Lindor’s pair of homers leads Indians past Twins 9-8
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Francisco Lindor’s second home run of the game for Cleveland snapped an eighth-inning tie after Minnesota erased an eight-run deficit, and the Indians held on to top the Twins 9-8 on Thursday night.
Lindor also hit two doubles and drove in four runs for the Indians, who stretched their winning streak to a season-best six straight games despite another wobbly performance by their bullpen until Cody Allen finished by getting the final four outs — his ninth save in 10 opportunities.
Indians starter Shane Bieber, the first player in franchise history to make his major league debut on his birthday, took an 8-0 lead into the fifth inning but couldn’t complete the sixth. Robbie Grossman and Ryan LaMarre had RBI singles in the fifth, and Logan Morrison and Eduardo Escobar hit consecutive homers in the sixth.
In the seventh, reliever Dan Otero left two runners on with one out. Eddie Rosario hit an RBI single off Jeff Believeau. Then Miguel Sano smashed a three-run home run into the right-field flower box against Zach McAllister to tie it. Sano emerged from a round of hard hand slaps in the dugout to tip his helmet to the crowd.
Tyler Olson (1-1) came in for the last two outs. In the next inning, Lindor straightened the Indians out with his one-out drive off Addison Reed (1-4). The star shortstop became the first player in the major leagues since Adrian Beltre for Seattle in 2007 to hit two doubles and two homers in two different games in one season.
The Twins lost for the seventh time in their last eight games. They’re 14-25 since leaving Puerto Rico on April 18 with a 16-inning win over the Indians.
Bieber, who turned 23 on Thursday for his spot start, will be sent back to the minors. He has been dominant there this season, including seven no-hit innings on Friday for Triple-A Columbus.
Twins starter Jake Odorizzi looked more like the rookie, with a three-run first inning and a five-run fourth on his ledger before being removed. Odorizzi helped end Michael Brantley’s 19-game hitting streak, the longest in the major leagues this year, but he allowed more than his share of hard contact highlighted by Edwin Encarnacion’s RBI double and Jose Ramirez’s solo homer.
The Indians have four outfielders on the disabled list, but they’re about to be nearly at full strength. Bradley Zimmer will be activated before the game on Friday, manager Terry Francona said, to take Bieber’s roster spot. Zimmer has missed the last 19 games with a bruised left rib.
Then on Tuesday, before the start of a two-game series against Milwaukee, Lonnie Chisenhall and Brandon Guyer are due back. Chisenhall played in only seven games before suffering a right calf strain. Guyer strained the left side of his neck on May 19. Tyler Naquin remains out with a strained left hamstring.