Santana leads to Twins to sweep, first place in AL Central
CLEVELAND (AP) — Ervin Santana and Minnesota made themselves at home in Cleveland. The Twins and Indians have been gracious hosts so far this year.
Santana struck out seven in six innings, Jason Castro drove in three runs and Minnesota swept Cleveland with a 4-0 victory on Sunday.
Santana (10-4) allowed nine hits, but Cleveland’s lineup struggled again. The Indians were shut out twice, went 1 for 23 with runners in scoring position and stranded 30 baserunners in the weekend series.
It was one sweet stay on Lake Erie for the Twins, who were swept in a four-game set against the Indians at Target Field last weekend. Minnesota moved a half-game ahead of Cleveland for the division lead.
“We talked about how we got embarrassed at home,” said second baseman Brian Dozier, who hit a game-winning homer in Saturday’s 4-2 victory. “So we wanted to stick it to them here. We didn’t just want to win the series, we wanted to sweep. We wanted to stomp on their throats.”
The Twins hadn’t swept a three-game series in Cleveland since 1991.
“That was a really fun series,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “I was confident coming in that we would play well. They played their butts off.”
Castro hit a two-run double in the second and an RBI double in the sixth. Eddie Rosario led off the fourth with his 10th homer.
Josh Tomlin (4-9) allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings for Cleveland, which was coming off a 7-1 road trip.
“It’s disappointing,” Tomlin said. “We had a chance to kind of take a step forward and spread it out a little bit and we didn’t take advantage of that at all.”
Both teams have dominated on the road in the season series. The Twins have won five of six at Progressive Field while the Indians have won all seven games in Minnesota. Minnesota is 23-9 on the road while Cleveland is 15-20 at home.
“We couldn’t keep a line moving,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We were certainly able to get our hits, but we never strung anything together.”
Cleveland’s hit with a runner in scoring position came in the fourth, but didn’t produce a run. Dozier knocked down Jackson’s one-out grounder behind second base and Lonnie Chisenhall moved to third.
Santana got Bradley Zimmer to foul out and struck out Yan Gomes. Buddy Boshers worked two scoreless innings and Brandon Kintzler finished the nine-hitter.
“The key is you can’t try to do too much,” Santana said. “Just keep making your pitches in good locations. Throw strikes. If they get a hit, good for them. But try to locate everything.”
The Twins used their regular lineup Sunday. Miguel Sano (sinus infection) returned as the designated hitter after missing the first two games of the series. Max Kepler, out Saturday after fouling a ball off his foot, played right field.
Indians left fielder Michael Brantley (sprained left ankle) likely will return from the 10-day disabled list this week. He is scheduled to run the bases Monday.
Twins: RHP Phil Hughes (sore arm) threw a scoreless inning Saturday for Triple-A Rochester on a minor league rehab assignment. He’ll be used out of the bullpen when he returns to the major league team.
Indians: OF Austin Jackson (left quad tightness) left in the fifth inning and is listed as day to day.
Twins: RHP Jose Berrios will face Boston for the first time in his career Monday. He worked a career-high eight innings in a win over the White Sox on Wednesday.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco, who leads the team with eight wins, will start Monday against Texas. He struck out a season-high 10 in beating Baltimore in his last start.