(Sports Network) - With the start of a seven-game West Coast swing awaiting
them on Monday, the Minnesota Twins try to gain even more momentum as they
seek a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians at Target Field on Sunday.
Minnesota has struggled quite a bit this season, currently 12 games below .500
and 10 games out of contention in the American League Central, but the club
has managed to generate a four-game win streak thanks to a narrow 3-2 win on
The Twins scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the sixth, thanks in
part to some faulty defense by a Cleveland squad that has dropped back-to-back
games after closing out the first half on a four-game win streak.
Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Ryan Doumit each crossed the plate for
Kevin Correia picked up his seventh win of the campaign as he permitted just
two runs on three hits and a walk over six innings of action. The bullpen then
held it together for the hosts, with Glen Perkins notching his 23rd save.
Charged with the loss was reliever Rich Hill, who failed to register a single
out while being charged with all three runs, although just two were earned.
Cleveland starter Corey Kluber allowed just three hits and walked two in five
innings, during which he struck out seven.
Jason Kipnis delivered his 14th home run of the season, a two-run shot, in the
top of the sixth but that was all the offense the Indians were able to muster
in the setback.
"We're getting into late July right now," Kipnis said. "You can make excuses
for a while, but we're going to need some guys to start stepping up here.
We're kind of shooting ourselves in the foot right now in these last two
Having alternated wins and losses over his last five decisions, Justin
Masterson is on schedule to pick up a victory this afternoon for the Indians
if the trend continues to hold true. The right-hander has watched his team bow
in three of his last four appearances, the latest coming on July 10 versus
Toronto at home.
Against the Blue Jays, the San Diego State product permitted just two runs on
four hits, but he also issued five walks while striking out six in 6 2/3
innings during what would become a 5-4 victory for the visitors.
Masterson, who is a disappointing 2-7 with a 4.53 ERA in his career versus
Minnesota, went up against the Twins in early May and allowed five runs on
eight hits and a couple of walks in 6 2/3 innings. However, while the Tribe
came out with a 7-6 win, the hurler was not involved in the decision.
Stepping up to the mound for the Twins in the series finale is Scott Diamond,
getting his first look at the Indians this season. The left-hander has gone
four starts without a victory and has won only once in his last seven
Diamond last pitched on July 12 versus the New York Yankees in the Bronx,
working his way through 3 1/3 innings, allowing just one hit but also walking
three before a lengthy rain delay put the game on hold. Once play resumed the
Twins opted to go to the bullpen instead of sending Diamond back out on the
For his career, Diamond is 3-1 with a 2.34 ERA in five games versus Cleveland.
Minnesota, which won the season series in 2012 by a count of 12-6, has now won
three in a row over Cleveland in order to knot this year's series at four
The Sports Network