Indians 7, Twins 0
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ For the Cleveland Indians, it was one of those games in which they won and they lost.
The Indians beat the Minnesota Twins 7-0 Sunday, increasing their lead in the AL Central to 10 games, but lost Eddie Murray for at least a couple of weeks with two broken ribs.
Murray, who got his 3,000th career hit Friday night, broke two ribs on his left side when he was tagged hard by Matt Walbeck while sliding into home plate in the third inning.
Murray walked off the field in the fifth while batting with a 1-0 count. Cleveland general manager John Hart said the Indians would place him on the disabled list Monday.
``Walbeck tagged him hard in the ribs,″ Indians manager Mike Hargrove said. ``He knew it was sore right away.″
Murray singled, doubled and drove in a run in his first two at-bats, raising his career hits total to 3,005. Al Kaline is 17th on the all-time list with 3,007.
Manny Ramirez homered, doubled, singled and scored twice, one day after he made a pair of baserunning blunders in Saturday’s one-run loss. Ramirez also was named to the All-Star team Sunday.
``Yesterday is over,″ Ramirez said. ``I can’t do anything about that. I’m sure I’ll make other mistakes, but I always work to make myself better. I feel like I’m getting my good swing going, and I feel very happy to make the All Star team.″
The 23-year-old Ramirez raised his batting average to .337, his home run total to 16 and his RBI total to 45.
``He played well today,″ Indians manager Mike Hargrove said . ``He’s such a good hitter that the ball just jumps off his bat. It’s really fun to watch him hit.″
Mark Clark (4-2) allowed five hits in five innings, walked none, struck out six and lowered his ERA from 8.24 to 7.12. Julian Tavarez worked the next three, giving up two hits and striking out two. Gregg Olson pitched the ninth and walked one in his third appearance for Cleveland.
``I had good command of my pitches,″ said Clark, who recently returned from a 4-0 stint in five appearances with AAA Buffalo. He had started the season with the Indians and posted a 2-2 record with a 7.66 ERA.
``I’m getting confidence where I feel like I can throw all my pitches in any situation. But I’d rather be pitching for this team than pitching against us,″ Clark said.
Greg Harris (0-2), making his second appearance for the Twins, allowed five runs on 10 hits over 5 1-3 innings to take the loss.
``Their lineup leaves little room for error,″ Harris said. ``With eight or nine quality guys in their lineup you can’t make a mistake.″
Cleveland took a 4-0 lead in the third. A two-out single by Albert Belle scored Tony Pena and Omar Vizquel, Murray doubled in Belle and Jim Thome singled in Murray.
Ramirez led off the sixth with his 16th home run, giving Cleveland a 5-0 lead. The Indians made it 7-0 in the eighth on a single by Thome, an RBI double by Ramirez and a bases-loaded infield hit by Wayne Kirby.
Minnesota’s best chance to score came in the second after Scott Stahoviak doubled with one out. When Stahoviak headed for third on an infield out, the throw from first baseman Paul Sorrento skipped past Thome but was inadvertantly knocked down by third base umpire Gary Cederstrom. Thome easily threw out Stahoviak at the plate.
The Twins also had runners at first and third with one out in the fifth, but Clark struck out Pat Meares and Matt Walbeck to end the inning.
``We couldn’t do much,″ Twins manager Tom Kelly said. ``We didn’t have much of a shot at it with our offense. And they have such good personnel that they just walk up and attack the ball. It’s tough to pitch against them, tough to match up.″
Notes: The Twins have lost 16 of their last 18 at home... The Indians’ 10-game lead is the largest in their history... Rick Aguilera has given up 16 hits in 24 innings and is Minnesota’s only pitcher with fewer hits allowed than innings pitched... When Kirby Puckett doubled in the fourth inning, he kept alive a streak of 300 games without going two in a row without a hit.