CLEVELAND -- Minnesota's bats stayed scorching hot, scoring double-digit runs for the third straight game in a 13-5 win over Cleveland on Wednesday night at Progressive Field. For the Indians, it matches their season-worst slump of three games.
The Twins struck first for a third consecutive night, jumping out to a 3-0 lead by the second inning. But it was the five-spot in the third that chased Tribe starter Trevor Bauer out of the game. The right-hander allowed eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits across 2 2/3 innings. Cleveland starters have now allowed 21 earned runs over 8 1/3 frames this series.
"We've got it going offensively, so you have to enjoy these things when they come around because you know they can go the reverse way as well," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "A lot of good at-bats. You go up and down the lineup the last few days, and certainly some guys jump out at you, but they're all swinging well."
Paving the way offensively for the Twins was first baseman Joe Mauer, who went 4-for-5 with four RBIs and a walk. Mauer is 10-for-15 with a homer, a triple and five doubles against the Indians in this series.
Minnesota starter Tyler Duffey was able to labor through six innings in the win. The right-hander allowed five runs on eight hits while recording six strikeouts. Duffey surrendered a pair of home runs to Tyler Naquin and Mike Napoli in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively, before his night was finished.
"They've done that now three days in a row and done it well," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "They've really had their way with us. It's not a fluke. They've just beat us around."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Mauer doubles up: The Indians have had a tough time getting Mauer out this series. He was it again, going 4-for-5 with four RBIs, two doubles, a triple and a walk, giving him five doubles over the last three games. Mauer helped spark a two-run first with a one-out double and added an RBI single in the second. He also connected on a two-run double with two outs in the third and an RBI triple in the eighth but fell short in his bid for the cycle, grounding out to end the ninth.
"It's been good," Mauer said. "I've been really staying on that back leg, driving the ball. I've been a little bit more sore, but it's been feeling good getting results. It's been great." More >
Rook rakes: Prior to the game, Naquin was named the American League Rookie of the Month for July. It marked the second straight month he has held that honor, the first Indians rookie to do so. It appears he has no plans of relinquishing that title, either. In the fifth, Naquin went deep off Duffey with a two-run blast to right to halve the deficit. Per Statcast™, the ball traveled an estimated 390 feet from home plate at 100 mph. His 13 home runs this season is tied for second most amongst AL rookies. More >
Everything's coming up Rosie: The Twins got out to another early lead, keyed by a two-run single from Eddie Rosario with the bases loaded in the first. Rosario also led off the third with a single to help start a five-run rally. He added an insurance run in the sixth on an RBI double with two outs.
"The first hit, he missed a couple early in the count, but then fought one off and squeezed it up the middle," Molitor said. " It wasn't scalded, but he put it in play, which you want to do in that situation. He got a hit with the bases loaded, and we don't have a lot of those over the course of the year."
Party at Napoli's: Napoli went the distance with a solo shot to left in the sixth. Per Statcast™, his team-high 27th homer went 390 feet from home plate with an exit velocity of 100 mph. It marked the fifth straight game Napoli has homered, which ties the longest home run streak in the Majors this year, joining the O's Chris Davis and the Mets' Jay Bruce. It is the first such streak by an Indians batter since Travis Hafner did so in September 2005. Napoli last homered in five straight games in April 2012.
"I can't tell you exactly why he's been better, but I know he's looked back on some film from when he was swinging better and barreling up some balls better. I think it's just been a small thing he's been trying, and he's obviously been very comfortable. He's a hitting a lot of balls on the nose." -- Molitor, on Mauer
"We've still got two months to go. We went through a really hot stretch, too. They're playing good baseball. But we've got to take care of ourselves and get out there and try to win tomorrow. We're not looking behind us. We've just got to go out there and play the game the right way." -- Napoli, on the division lead over Detroit down to just two games
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The Twins opened a series with at least 10 runs scored in three consecutive games for the first time in franchise history.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW Lonnie Chisenhall came charging and made a diving snag for what appeared to be the third and final out of the third inning. Instead, first-base umpire Jim Reynolds said the ball was trapped, which gave Max Kepler a two-run single to increase the Twins' lead to 8-2. Francona elected to challenge the call, and after one minute and 45 seconds, it stood. Both Francona and pitching coach Mickey Callaway came out to argue the call and were ejected.
"I knew I was going to get thrown out because you can't go out there and argue those," Francona said. "And I also know what he told me. I already knew, too. Once they make the call, it goes to New York, and then they just listen. And I knew that. I just needed to express my frustration." More >
Newly acquired outfielder Brandon Guyer made his Indians debut on Wednesday night as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning. He came on for catcher Chris Gimenez and drew a one-out walk to put runners on first and second in the lopsided affair. Guyer came from Tampa Bay via a trade on Monday and officially joined the roster on Tuesday afternoon.
WHAT'S NEXT Twins: Left-hander Hector Santiago (10-4, 4.25 ERA) makes his Twins debut in the series finale at 11:10 a.m. CT on Thursday. Santiago, who was acquired in the four-player trade that sent Ricky Nolasco to the Angels, has been hot recently. The lefty went 6-0 with a 1.78 ERA in July.
Indians: Right-hander Mike Clevinger (0-1, 7.71 ERA) is slated to start in the series finale at 12:10 p.m. ET. The rookie is back in the Indians' rotation after an injury to Danny Salazar. Clevinger last pitched for the Tribe on July 5, when he spun two scoreless frames in relief against the Tigers. Clevinger was 11-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 17 starts for Triple-A Columbus this year.