MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins rookie Tyler Duffey moved on from his rough Major League debut in a big way on Saturday night, limiting the Indians to only one hit in an impressive start that guided Minnesota to a 4-1 victory at Target Field.
Duffey, who allowed six runs and lasted only two innings in his only previous big league outing on Aug. 5 at Toronto, carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and finished with six scoreless innings en route to his first career win. The right-hander struck out seven and sidestepped the potential harm of the five walks he issued. The Tribe's only breakthrough came in the ninth, when Roberto Perez hit an RBI single off Glen Perkins.
"I threw a lot more strikes, and that helps," Duffey said. "My curveball, which has been my go-to pitch ever since I've been pitching, really, [I] threw that over the plate for strikes. They can't just look for a fastball. They have to look for that, too."
Indians righty Josh Tomlin took the loss after giving up two runs -- courtesy of consecutive homers by Eddie Rosario and Chris Herrmann in the fifth -- in 6 1/3 innings, in which he struck out five and walked none. Tomlin was making his 2015 debut after working his way back from preseason surgery on his right shoulder.
"It felt pretty good to be back out there and competing," Tomlin said. "I wasn't going to change my mentality after those two home runs. I didn't execute one pitch and I executed one pitch, and both were the same result.
Twins second baseman Brian Dozier provided some insurance with a two-run homer (his 25th blast of the year) off Cleveland reliever Bryan Shaw in the eighth.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Back-to-back jacks: Rosario and catcher Herrmann gave Duffey all the run support he needed with back-to-back home runs to right in the fifth inning. Rosario whacked a chin-high pitch to give the Twins the lead, and Hermann followed it up by getting the best of Tomlin in a seven-pitch at-bat.
Sweet 16: After the Indians began their night with an 0-for-15 showing against Duffey, Francisco Lindor saw to it that the pitcher's no-hit bid went no further. The Tribe's rookie shortstop pulled a 2-2 pitch into the right-center-field gap for a one-out, no-doubt double in the sixth inning.
"I'm not letting someone else throw a no-hitter against us," Lindor said. "You see it, and you want to break it. It's not like, 'Oh my God, he's throwing a no-hitter.' We weren't stressing. There was no one talking about it, but I'm sure it was in the back of our heads."
Twin killing: Lindor then dropped some jaws with a highlight-reel double play in the sixth. With one out and Miguel Sano on first, Trevor Plouffe pulled a pitch sharply through the infield. Lindor dove to his right, snared the grounder and recovered in time to start a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. More >
The impressive double play helped make up for the fact that Lindor also made a throwing error on a routine play in the fourth.
"Athletically, he's capable of doing that," Indians manager Terry Francona said of the double play. "And it's certainly exciting to watch those. I'll brag more about him when he moves his feet on the routine [plays], because those are every bit as important. But, I admit, that was a play that not a lot of guys can make."
"He threw an 0-2 pitch that was a really good 0-2 pitch. It's probably a good thing Rosario hit it. It might've hit him in the neck."-- Francona, on the Tomlin pitch that Rosario hit for the homerMore >
WHAT'S NEXT Indians: The Twins will encounter one of the American League's hottest arms when Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (11-8, 3.68 ERA) takes the mound in a 2:10 p.m. ET divisional tilt on Sunday at Target Field. Over his past three turns, Carrasco has turned in a 1.04 ERA and held opposing batters to a paltry .085 batting average in 26 innings.
Twins:Tommy Milone will be activated from the 15-day disabled list to make his first start since July 31 as the Twins host the Indians at 1:10 p.m. CT in the last of a three-game series. Milone, who was on the DL with a mild flexor strain, is 5-3 with a 3.76 ERA on the year.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.
Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.