(Sports Network) - Enjoying their first three-game win streak in close to a
month, the Minnesota Twins settle in on Saturday evening for the second of
three straight versus the Cleveland Indians at Target Field.
Minnesota, which last posted three wins in as many games when it swept a
series versus the Chicago White Sox between June 18-20, closed out the first
half of the 2013 campaign with consecutive victories against the New York
Yankees on the road after winning only once in the previous 13 tries overall.
The Twins were held scoreless through the first five innings on Friday in the
series opener, but managed to knot the score at 2-2 thanks to a two-run single
by Trevor Plouffe that plated Pedro Florimon and Brian Dozier. Florimon came
around to score the winning run three innings later on a single by Joe Mauer,
giving the hosts a narrow 3-2 triumph.
Minnesota reliever Casey Fien was credited with his second win of the season
and Glen Perkins picked up his 22nd save, needing just nine pitches to retire
the side in the ninth. Jared Burton struck out all three batters he faced in
the seventh, as Yan Gomes, Drew Stubbs and Michael Bourn all went down
Twins starter Mike Pelfrey failed to factor into the decision after allowing
two runs on four hits and three walks over 5 2/3 innings. Pelfrey, who now has
an ERA of 5.40 on the season, also struck out five.
"I think for as bad mechanically as I felt, I thought I grinded," Pelfrey
said. "I'd prefer not to grind. I'd prefer to have some clean innings, some
smooth innings. But there's going to be days like this, and you can't just
Bourn accounted for half of his team's four hits in the contest, plating
Lonnie Chisenhall and Stubbs with a double in the third inning, but still the
Indians saw their four-game win streak come to an end. With the setback,
Cleveland is now 1 1/2 games behind Detroit for first in the American League
Scott Kazmir made the start for Cleveland, giving up just two runs on as many
hits and three walks, while striking out three in six innings of action.
Saddled with his first loss of the season was Joe Smith, who surrendered three
hits of his own in the eighth.
"Kaz pitched so well," Chisenhall said. "He's been throwing the ball awesome,
and he deserved to win that game. ... When you give guys extra outs, they turn
them into runs."
Kevin Correia gets the start for the Twins tonight, seeking his first win in
five starts as he takes the hill. The right-hander, who has won just two of
his last 10 outings, is coming off yet another no-decision on July 10 versus
Tampa Bay on the road.
Against the Rays the San Diego native permitted three runs on just five hits,
but he also walked five batters, striking out six, in 5 1/3 innings of work.
Correia has had a bit of trouble with his control the last few weeks, issuing
13 walks in the last four games, matching his entire total from the previous
Having lost his most recent outing against Cleveland, Correia is now 0-2 with
a 4.22 ERA in two matchups in his career, all of which was spent in the
National League before joining Minnesota this year.
As for the Indians, they are sending Corey Kluber to the mound this time
around. The right-hander, who has amassed 18 strikeouts in his last two games,
is coming off a strong outing versus Kansas City on July 12, picking up his
seventh win in the process.
Against the Royals, the Alabama native made it through 7 2/3 shutout innings,
giving up only three hits and walking three in the 3-0 triumph at home.
Already with one win against Minnesota to his credit this season, Kluber is
1-1 with a 4.67 ERA in five such encounters in his career.
Minnesota, 13 games under .500 and 11 games out of contention in the AL
Central, won the season series versus the Tribe a year ago by a 12-6 margin,
but is still trailing by one game (4-3) this time around.
The Sports Network