Cleveland Gains Ground In Playoff Race With Doubleheader Sweep Of Twins
CLEVELAND -- Rookie T.J. House pitched seven sharp innings, Carlos Santana homered and drove in both runs and the Cleveland Indians completed a doubleheader sweep with a 2-0 win over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.
Santana also homered in the first game, backing another strong performance by Corey Kluber in an 8-2 victory.
Cleveland moved closer in the races for both the AL Central title and the wild card. The Indians trail Detroit by 3 1-2 games for the second wild-card spot, and visit the Tigers for a three-game series starting Friday night.
House (3-3) held Minnesota to four hits, struck out eight and didn't walk a batter.
Brian Shaw pitched the eighth and Cody Allen worked the ninth for his 20th save to cap a strong day for Cleveland's pitchers.
Allen walked pinch-hitter Joe Mauer, the only free pass issued by the Indians in the doubleheader, but Trevor Plouffe flied out and Kennys Vargas bounced into a double play.
Santana has 27 home runs, matching his career high. His leadoff homer on a 1-2 pitch in the fourth was the only mistake Ricky Nolasco (5-11) made in seven innings.
Santana added an RBI single in the eighth.
Kluber (15-9) allowed two runs and struck out seven in 8 1/3 innings in becoming the Indians' first 15-game winner since Cliff Lee went 22-3 in 2008.
House was aided by Chris Parmelee's poor baserunning in the third. Left fielder Michael Brantley tracked down Brian Dozier's drive to the wall and threw to shortstop Jose Ramirez, whose relay doubled off Parmelee at first.
Yan Gomes drove in three runs with a solo homer in the second and a two-run double in the third. Santana hit a two-run homer in the first and Cleveland broke the game open with a four-run third.
Kyle Gibson (11-11) lasted only three innings, allowing seven runs and seven hits, including two homers.
Kluber didn't walk a batter for the second straight outing. He broke his three-game losing streak with a five-hitter in a complete game win over the White Sox on Saturday.
Vargas' two-out RBI single put Minnesota ahead in the first. Kluber retired the next 10 hitters, a stretch that was broken when Oswaldo Arcia led off the fifth with a single.
Kluber regained control by getting Kurt Suzuki to bounce into a double play that began a stretch when he retired eight in a row.
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