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Santana's Walk-Off Homer Gives Indians 6-5 Win Over Twins

The Minnesota Twins were in search of a second consecutive victory on Friday night after losing 11 straight games, but couldn't quite make it happen against the Cleveland Indians, as Minnesota fell by a final score of 6-5 at Progressive Field.

The Twins actually struck first in this one, getting on the board in the top of the first inning as Chris Parmelee continued his hot hitting with a two-run single, giving Minnesota an early 2-0 lead. Cleveland struck back in the bottom of the first, when former Twin Jim Thome laced an RBI double to left to cut Minnesota's lead to 2-1. The Tribe tied the game in the bottom of the second, when Matt LaPorta's RBI double scored Lonnie Chisenhall to tie the game at two.

Minnesota took the lead back in the top of the third when Parmelee blasted a solo home run to right field off of Justin Masterson to put the Twins back ahead 3-2. Later on in the inning, with runners on first and second, Joe Benson grounded a ball to Chisenhall at third. Chisenhall fired to second baseman Jason Kipnis for a force out, but Kipnis threw wildly on the relay to first, allowing Brian Dinkelman to score, making the score 4-2.

However, Cleveland would tie the score in the bottom of the third as Thome struck again. With one out and Kipnis on first, Thome lifted a home run to center field off of Carl Pavano to tie the score at four. The score would stay that way until the bottom of the sixth, as LaPorta drove Chisenhall home again, this time with a single to give Cleveland their first lead of the game at 5-4. The Twins came back in the top of the seventh when Rene Tosoni's double scored Luke Hughes and tied things one more time.

Ron Gardenhire lifted Pavano after seven innings of work, and Phil Dumatrait pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning. Matt Capps came in for the top of the ninth inning, and the Indians sent Carlos Santana to the plate to pinch-hit for Lou Marson. Capps got to throw exactly one pitch, as Santana deposited his first offering over the wall in right-center field, allowing the Indians to walk off with a 6-5 victory.

Chris Perez, who threw a perfect top of the ninth for Cleveland, was credited with the victory, while Capps took the loss for Minnesota.

The Twins and Indians will play a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, making up for a game that was rained out on August 14. The first game of the doubleheader is scheduled for 12:05 PM Central time, and the pitching match-up will feature left-hander David Huff (2-6, 4.20 ERA) for the Indians going against left-hander Brian Duensing (9-14, 5.29 ERA). The second game is scheduled for 6:05 PM, and will see Minnesota lefty Scott Diamond (1-5, 4.81 ERA) going against Cleveland right-hander Mitch Talbot (2-6, 6.33 ERA).

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