The Cleveland Indians were unable to complete the sweep of the American League Central leading Minnesota Twins falling short in a 5-4 loss.
The Indians made things interesting in the ninth but were unable to complete the sweep of the Twins. The good news is that Cleveland came away with a series win against the division leader.
Trevor Bauer struggled yet again on the mound allowing five runs, four of which were driven in by Max Kepler. Kepler homered three times in the contest and essentially was the entirety of the Twins offense Thursday. Minnesota did score one run not driven in by Kepler, Mitch Garver doubled in the fifth which allowed Jorge Polanco to score. The bight side is that Bauer pitched deep enough into the game to give the bullpen a rest. This was much needed after Wednesday’s bullpen game. This will also help with the upcoming three game series against the Yankees. Rather than using a bunch of bullpen arms Thursday, they will be rested for an important series at home.
Roberto Perez homered for the third straight game, giving the Indians backstop 10 home runs on the year. This is a career-high for Perez who will undoubtedly continue to hit for power. The home run from Perez got Cleveland on the board in the fifth inning, but were still trailing by three runs. A Tyler Naquin RBI single helped cut into what was now a four run Minnesota lead in the seventh. Perez would follow that up with a sacrifice fly to make it a two-run deficit. In the the bottom of the ninth Oscar Mercado was called upon as a pinch hitter. Mercado blasted a solo shot to make it a one run game. Unfortunately that is where the Indians rally ended as Perez grounded out to shortstop to end the game.