TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — Francisco Lindor drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning and the Cleveland Indians survived another poor start by Josh Tomlin to beat Minnesota 5-4 on Tuesday, extending the Twins’ losing streak to 12 games.
Lindor’s double off Alex Wimmers (0-1) snapped a 4-4 tie and helped the Indians maintain their lead over second-place Detroit in the AL Central.
Rajai Davis hit a three-run homer and Jason Kipnis added a solo shot for Cleveland, which trailed 4-1 in the second after the Twins knocked around Tomlin. Dan Otero (4-1) pitched 2 2/3 hitless innings, Bryan Shaw worked out of a jam in the seventh and Andrew Miller got five outs for his third save since joining Cleveland.
Minnesota’s current slide is the third longest in club history. The Twins lost 13 straight in 1961 and a team-record 14 consecutive games in 1982.
Brian Dozier homered for the Twins, winless since Aug. 17.
As the playoff race heats up, the Indians found some outfield depth, agreeing on a trade to acquire Coco Crisp from Oakland. A person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press the sides are only awaiting approval from Major League Baseball. The 36-year-old Crisp began his career with Cleveland in 2002.
Cleveland’s offense has been in a funk, but it awakened in time to offset the shortest outing of Tomlin’s career. The right-hander was tagged for four runs and seven hits in just 1 2/3 innings.
With runners at first and second in the fifth, Lindor barely missed hitting a three-run homer when his shot caromed high off the wall in left-center. Davis scored easily from second, but Kipnis was thrown out at the plate by shortstop Eduardo Escobar, who made a perfect relay.
The Indians had two runners thrown out at third and one at home.
Down 4-1, the Indians, who had scored one run or fewer in seven of the past eight games, tied it on Davis’ three-run shot in the second off Andrew Albers. Abraham Almonte doubled and Chris Gimenez walked before David connected on his 12th homer, a shot to left that bailed out Tomlin.
It was another troubling performance for Tomlin, who is 0-5 with an 11.47 ERA in his last six starts and could soon find himself out of Cleveland’s rotation. He started the season 7-0, but has been plagued by home runs, giving up 10 in his last six outings.
Tomlin was in trouble on his first pitch, with Dozier driving it into the seats for his 31st homer. The Twins made it 2-0 on Miguel Sano’s RBI single.
Cleveland got a run back on Kipnis’ 21st homer.
Twins: RHP Trevor May (strained back) will throw a bullpen session at Target Field on Wednesday. He has been on the 15-day disabled list since Aug. 7.
Indians: OF Michael Brantley expects to wear a sling for six more weeks as he recovers from his second surgery since November. The former All-Star only played 11 games this season and endured numerous setbacks as he tried to come back from offseason right shoulder surgery. He had an operation on his biceps earlier this month.
Twins: Pat Dean makes his second start since being recalled Aug. 12. The right-hander lasted just three innings in his previous start, allowing six runs and eight hits in a loss to Toronto.
Indians: Making a run at his second AL Cy Young Award in three seasons, Corey Kluber (14-8) starts the series finale. He hasn’t lost since July 3, going 6-0 in his last nine starts. Kluber led the AL with 16 losses last season.
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