Twins offense explodes for second straight night in win over Indians
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MINNEAPOLIS -- For the second straight night the Minnesota Twins pounded Cleveland Indians pitching en route to an 12-5 victory at Target Field.
When Indians starter Justin Masterson recorded seven groundball outs while retiring the first nine batters he faced, the Twins may have had flashbacks to Derek Lowe's strikeout-less shutout on May 15 when he induced 20 groundballs.
Josh Willingham put an end to that notion by roping a two-run homer to left field in the bottom of the fourth inning that gave the Twins a 2-1 lead.
From there, the Twins throttled down offensively, scoring three runs in the fifth, five in the sixth and another in the seventh.
Masterson was charged with 10 runs (eight earned) on seven hits and two walks while striking out two in 5 2/3 innings.
"Everybody had a part in it," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Some good at-bats, getting on some bases, and then driving them in. Some big innings in the middle part of the ballgame. ...
"I heard Willingham say, 'If you would have told me we were going to score seven runs off Masterson after the first inning, the way the ball was coming out of his hand,' he would have called you nuts. That's a pretty good job today when you score runs off that guy."
Twins starter Samuel Deduno held the Indians to just one run on two hits in seven innings. He did walk five but also struck out six.
Left-hander Tyler Robertson gave up a two-run homer to Carlos Santana in the eighth inning.
Luis Perdomo, making his Twins debut, walked three -- including one with the bases loaded -- and couldn't make it out of the ninth inning.
The Twins' rally in the fifth inning was extended thanks to a questionable call at first base by umpire Chris Guccione. Danny Valencia hit a chopper to third baseman and former University of Minnesota standout Jack Hannahan, who fired high to first baseman Casey Kotchman.
Kotchman stretched to make the catch, but Guccione ruled his foot was off the base. On the play, Valencia failed to step on first base as he ran by, but umpires did not notice.
This helped open the door for the Twins to take a 5-0 lead.
27: Home runs for Willingham.
0-for-28: The streak snapped by Danny Valencia with his RBI double in the seventh inning.
8-for-12: The Twins offense with runners in scoring position.
Trevor Plouffe (thumb) is eligible to come off the disabled list on Aug. 5.
Sunday: vs. Indians, 1:10 p.m. LHP Francisco Liriano (3-10, 5.31) vs. RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (8-9, 4.97).
Monday: vs. White Sox, 7:10 p.m. RHP Cole De Vries (2-2, 3.64) vs. LHP Jose Quintana (4-1, 2.58)
Tuesday: vs. White Sox, 7:10 p.m. RHP Nick Blackburn (4-6, 7.99) vs. RHP Jake Peavy (8-7, 3.15)