Trevor Plouffe mashes 23rd HR, but Indians nip Twins in 10th inning
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CLEVELAND -- Casey Kotchman singled with the bases-loaded in the 10th inning, giving the Cleveland Indians a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.
Pinch-hitter Shin-Soo Choo doubled off the wall in left-center to start the inning against reliever Anthony Swarzak (3-5). Choo took third on Jason Kipnis' groundout before Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley were intentionally walked to load the bases.
Kotchman fouled off the first pitch before bouncing a ground ball up the middle against the drawn-in infield for his third hit of the game.
Esmil Rogers (3-1) pitched a perfect inning for the win. Both teams used five pitchers.
The Indians, who are 12-39 since July 26, moved into a fourth-place tie with the Twins in the AL Central. Minnesota won 12 of the 18 games between the clubs this season.
Neither starter was involved in the decision. Cleveland's Corey Kluber allowed three runs in six innings, while Esmerling Vasquez gave up three runs in 5 2-3 innings.
Minnesota scored the game's first run in the fourth on Kluber's wild pitch. Run-scoring singles by Kotchman and Brent Lillibridge gave Cleveland the lead in the bottom of the inning. Denard Span's RBI double tied it in the fifth. Trevor Plouffe's solo homer in the sixth gave Minnesota the lead, but Jack Hannahan's RBI single made it 3-3.
Kluber retired the first eight hitters before Pedro Florimon singled with two outs in the third. Minnesota scored in the fourth thanks to Kluber's wild pitch. Ben Revere led off with a single, stole second and took third when Mauer grounded out. Kluber's pitch to Josh Willingham bounced in front of the plate and past catcher Lou Marson, scoring Revere.
The Indians got to Vasquez in the fourth. Kipnis and Santana walked to start the inning. After Brantley flied out, Kotchman's single through the right side scored Kipnis and tied the game. Lillibridge then lined a single to left, scoring Santana and giving Cleveland the lead.
Jack Hannahan's single loaded the bases, but Revere caught Thomas Neal's fly ball in right field and threw Kotchman out at the plate to end the inning.
Minnesota put together a two-out rally in the fifth. After Florimon walked, Span hit a bloop liner past third base. The ball rolled into foul territory and caromed oddly off the tarp along the stands. The ball died in shallow left field and Florimon scored before Neal could throw home.
Plouffe, swinging at a 3-0 pitch, hammered a drive to center that caused confusion on both sides. Brantley went back toward the warning track, but never saw the ball, which cleared the wall a few feet to his left. Plouffe, not realizing the ball had left the park, stopped between first and second. He finally began his trot around the bases after an umpire gave the home run signal.
Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, who has six homers and 20 RBIs against Cleveland this season, wasn't in the lineup, but pinch-hit in the ninth and was hit by a pitch.
.321: Joe Mauer was hitless with a walk in four at-bats, dropping his average to .321.
37: Stolen bases for Revere
23: Home runs for Plouffe
No significant health updates
Friday: @ Tigers, 6:05 p.m. RHP Samuel Deduno vs. RHP Rick Porcello