STEVE HERRICK, Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) — Rookie Max Kepler had three two-run homers and six RBIs, leading the Minnesota Twins to a 12-5 win over the Cleveland Indians on Monday night.
The German-born Kepler homered off All-Star Danny Salazar in the first and third innings and hit another off Cody Anderson in the sixth. His was the 12th three-homer game in the majors this season, and Kepler became the first Twin to homer three times in a game since Justin Morneau in 2007. He also had a single.
Joe Mauer was 4 for 4 and homered in the eighth off Andrew Miller, who was making his first appearance with Cleveland after being acquired Sunday from the Yankees.
Jose Berrios (2-1) retired 15 straight after a three-run first inning. The rookie right-hander, recalled from Triple-A Rochester before the game, allowed four hits in six innings.
Salazar (11-4) lost for the first time since May 22. The right-hander allowed three homers and was charged with six runs in two innings, the shortest outing of his career.
Miller received a standing ovation from the crowd of 15,018 when he ran in from the bullpen. He retired Kepler on a groundout, the only other batter he faced.
Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer in the eighth for the Indians, whose lead in the AL Central over idle Detroit was cut to four games. Minnesota is 6-4 this season against Cleveland.
Kepler began the season at Rochester but leads AL rookies in homers (14) and RBIs (44). He has homered 13 times and driven in 37 runs since June 19.
Eddie Rosario led off the second with a home run. Jorge Polanco had a three-run triple in the third and tripled again in the fifth.
Jose Ramirez’s RBI single and Lonnie Chisenhall’s two-run double gave Cleveland a brief lead in the first.
Salazar didn’t pitch in the All-Star Game because the Indians wanted to rest his arm. He pitched well in beating Kansas City on July 20 after going 10 days between starts, but has allowed 10 runs in six innings over his last two outings.
Twins: OF Byron Buxton (right knee) is considered day-to-day after an MRI revealed no damage beyond an existing bone bruise.
Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson went six innings and allowed two runs in his last start, a July 28 no-decision against Baltimore.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco is scheduled to make his 100th career start. He is 5-2 with a 1.61 ERA in his last eight outings.
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