STEVE HERRICK, Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) — Carlos Santana hit a three-run homer, Francisco Lindor added a two-run shot and the Cleveland Indians salvaged the finale of a four-game series with Minnesota 9-2 on Thursday.
The AL Central-leading Indians were outscored 35-16 by the last-place Twins in the first three games. Cleveland is 5-8 against Minnesota and 26-8 against the rest of the division.
Santana homered in the third off Hector Santiago (10-5), who made his first start with the Twins since being acquired from the Angels on Monday.
Lindor homered in Cleveland’s three-run seventh. Jason Kipins hit his career-high 18th home run, a solo shot in the first. Jose Ramirez added a solo homer in the eighth.
Dan Otero (3-1), who worked out of a fifth-inning jam, retired all four hitters he faced. Andrew Miller, acquired from the Yankees on Sunday, struck out three in 1 1/3 innings.
The Indians traded four minor leaguers for Miller, one of the most dominating relievers in baseball. The left-hander struck out Byron Buxton to end the sixth and whiffed Joe Mauer and Max Kepler in the seventh.
Brian Dozier hit a leadoff homer in the fifth for Minnesota, which scored in double figures in the series’ first three games.
Rajai Davis stole second and third before scoring on a wild pitch in the seventh.
Santiago had won seven straight decisions and lost for the first time since June 10, also to the Indians. The left-hander was acquired in a four-player deal that sent pitcher Ricky Nolasco to Los Angeles.
Rookie Mike Clevinger, recalled before the game, allowed two runs in 4 1/3 innings, the longest outing by a Cleveland starter in the series
A pair of base-running mistakes hurt Minnesota scoring chances. Mauer was caught off first on a lineout to right field before Kurt Suzuki crossed the plate in the third.
Kepler lined a hit to right in the fifth with Mauer on first. Mauer moved up a base but Kepler running with his head down, tried for second, Mauer was tagged out in a rundown.
Twins: Third-baseman Trevor Plouffe (broken left rib) is expected to be recalled Monday from his rehab assignment at Triple-A Rochester.
Twins: RHP Ervin Santana will open a three-game series in Tampa Bay. He went six innings, allowing one earned run, in winning his last start July 31 against the White Sox.
Indians: RHP Josh Tomlin, pitching on extended five days rest, takes the mound to begin a three-game series at the Yankees. He is 6-1 with a 2.75 ERA on the road this season.
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