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Updated: September 23rd, 2011 9:44pm
Twins Daily: Carlos Santana hits walk-off homer off Matt Capps

Twins Daily: Carlos Santana hits walk-off homer off Matt Capps

by Phil Mackey
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Carlos Santana's walk-off homer off Matt Capps in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Cleveland Indians a 6-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Friday night at Progressive Field.

The skinny

Entering as a pinch-hitter for catcher Lou Marson, Santana turned on the first pitch he saw to give the Indians a win.

The Twins struck first in the first inning when Chris Parmelee, given the green light on 3-0, grounded a two-RBI single up the middle. But an RBI double by Jim Thome in the bottom of the first and an RBI double by Matt Laporta in the bottom of the second tied the game 2-2.

The Twins quickly regained the advantage in the top of the third when Parmelee roped a solo homer to right field. The Twins plated another run later in the inning when Brian Dinkelman scored on a throwing error by second baseman Jason Kipnis.

A short while later, with one out in the bottom of the third, Thome tied the game again with a two-run bomb deep into the shrubs in center field off Carl Pavano.

An RBI single by Laporta in the sixth put the Indians up 5-4, but Rene Tosoni's RBI double tied it again in the top of the seventh.

Pavano allowed five earned runs on 10 hits in 6/13 innings, striking out three and walking one.

Indians starter Justin Masterson, who had previously allowed only five earned runs in 29 1/3 innings against the Twins this season, gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits and a season-high six walks in just 4 2/3 innings. He struck out four and threw 106 pitches.

Turning point

Masterson was already venturing out on thin ice upon entering the fifth inning, but the wheels looked like they were about to come completely undone when he walked Luke Hughes and Brian Dinkelman, then plunked Tosoni to load the bases with nobody out.

Unbeknownst to Masterson, bases loaded and nobody out is kryptonite to the Twins' offense.

Masterson was able to induce a weak chopper back to the mound by Joe Benson, which was good enough to start a 1-2-3 double play.

The next batter, Drew Butera, coaxed a walk to load the bases once again, prompting Indians manager Manny Acta to replace Masterson with right-hander Frank Herrmann.

Herrmann induced a foul pop off the bat of Ben Revere to end the inning, leaving the game tied 4-4.

Numbers game

604: Career homers for Thome.

2: Infield singles for Thome against the Twins this season. Thome rolled one down the third base line on a check swing in the fifth inning, but due to the shift, there was nobody home.

3: Home runs for Parmelee.

3: Home runs by Thome since being traded on Aug. 25.

8: Home runs by the Twins, as a team, in September.

98: Home runs for the Twins this season.

96: Losses for the Twins this season.

4: Consecutive games in which the Twins have failed to score a runner from third base with nobody out.

Health report

• OF Michael Cuddyer left in the seventh inning with right groin tightness.

• OF Denard Span and 3B Danny Valencia were held out of the lineup after they were involved in a minor car accident on Thursday night.

• 2B Alexi Casilla (hamstring) is unlikely to play before the end of the season after feeling discomfort while testing his leg last week.

On deck

The Twins and Indians will play two on Saturday, beginning at noon (on 1500 ESPN) when left-hander Scott Diamond (1-5, 4.81) takes on left-hander David Huff (2-6, 4.20) and continuing with the nightcap (6:05 p.m.) when left-hander Brian Duensing (9-14, 5.29) faces right-hander Mitch Talbot (2-6, 6.33).

Coming up

• Sunday: @ Indians, 12:05 p.m. RHP Liam Hendriks (0-2, 6.23) vs. RHP Fausto Carmona (7-15, 5.23)
• Monday: vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m. RHP Kevin Slowey (0-7, 6.23) vs. TBD
• Tuesday: vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m. RHP Anthony Swarzak (3-7, 4.42) vs. TBD

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