Twins bats stifled by Tribe's David Huff in doubleheader opener
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Cleveland Indians starting pitcher David Huff stifled the Minnesota Twins offense in seven innings of work, and a three-run homer by Asdrubal Cabrera gave the Tribe an early boost in a 5-2 win to take Game 1 of a day/night doubleheader at Target Field on Monday.
Huff, who made his season debut after going 8-3 with a 3.86 ERA with Triple-A Columbus, threw seven scoreless innings surrendering only five hits and striking out five on just 88 pitches.
"That's the first time we've seen him this year," manager Ron Gardenhire said of Huff. "He mixed it up and changed speeds, he really kept us off balance we had a couple guys that good days hitting-wise but other than that not really much offensively."
The Indians struck first in the third inning after third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall led off by reaching on a throwing error by Alexi Casilla and then was singled in by Ezequiel Carrera. Michael Brantley singled to left field, and the Tribe's all-star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera took a 1-1 changeup from Swarzak into the right field seats.
Aside from the top half of the third, Swarzak held the Indians hitters at bay finishing with four strikeouts and no walks on six innings of six-hit ball.
"There (were) a few pitches that I wish I could have back, that one (to Cabrera) included," Swarzak said. "I was rushing through my delivery a little bit today and they made me pay. That was a huge inning in a game like this where you I was on and off the field as quick as possible. It's tough giving up a four spot in the third."
The Twins managed to get runners on base in each of the first four innings, but the offense tapered off from there, failing to reach base in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings.
Michael Cuddyer provided a two-run homer off Chad Durbin in the bottom of the ninth, cutting the lead to 5-2, but that was all the scoring the Twins could muster.
Joe Mauer, playing first base for the second time this season, fielded four groundballs and tallied three singles in four trips to the plate.
The Indians scored their fifth run on a towering, solo home run by Austin Kearns off Matt Capps in the top of the ninth.
With the loss, the Twins fall to 44-50 and six games behind the first-place Indians who snapped a two-game losing streak and improve their record against the Twins to 2-4 this season.