Another quality start by Scott Diamond paces Twins to series victory
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CLEVELAND - Scott Diamond allowed three unearned runs over seven innings as the surging Minnesota Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 6-3 Sunday.
Joe Mauer hit an RBI single in the first off Justin Masterson (2-5). The Twins star left in the ninth with a sprained right thumb.
Diamond (4-1) gave up seven hits and didn't issue a walk. In six starts since being recalled from the minors May 8, he has walked only four.
Matt Capps pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances as Minnesota took two of three in the series.
Minnesota made three errors, but improved to 5-1 since a five-game losing streak.
Cleveland fell to 2-7 since sweeping three straight at home from Detroit.
Alexi Casilla hit two sacrifice flies and the Twins got five infield hits, including three bunt singles.
The teams exchanged sacrifice flies in the fourth. Casilla gave the Twins a 3-0 lead in the top half, then Jose Lopez countered for Cleveland. Shelley Duncan's RBI single later in the inning got the Indians within 3-2. Twins shortstop Brian Dozier's second error of the game fueled the rally.
Masterson gave up three runs and seven hits over six innings in one of the better outings by a Cleveland starter of late. In their previous eight games, Indians starters went 2-6 with a 9.52 ERA. That included a poor outing by Masterson on Tuesday when he gave up nine hits and all the runs in six innings of an 8-2 loss to Kansas City.
Willingham and Ryan Doumit singled home runs off reliever Nick Hagadone in the seventh. Ben Revere reached on a bunt and stole second. After replacing his belt, broken on the slide into the bag, Revere scored easily on Willingham's single.
Matt LaPorta reached on an error by Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe to start the seventh and scored on Lou Marson's one-out double.
5: Series victories for the Twins
5: Quality starts for Diamond in six outings this season
1.86: Diamond's ERA
.175: Cleveland's batting average against Twins relievers this season. The Twins bullpen has held the Indians to only one run in 18 innings.
Mauer left the game with a mild right thumb strain and is considered day-to-day.
RHP Nick Blackburn's second rehab start for Triple-A Rochester was cut short due to rain after only 2 2/3 innings. He allowed zero runs, two hits and a walk and told the Rochester Baseball Observer he "feels great" and is ready to rejoin the Twins. It remains to be seen if the Twins will have him start once more in the minors.
RHP Carl Pavano could be headed to the disabled list.
Monday: @ Royals, 7:10 p.m. RHP Cole De Vries (0-1, 2.70) vs. LHP Will Smith (1-1, 6.75).
Tuesday: @ Royals, 7:10 p.m. LHP Francisco Liriano (1-5, 7.20) vs. LHP Bruce Chen (4-5, 4.86).
Wednesday: @ Royals, 7:10 p.m. TBD vs. RHP Felipe Paulino (3-1, 1.70).