Twins blow another late lead
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Matt LaPorta and Carlos Santana hit RBI doubles in the eighth inning and the Cleveland Indians rallied past the Minnesota Twins 3-2 Friday night.
The Indians won in their last at-bat at home for the 14th time this season. Minnesota has lost 10 of 12.
Cleveland trailed 2-1 when Travis Hafner singled with one out in the eighth off starter Carl Pavano. Glen Perkins (4-3) relieved and Santana hit a booming double to right-center field to score pinch-runner Michael Brantley with the tying run.
With two outs, LaPorta's blooper dropped in front of diving left fielder Ben Revere for the go-ahead run.
Rafael Perez (5-2) got the final out in the eighth for the win and Chris Perez worked a perfect ninth for his 24th save in 27 chances.
The second-place Indians continued to keep the pressure on first-place Detroit in the AL Central after taking two of three from the Tigers earlier in the week.
Tsuyoshi Nishioka singled home both runs for Minnesota.
Twins designated hitter Jim Thome remained two homers shy of 600 for his career. He went 0 for 2 with a walk, the 1,709th of his career to pass Hall of Famer Mel Ott for eighth all-time. He also is in eighth place on the home-run list.
Cleveland starter Justin Masterson allowed five hits and two runs over 7 2-3 innings. He started for the second time in four nights. On Tuesday, he made only 35 pitches over two innings before a rain delay of more than two hours forced him out of a game that Cleveland eventually won in 14 innings over Detroit.
Nishioka put the Twins ahead 1-0 with an RBI single in the third.
Cleveland tied it with an unearned run in the sixth. With two outs and runners on the corners, Hafner bounced a ball that went just over the outstretched glove of Pavano. Nishioka came in from shortstop to field the ball, which glanced off his glove for an error. It scored Ezequiel Carrera from third.
Nishioka also had an RBI single in the eighth off Masterson to give the Twins a 2-1 lead.
Notes: Twins 2B Alexi Casilla, activated Friday, left in the seventh tweaking his right hamstring running to first base. He had been on the disabled list with a strain in the same area. ... Each team started only one right-handed hitter in its lineup -- LaPorta and Twins 3B Danny Valencia. ... Hall of Famers Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven, both former Indians, made ceremonial first pitches. Alomar threw to his brother Sandy Jr., the Indians' first base coach. Cleveland manager Manny Acta caught Blyleven's toss. Both recent inductees proudly displayed Hall of Fame rings. Blyleven noted his name on one side and position on the other, joking, "As you get older, you forget where you played, so they put pitcher on there for me." ... Another Baseball Hall of Famer, Gaylord Perry, the 1972 AL Cy Young winner with Cleveland, signed autographs in Heritage Park, site of the team's Hall of Fame beyond the center-field wall. ... The series' second game features a matchup of right-handers, Brian Duensing (8-10) for Minnesota against Josh Tomlin (11-5).
Duensing beat the Indians 10-3 in Minnesota in April; Tomlin lost to the Twins 6-4 in Cleveland in June. ... Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said OF Michael Cuddyer is day-to-day after straining his neck in early batting practice Friday. That came shortly after the Twins activated 1B Justin Morneau. ... Cleveland is expected to recall LHP David Huff from Triple-A Columbus to start Sunday.