After 17 failed attempts, Liam Hendriks finally earns first MLB win
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CLEVELAND -- Josh Willingham had four hits and four RBIs, Liam Hendriks finally got his first career win and the Minnesota Twins beat Cleveland 6-4 Wednesday night, dropping the Indians into last place in the AL Central.
Willingham belted a tiebreaking two-run homer off Zach McAllister (5-8) in the fifth inning, giving Minnesota a 4-2 lead. He also had three singles.
Hendriks (1-7) pitched six effective innings to get the win in his 18th career start. Glen Perkins worked the ninth for his 14th save.
Minnesota's Joe Mauer went 1 for 4 with a walk and had an RBI single taken away when the umpires reversed a call.
Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera homered, but left in the seventh with a sore right wrist.
Mauer hit a sinking liner to left with Jamey Carroll on second base in the eighth. Vinny Rottino made a diving catch, but third base umpire Mike Muchlinski gave a safe sign as Carroll scored.
Indians manager Manny Acta argued with Muchlinski, a fill-in ump from the minors. The entire crew huddled for a moment and Muchlinski reversed his call, ending the inning and keeping the score at 6-2.
Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley each singled in runs in the bottom half, but that was it for the Tribe.
Cleveland fell to 11-39 since July 26 and has dropped 11 of its last 13 at home. The Indians led the AL Central for 40 days and held a four-game advantage on May 17, but are 39-72 since.
Hendriks allowed two runs and two hits. The right-hander, who made four starts in 2011, was the fifth pitcher since 1920 to go winless in his first 17 starts, three shy of the record shared by Bill Caudill of the Chicago Cubs (1979-81) and Mike Mohler of Oakland (1993-97).
Cabrera put Cleveland ahead 1-0 with his 15th homer in the first. He later aggravated a wrist injury that caused him to miss four starts last week.
Mauer and Willingham had consecutive run-scoring singles in the third to give Minnesota a 2-1 lead.
Rottino hustled for the tying run in the bottom half. He walked, stole second and advanced to third on a groundout. He waited until shortstop Pedro Florimon fielded the ball hit by Shin-Soo Choo and threw to first, then took off and beat Justin Morneau's throw back across the diamond. Kipnis then singled Rottino home.
Chris Herrmann made it 5-2 with a run-scoring groundout in the fifth off Chris Seddon. Willingham added an RBI single in the sixth.
McAllister gave up four runs and eight hits over 4 1-3 innings and dropped to 0-4 in seven starts since beating Boston on Aug. 11. In 12 starts since defeating Tampa Bay on July 16, the right-hander is 1-7.
18: The number of starts it took for Hendriks to earn his first major league win
3: The number of hitters in Twins history who have slugged 35 homers in a season
110: RBIs for Willingham
.324: Mauer's batting average
OF Darin Mastroianni likely will be limited to pinch-running the rest of the season. He hurt a tendon in a finger on his left hand while sliding head first to score in the 12th inning Tuesday. His finger struck the bat that was left at home plate by Alexi Casilla, whose infield hit scored Mastroianni.
Twins OF Chris Parmelee will fly to Los Angeles on Thursday to be his wife, who is expecting.
Thursday: @ Indians, 11:05 a.m. RHP Esmerling Vasquez (0-2, 7.53) vs. RHP Corey Kluber (1-4, 5.48)© The Associated Press