Twins muscle past Tribe behind Kepler, Dozier

Twins muscle past Tribe behind Kepler, Dozier

CLEVELAND -- The Twins used an overwhelming offensive display to jump out to an early lead and held on in Tuesday's 10-6 win over the Indians at Progressive Field. Minnesota took advantage of another rough outing from a Cleveland starter to continue its success over the division leaders.

With the latest victory, the Twins are now 13-25 against teams in the American League Central, with seven of those wins coming against the Tribe. Cleveland is 4-7 against Minnesota, while posting a 26-8 record against the rest of the division.

"They're outplaying us," Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor said. "It's really simple. They're outplaying us. They're out-hitting us. They're playing better defense than us. They're pitching better than us. They're doing everything better than us. You have to give it up to them. They're doing a good job against us."

Minnesota wasted no time, either, scoring four runs in the third highlighted by a pair of two-run homers from Brian Dozier and Max Kepler, who hit three in Monday's series opener. The bats put up another four-spot in the fourth frame on four hits -- three of which were doubles -- to take an 8-0 lead.

"We got to them early," Dozier said. "We're feeding off each other. We're getting extra-base hits, which is the biggest reason we're scoring runs right now."

All eight runs were charged to Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco, which marked his career-worst outing. It was the first time all season the big righty had given up more than four runs in an outing. The last time he did give up more was on Sept. 30, 2015, against the Twins. Carrasco was on the hook for the loss after completing just 3 2/3 innings.

Carrasco's early exit a recent trend

Twins starter Kyle Gibson didn't fare much better, however. After spinning four scoreless frames, he was knocked out by a six-spot in the fifth. Both Carlos Santana and Mike Napoli went deep off Gibson to chase the righty out of the game. Gibson ended up being tabbed with six runs off 10 hits across 4 2/3 innings.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Kepler stays hot: After becoming the fifth Twins player to hit three homers in a game on Monday, Kepler blasted another two-run blast as part of a four-run third inning against Carrasco. It was Kepler's fourth homer in his last eight at-bats. It was also his longest of the season, as the ball left his bat at 111 mph and went a projected 442 feet, per Statcast™.

"His swing is locked in," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "They tried to sneak a fastball in there after a couple off-speed pitches, and he was still ready. It was very similar to last night. Similar angle, he pulled it a little bit more, but same trajectory. A no-doubter."

Statcast: Kepler's long home run

Cleveland crushers: The Indians stormed back into the game in the fifth with a six-run outburst highlighted by two towering homers. Santana got the Tribe on the board with a two-run blast to right. Per Statcast™, the ball traveled an estimated 446 feet from home plate at 110 mph. It marked his second-longest homer of the season. Three batters later, Napoli drilled a pitch from Gibson over the left-field wall. It traveled 444 feet with an exit velocity of 111.1 mph, per Statcast™. It was the hardest-hit homer by an Indians player this year.

Indians' six-run frame

Sano makes Indians pay: After Joe Mauer connected on an RBI double with two outs in the fourth, the Indians decided to intentionally walk the red-hot Kepler to get to Miguel Sano. Carrasco quickly got ahead 0-2 in the count, but he left a 1-2 slider up in the zone, and Sano was able to smack it off the left-center-field wall for a two-run double to cap a four-run inning. It also knocked Carrasco from the game.

"Obviously, it wasn't a good move by them," Kepler said. "Sano capitalized, but it happens in baseball."

Sano's two-run double

No quit in them: It would have been easy to go quietly after digging themselves into an eight-run deficit. However, as they have done countless times, the Indians continued to claw back. Not only did the Indians plate six runs in the fifth, but they also brought the tying or go-ahead run to the plate in each of the next three frames. In the sixth, the Tribe had runners at the corners before two consecutive flyouts ended a threat. Abraham Almonte grounded out to second with a runner on in the seventh and Lindor did the same in the eighth.

"It's a tough game to win," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We talked about it before the game. On nights where things aren't going our way, keep playing, keep pushing, and they did that. I hope we don't have too many of those games, but we'll win one of them."

Pressly escapes jam

QUOTABLE
"I think we're seeing the offense we knew that we had. We just slumped in the beginning. This is the offense we're capable of. I don't think this is a fluke." -- Gibson on the Twins, who lead the Majors in runs scored dating back to July 1 with 166 More >

"I'm worried about what we have in this clubhouse. I'll let you guys worry about that. I'll worry about what we have inside. I'll worry about how I play every day. At the end of the day, what's going to happen is going to happen." -- Lindor, on Tribe's division lead down to three games

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With his two-run shot in the third, Dozier reached 20 homers on the season for a third straight year. He became the first Twins player to accomplish the feat since Jason Kubel did it from 2008-10.

The Twins also set a franchise record by recording a combined 19 extra-base hits in a two-game span, racking up 10 on Monday and nine on Tuesday.

WHAT'S NEXT
Twins: Right-hander Tyler Duffey (5-8, 6.12 ERA) is set to start for the Twins at 6:10 p.m. CT on Wednesday after a brief demotion to the bullpen where he never saw action. Duffey has struggled his last two times out, allowing a combined 11 runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Indians: Right-hander Trevor Bauer (7-4, 3.64 ERA) will take the mound for the Tribe at 7:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday in a divisional clash. Last time out, Bauer allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits across 5 1/3 frames in a no-decision against Oakland. Bauer is 1-4 with a 5.01 ERA in nine career starts against Minnesota.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland and covered the Indians on Tuesday.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.