez, cutting the score to 6-3, but Perez retired the Twins to secure the victory, and the doubleheader sweep, for the Indians.

Fausto Carmona (5-10, 5.63 ERA) picked up the victory for the Indians in his first start since coming off of the disabled list. Diamond (0-1, 4.26 ERA) took the defeat in his first big league start.

The same two teams will get together on Tuesday night at Target Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 PM Central time. The Indians will hand the ball to right-hander Justin Masterson (8-6, 2.80 ERA), while the Twins will turn to lefty Francisco Liriano (6-7, 4.76 ERA) to try to help them bounce back.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.