STEVE HERRICK, Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) — Minnesota rookie Max Kepler homered for the fourth time in two games and the Twins defeated the Cleveland Indians 10-6 on Tuesday night after nearly blowing an eight-run lead.
Kepler hit his fourth two-run homer of the series in the third inning, two batters after Brian Dozier’s two-run shot. The Twins also scored four times in the fourth against Carlos Carrasco (7-5).
The Indians scored six times in the fifth and chased starter Kyle Gibson, who took an 8-0 lead into the inning. Carlos Santana and Mike Napoli each hit a two-run homer. Francisco Lindor had an RBI single before Lonnie Chisenhall’s RBI double finished Gibson.
Ryan Pressly (6-5), who retired Napoli with two on to end the sixth, pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
Gibson was three outs from qualifying for what appeared to be an easy win, but Cleveland sent 11 batters to the plate in the fifth. Gibson allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Minnesota, in last place in the AL Central, is 7-4 against first-place Cleveland this season. The loss narrowed Cleveland’s lead over Detroit to three games.
Kepler, born in Germany, hit a trio of two-run homers with six RBIs in Monday’s 12-5 win. He walked three times Tuesday and leads AL rookies in homers (15) and RBIs (46).
Eduardo Escobar hit a two-run homer for Minnesota in the ninth. Dozier had three RBIs and Miguel Sano added a two-run double.
Joe Mauer, who had four hits Monday, doubled twice and drove in a run.
Carrasco allowed a career-high eight runs in 3 2/3 innings on a tough day for Cleveland’s rotation. Danny Salazar was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation.
Napoli’s home run traveled an estimated 454 feet and landed three rows from the top of the bleachers in left field.
Twins: 3B Trevor Plouffe (broken left rib), on the disabled list since July 2, began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester.
Indians: RHP Tommy Hunter (broken vertebrae) threw off a mound. He’s been on the 15-day DL since July 17.
Twins: RHP Tyler Duffey is 0-2 with a 27.00 ERA over his last two starts. He allowed five runs in a career-low 1 1/3 innings against Atlanta on July 27.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer will face Minnesota for the 10th time in his career. He is 1-4 with a 5.01 ERA in 55 2/3 innings against the Twins.
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