Offense limited but Chisenhall homers in return

Offense limited but Chisenhall homers in return

Offense limited but Chisenhall homers in return
MINNEAPOLIS -- For whatever reason, the Indians' offense just doesn't seem to show up very often when Justin Masterson takes the mound.

He entered Monday's start against the Twins receiving an average of 3.48 runs of support per nine innings pitched -- the American League's lowest figure and the sixth-lowest in the Majors.

Monday night was no different.

Masterson wasn't lights-out, but he certainly performed better than Cleveland's offense. Lonnie Chisenhall homered in his first game since being injured on June 29, but it was one of just three hits for the Indians, who lost, 7-2, to the Twins at Target Field.

The defeat dropped Cleveland to 23 games below .500, their worst mark of the season. Monday's loss marked the Indians' third straight to the Twins after winning the series opener Friday.

"It's disappointing to win the first game in the series and not be able to even get a split after that," manager Manny Acta said. "We didn't pitch or hit well enough over the last three games to win any ballgames."

Masterson's loss was his 13th, tying his single-season career high established in 2010. He allowed six earned runs on seven hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings, but generally controlled the Twins' lineup until Minnesota broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth.

"I thought that Masterson had good stuff," Acta said. "Gave us six innings to score runs, to do something. But we weren't able to do it."

Ben Revere took advantage of Cleveland's infield shift in the bottom of the sixth and rifled a single through the middle and just out of the reach of Brent Lillibridge, scoring Pedro Florimon to give the Twins a 2-1 advantage. Florimon led off the inning with a triple. Masterson induced two groundouts before allowing Justin Morneau to loop a weak single into left field, bringing Revere home and extending Minnesota's lead to 3-1.

Masterson had allowed just one run on two hits through the first five innings and retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced.

"I made some good pitches and they got some swings on them," he said. "There were a couple balls that we just missed. We were making some pretty good pitches throughout the game, pounding the zone for the most part. They just happened to catch the breaks, have the ball go in the right spot."

Meanwhile, Minnesota starter Samuel Deduno flirted with a no-hitter but settled for seven dominant innings. The Indians were hitless through 5 1/3 until Michael Brantley tagged a one-out single through the middle in the sixth. Brantley's single moved Shin-Soo Choo -- who reached on a walk -- over to third. Choo scored on Carlos Santana's sacrifice fly immediately after Brantley's hit for Cleveland's first run.

Deduno allowed two runs on three hits and three walks, striking out six.

"He was cutting stuff," Chisenhall said of Deduno. "He threw two different kinds of changeups. He was coming in, working away. He was commanding the strike zone. Getting guys to beat the ball into the ground and get some ground balls. It wasn't a tough at-bat, but he got you fishing for stuff."

Chisenhall -- just activated from the disabled list on Sunday after a broken right forearm kept him out for more than two months -- was one of the few Indians to lift a Deduno pitch into the air. He hit a solo homer in the seventh, his fourth of the year.

The third baseman finished 1-for-3 in his return, also drawing a walk in his first at-bat.

"I felt good coming in," Chisenhall said. "I was swinging the bat well in BP. I felt I was getting close to normal just being out there in the field, kind of getting back in the rhythm, it felt better to me."

Chisenhall's home run cut the deficit to 3-2, but the Twins distanced themselves with three more runs in the seventh, all charged to Masterson. Florimon drove in Matt Carson with an RBI double and later scored on Masterson's wild pitch. Joe Mauer added an RBI single off reliever Scott Maine with two outs.

Florimon's extra-base hits were two of the few well-hit balls against Masterson.

"He drove some balls the other way tonight to the gap, almost off the wall out there," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I think the guy [Masterson] was cheating in on him and he drove it over his head."

Ryan Doumit's solo homer to center off Frank Herrmann added another run for the Twins in the eighth. Masterson fell to 1-3 in five starts versus the Twins this season, while Cleveland is 5-10 overall this season against Minnesota.

"Maybe we're the team they just catch some good luck against -- like us against Detroit," Masterson said. "We catch good things against Detroit, they're catching good things against us. Unfortunately in this game, that happens."

Jordan Garretson is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.