Justin Morneau's two homers help Twins cruise past slumping Indians
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CLEVELAND -- Justin Morneau homered twice and drove in four runs, Joe Mauer had three RBIs and Ryan Doumit hit a three-run homer to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 14-3 victory over Cleveland on Monday night, the Indians' 10th loss in a row.
The Indians took a 1-0 lead by scoring a run off starter Scott Diamond in the bottom of the first. The Twins then sent 13 men to the plate and scored 10 runs in the top of the second innning.
Solo homers by Willingham and Morneau off starter Zach McAllister started the rally.
A throwing error by second baseman Jason Kipnis on Denard Span's two-out grounder gave the Twins a 3-1 lead. Minnesota took full advantage of the error when Ben Revere added an RBI single and Joe Mauer had a two-run double. Morneau followed with an RBI single that finished McAllister.
Doumit greeted reliever Josh Tomlin with a three-run homer.
Cleveland pitchers combined to throw 58 pitches in the inning, including 50 by McAllister. Kipnis' throwing error made eight of the runs unearned.
The Twins fell one run shy of their biggest inning in franchise history. Minnesota has scored 11 runs in an inning four times. The Twins hadn't scored 10 runs in an inning since June 4, 2002 against the Indians in Minnesota, a game the Twins won 23-2.
"Hitting is contagious, just like everything else," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Tonight was one of those nights. Incredible, really. Score 10 runs in an inning, it doesn't happen. You know how many times you hit a ball right on the button and it goes right at somebody? We just found holes."
Diamond pitched seven innings and gave up three runs (two earned), seven hits, a walk and struck out three. The victory was his 10th of the season.
The Indians loaded the bases with no outs in the first, but scored only one run when Carlos Santana hit into a double play.
"(He was) pounding the strike zone," Gardenhire said. "As good pitchers do, they have a little bit of something extra on the ball when they get in these situations and you can see that with Scotty. He reaches back a little bit more and goes after it a little bit harder."
Revere led the Twins with four hits and scored three times.
Mauer was 3-for-5 with three RBI, Morneau was 3-for-5 with four RBI and Doumit was 2-for-4 with three RBI.
"I'm just happy to see Justin playing and smiling," Gardenhire said when asked about Morneau. "As we said, the more at-bats he gets and the more work he's able to do, he's putting better swings on it and I don't think there's any restictions now.
"I think he's feeling pretty good. He's been playing a lot of games. We talked about days off, we talked about it today, having a day off, whether it's tomorrow or the next day. What's your bet? I'm betting he's not going to want one now but we'll see."
Kipnis' throwing error opened the door for the Twins big inning and allowed them to cruise to an easy victory.
• 200: Morneau's second home run gave him 200 for his career. The veteran said he was very aware of the fact he was nearing the milestone. "I think sometimes when you're younger you take stuff like that for granted," Morneau said. "But it's something I can be proud of and a fun day all around."
• 4: Number of Canadian big-league players to hit 200 home runs.
• 20: Revere's hitting streak after his four hits on Monday.
• 29: Home runs for Willingham this season, a figure that matches the career high he hit last season with Oakland.
• 0-for-5: Tsuyoshi Nishioka's night at the plate in his first game back in the big leagues after being recalled from Triple-A Rochester.
• 2: Errors for Nishioka, who played second base.
• 6: Consecutive victories for the Twins over Cleveland.
• RHP Anthony Swarzak (shoulder) played catch at Target Field on Saturday and reported no issues.
• RHP Carl Pavano (right rotator cuff) will pitch two innings for Single-A Fort Myers on Tuesday.
• Tuesday: at Cleveland, 6:05 p.m. Twins RHP Sam Deduno (3-0, 2.48) vs. Indians RHP Corey Kluber (0-0, 12.46).
• Wednesday: at Cleveland, 11:05 a.m. Twins LHP Brian Duensing (2-6, 4.39) vs. Indians RHP Justin Masterson (7-10, 4.78).
• Friday: vs. Tampa Bay, 7:10 p.m. Twins RHP Cole De Vries (2-2, 3.81) vs. Tampa Bay RHP Jeremy Hellickson (6-7, 3.43).© The Associated Press