CLEVELAND (AP) — Brian Dozier hit a leadoff homer off closer Cody Allen to break an eighth-inning tie and the Minnesota Twins defeated the Cleveland Indians for the second straight day, 4-2 on Saturday.
Dozier homered into the left field porch on a 3-2 pitch and narrowed Cleveland’s lead over Minnesota in the AL Central to one-half game.
The Indians swept a four-game series at Target Field last weekend, but the Twins have responded in the first two games of this series.
Cleveland’s Corey Kluber struck out a season-high 13 and allowed three hits in seven innings, but throwing errors by second baseman Jason Kipnis and catcher Yan Gomes led to two unearned runs in the first.
Minnesota used five pitchers in the win. Taylor Rogers (4-1) recorded the final out of the seventh and pitched 1 1/3 innings.
Brandon Kintzler pitched the ninth for his 20th save. Francisco Lindor doubled with two outs, but center fielder Byron Buxton made a diving catch of Kipnis’ liner to end the game.
Allen (0-3) was making his first appearance since Sunday. The right-hander was on the paternity list earlier this week when his wife gave birth to the couple’s first child.
Chris Gimenez, who played for the Indians last season, hit a solo homer in the ninth off Zach McAllister.
Jose Ramirez hit a solo homer in the fourth. Cleveland tied the game in the seventh on shortstop Jorge Polanco’s throwing error.
Kluber, who pitched a three-hit shutout against Baltimore in his last start, has recorded at least 10 strikeouts in three straight starts.
Kipins threw wildly on Dozier’s ground ball to start the game. Joe Mauer walked and Robbie Grossman’s double scored Dozier. Gomes tried to pick off Mauer at third but his throw went into left field for the second unearned run.
Twins: OF Max Kepler was scratched from the lineup after fouling a ball off his foot Friday. Kepler had X-rays taken of the foot Saturday that were negative.
Indians: OF Brandon Guyer (sprained left wrist) has appeared in four games on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus and could rejoin the major league team in a couple of days.
Twins: RHP Ervin Santana defeated the Indians at Progressive Field on May 12, allowing two runs in seven innings. Minnesota’s ace didn’t start in Cleveland’s sweep last weekend.
Indians: RHP Josh Tomlin is 1-1 against the Twins this season and 5-5 versus Minnesota in 16 career appearances.
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