CLEVELAND: The Indians overcame a couple of base-running mistakes and the shortest outing of Josh Tomlinís career to beat the Minnesota Twins 5-4 Tuesday night at Progressive Field.
Trailing 4-1, Rajai Davis ripped a three-run home run in the second inning and Francisco Lindor provided the game-winning hit in the fourth, an RBI-double off the wall in left-center field.
The Indiansí bullpen, which threw four scoreless innings in Mondayís 1-0 win in 10 innings, combined to throw 7? innings of scoreless baseball to hold the Twins at bay after Tomlinís exit. It was highlighted by Dan Oteroís season-high 2? innings and Andrew Millerís five-out save, his 12th of the season, capping an improbable win that appeared to be trending toward a sizable loss in the early innings.
Tomlinís terrible August continued to get worse. He entered Tuesdayís start with a 10.80 ERA this month but couldnít improve on it, allowing four earned runs in only 1? innings. He had lost all of his past five starts and put the Indians in a position to make it six in a row.
After struggling with home run issues all month, Tomlinís first pitch of the night was drilled over the left-field wall by Brian Dozier for a home run. A double by Joe Mauer and a single by Miguel Sano made it 2-0.
The Indians (75-56) got a run back in the bottom of the first on Jason Kipnisí 21st home run of the season, a solo shot over the wall in right field off Twins starter Andrew Albers. It extended Kipnisí career-high mark for home runs in a season.
But Tomlinís issues were far from done. Four singles by the Twins (49-83) brought home two more runs, pushing their lead to 4-1 and ending Tomlinís night.
Then, the answer. After Abraham Almonte doubled and Chris Gimenez walked, Davis ripped a three-run home run to the bleacher seats in left field, tying it 4-4 in the second inning.
Lindorís go-ahead double off the wall came two innings later, setting the stage for the bullpenís lights-out performance.
The Indians did overcome some poor base running in the process. They were thrown out at third base twice and home once, doing as much to hold the offense back as they did to propel it forward. Davis was caught trying to steal third in the first inning. In the fourth, he singled and Gimenez was thrown out trying to advance to third.
Then, on the same play in which Lindor gave the Indians their first lead of the night, Kipnis, at first on the play and trailing Davis, rounded third but was nailed at the plate by a terrific relay throw from Twins shortstop Eduardo Escobar.
Two Indians pitchers flashed some glove on Tuesday, which included one of the more important outs of the game. Otero (4-1, 1.25 ERA) entered in the third inning with one out and the bases loaded, with the Indians trying to keep it tied 4-4. Logan Schafer lined a ball right near Oteroís head, but he reflexively caught it and tossed the ball to second for an inning-ending double play.
In the sixth, Kurt Suzuki hit a low line drive back toward Zach McAllister.
McAllister kicked his leg out, the ball hit him in the calf and popped in the air and he spun and caught it for an out.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RyanLewisABJ