MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - During a season in which the Minnesota Twins have found countless ways to lose, this might have been a new one.
One poor throw in the seventh inning Sunday set the wheels in motion and Cleveland capitalized, sending 11 hitters to the plate to score five unearned runs in a 6-5 win over Minnesota.
``It's crazy, it really is,' Twins starter Carl Pavano said. ``A couple of bounces here, a couple of plays there and they're running away with it. It's disappointing. How that game got away is beyond me.'
It was a fitting inning for a game that featured a combined six errors, two hit batters and four runs walked in.
As a result, the Twins lost their eighth consecutive game, suffered their 13th series sweep of the season and are now 5-27 since Aug. 17.
For six innings, the Indians had little answer for Pavano. They couldn't score, they couldn't get multiple hits in an inning and they couldn't generate any momentum.
After Cleveland's Shelley Duncan homered to lead off the seventh, Lonnie Chisenhall reached on what would be a costly error on Minnesota first baseman Chris Parmalee. After fielding the grounder, Parmalee threw wide to Pavano at first and Chisenhall was safe.
The Twins quickly got the next two outs, but Cleveland took advantage of the extra out and loaded the bases. Minnesota relievers Jose Mijares and Alex Burnett each walked in a run, allowing Cleveland to tie the game 3-all.
Cleveland's Jim Thome - who spent all of 2010 and much of 2011 with the Twins - gave Cleveland a 4-3 lead with a broken-bat single that didn't leave the infield.
Batting for the second time in the inning, Duncan hit a line drive that hit the left-field wall to drive in two runs and give Cleveland a 6-3 lead.
``The whole season they've been very relentless and have never given up,' Cleveland manager Manny Acta said of his team. ``They know we're one good inning from doing stuff like that. Pavano was pitching so well and we just hung in there and when he came out of the game, we took advantage and had some good at_bats and Shelley had the big hit.'
Pavano (8-13) took the loss despite being sharp for six-plus innings. He gave up four runs, though only one was earned.
``Carl pitched his tail off and unfortunately for us, we couldn't throw the ball over the plate and had a big inning,' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
``As a manager, it's my fault, I brought the guys in with the expectations we'll throw it over the plate and they didn't do it, so I'll take this one. It's on me. I made the moves.'
The Twins, who started a lineup that featured only one opening-day starter, scored twice in the bottom of the eighth to get within 6-5. After hitting Matt Tolbert with a pitch to load the bases, Cleveland reliever Vinnie Pestano walked in two runs.
The Twins got a one-out single in the ninth off of Indians closer Chris Perez, but couldn't score.
Luke Hughes was Minnesota's offense early in the game.
In the second, Hughes scored on Joe Benson's groundout. In the bottom of the fourth, he scored again, this time when Lou Marson threw into center field in an attempt to throw out Benson on an attempted steal. Hughes scored his third run of the game in the sixth to give Minnesota a 3-0 lead on Brian Dinkelman's single.
Minnesota's Jason Repko left the game after being hit in the head by a pitch from Cleveland starter Justin Masterson in the bottom of the sixth. Repko walked off of field with assistance and was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for evaluation, but was back in the Twins clubhouse after the game.
Repko was given a CT scan and his headache subsided by the time the game ended. He won't, however, travel with the Twins for their one-game trip to New York.
Masterson (12-10) said he wasn't trying to hit Repko.
``The ball just flew out of my hand,' said Masterson, who got the win after giving up three runs on seven hits in six innings of work. ``I don't mind hitting people, just not in the head. You don't ever want to see a ball go up there.'
Notes: The twins now have two losing streaks this season of at least eight games. ... Both teams have one-game makeups on Monday. David Huff (2-5) will pitch for Cleveland against Seattle in a makeup of a May 14 rainout. The Indians will then host the Chicago White Sox for four games in three days. Minnesota was scheduled to fly to New York on Sunday night for a one-game makeup against the Yankees before returning home to face the Mariners. Scott Diamond (1-4) will start for the Twins against the Yankees. ... Because of the quick, one-game trip to New York, the Twins are leaving the rest of the starting rotation and several injured players in Minnesota. ... Dinkelman singled in each of his first four plate appearances and finished with his first career four-hit game.
The Associated Press News Service
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