Twins Outslug Cleveland 10-7
CLEVELAND -- Chris Colabello isn't taking a single moment in the majors for granted.
After spending seven seasons playing independent ball in Canada, Colabello has finally made the big time and he's savoring every pitch, every swing and every game.
And so far, he's made the most of each one.
Colabello drove in four runs to raise his AL-leading total to 11, Brian Dozier scored three times and the Minnesota Twins outslugged the Cleveland Indians 10-7 on Sunday to take two of three games in the series.
Colabello, who spent 2005 to 2011 paying his dues in the Canadian-American Association before signing with the Twins in 2012, broke a 6-6 tie with a three-run double in the sixth inning off Blake Wood (0-1). The 30-year-old Colabello also had an RBI single in the fourth as the Twins concluded a season-opening road trip before playing their home opener Monday.
"It's awesome," Colabello said of his fast start. "Every day I get to spend in the big leagues is awesome, regardless of how many hits I get or production. Obviously, it's nice to help the team and contribute. It's been exciting. It's fun to wake up every morning and do my job."
Joe Mauer had three hits and scored twice for the Twins, who took advantage of wildness by Cleveland pitchers. Of Minnesota's 10 runs, seven were set up by either a walk or hit batter.
Anthony Swarzak (1-0) picked up the win in relief of Twins starter Ricky Nolasco, and Glen Perkins worked a perfect ninth for his second save.
David Murphy had four hits, Jason Kipnis had three RBIs and Yan Gomes hit a two-run homer for Cleveland.
Indians starter Justin Masterson didn't get through four innings, but got his second straight no-decision. He pitched seven shutout innings at Oakland on opening day.
After the Indians rallied from a 6-2 deficit on Kipnis' three-run double in the fourth and Murphy's RBI double in the fifth, the Twins loaded the bases in the sixth when Wood walked Dozier, put Mauer on intentionally and then hit Jason Bartlett. Colabello, who turned down a $1 million offer this winter to play in Korea, then cleared the bags.
Gardenhire is impressed with how well Colabello, who was the International League MVP and played in 55 games for the Twins last season, has adapted.
"Coming into the spring he had a chance to go overseas and make some pretty good money," Gardenhire said. "He elected to stay here because he wanted to play in the big leagues. It's worked out for him. He's taken full advantage. It's a good story. "
Masterson lasted only 3 2/3 innings, allowing five runs and seven hits. He walked three, hit two and needed 97 pitches to get 11 outs. It wasn't the type of performance the Indians are accustomed to from their No. 1 starter, who couldn't reach agreement on a long-term contract during talks with the club during spring training.
Bartlett was forced to play in the outfield for just the second time as a pro, and a had rough day.
Bartlett, who was brought in after Josh Willingham was hit in the wrist by Masterson, misplayed the carom off the angled outfield wall on Kipnis' double, couldn't handle a sinking liner to left-center and was hit by a pitch.
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