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Updated: July 20th, 2010 10:02pm
Hafner's RBI double gives Indians a 4-3 win over Twins

Hafner's RBI double gives Indians a 4-3 win over Twins

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- An eighth-inning RBI double by Travis Hafner off Jose Mijares made the difference on Tuesday night, as the Minnesota Twins lost their second consecutive game to the Cleveland Indians, 4-3.

Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, the Twins rallied to tie the game on RBI singles by Denard Span and Orlando Hudson. The rally stalled prematurely, however, as Joe Mauer was thrown out while attempting to bunt, and Jason Kubel grounded out weakly to first base.

Mijares then walked Carlos Santana on four pitches to lead off the next half inning, and Hafner drove him home with a drive to the gap in right-center, putting the Indians back in front.

Kevin Slowey's performance on Tuesday night was an improvement over his previous outings, but it was also anti-climactic.

The Twins gave Slowey a 1-0 lead in the first inning, courtesy of an RBI groundout by Mauer that scored Span from third base. Jason Donald tied the game 1-1 for Cleveland in the fifth inning with an RBI double, but Slowey was phenomenal up until that point, allowing only two baserunners through the first four innings.

In the sixth inning Slowey came slightly unraveled, allowing two singles and a walk to load the bases with two outs. Jesse Crain came on in relief and served up a two-RBI double into the left-field corner to Shelley Duncan.

Slowey's final line included three earned runs, six hits, a walk and seven strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. This was only the third time in his last eight starts Slowey has allowed fewer than five earned runs.

Cleveland starter Justin Masterson allowed three earned runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out seven in 6 1/3 innings.

The Twins look to avoid a sweep on Wednesday as Francisco Liriano (7-7, 3.76) battles Jake Westbrook (5-5, 4.75). First pitch at 12:10 p.m. on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
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