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Encarnacion homers twice as Tribe sweeps Twins

By La Velle E. Neal III • Jun 18, 2017 at 5:32 PM

MINNEAPOLIS — Edwin Encarnacion drove in every run for Cleveland on Sunday as the Indians held off the Twins 5-2 to complete a four-game sweep of the weekend series.

Right-hander Trevor Bauer held the Twins to four hits over seven-plus innings to improve to 6-5 on the season. The Twins scored just seven runs in the four games.

Cleveland came to town a team looking to get on a roll, and the Indians did just that by dominating their AL Central rivals. The pitching staff, again, was unable to keep the Indians off bases, and the offense sputtered all weekend.

After spending 49 days in first place, the Twins will wake up Monday in second place for the second straight day. And their faults could lead to a further descent down the division standings.

The Indians made solid contact and hit for power. They kept the Twins bats quiet and made sparkling play after sparkling play. By outclassing the Twins all weekend, they looked like the team that played in the World Series last season.

The Twins have Monday’s scheduled off day to recover before opening a three-game series against the White Sox on Tuesday.

Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson was not terrible on Sunday but had his moments when he got too much of the plate. Two of those moments occurred with Encarnacion at the plate.

Gibson threw an 94 miles per hour fastball down the middle of the plate in the fourth inning, and Encarnacion bashed it an estimated 443 feet to left for the first run of the game. After a leadoff walk in the sixth, Gibson flipped a breaking ball over the middle of the plate to Encarnacion, who hit high drive that floated into the second deck in left for a 3-0 Cleveland lead.

That was all that Gibson yielded on Sunday. Cleveland added a run off Tyler Duffey in the seventh — on an RBI single by Encarnacion.

That was plenty for Cleveland, since the Twins offense was nonexistent for most of the weekend.

The Twins scored twice in the second on an RBI double by Eduardo Escobar then an RBI single by Eddie Rosario. Their big chance came in the eighth.

Pinch hitter Robbie Grossman walked. Brian Dozier, not in the starting lineup for the first time in over a month, grabbed a bat but flew out to right. Jorge Polanco popped put to short.

But Joe Mauer drew a two-out walk to put two men on for Miguel Sano. As the announced crowd of 35,039 looked on, Sano flew out to right to end the inning.

The Indians added a run in the ninth on Encarnacion’s sacrifice fly.

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©2017 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

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* * *

By Reflector Sports Staff

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The Cleveland Indians extended their win-streak to five games after a 5-2 win over Minnesota on Sunday.

The five-game winning streak ties their longest of the 2017 campaign.

Edwin Encarnacion broke the 0-0 tie in the top of the fourth inning by blasting a towering drive into the upper deck in left field for a solo home run. Encarnacion was not done, however, as he came back in the sixth inning with two-run shot to left to put the game at 3-0. In the seventh inning, he singled home Jason Kipnis, who reached on a walk. Encarnacion had a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in Jose Ramirez, finishing the game with five RBI on three hits. He also has 16 home runs on the season.

Ramirez had himself a series, cranking out 11 hits over the four-game span. Andrew Zimmer and Roberto Perez each added two hits on Sunday.

Trevor Bauer (6-5) earned the win on the mound, pitching seven innings. He allowed just two earned runs on four hits and two walks, while fanning eight.

The Twins’ two runs came in the seventh inning when Eduardo Escobar doubled to score Kennys Vargas. Escobar then came around to score on a single by Eddie Rosario with two outs in the inning. Rosario was caught in a run-down between first and second base to end the inning.

Andrew Miller tossed for the Indians (36-31) in the ninth inning, giving up a walk and striking out one for his first save of the season.

The Indians are back in action today as they begin a four-game series against Baltimore (34-34).

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