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Bullpen goes from bad to worse Wednesday for Tribe

By JOE NOGA • Updated Aug 29, 2018 at 11:41 PM

CLEVELAND — The Indians' bullpen has had better days and nights.

On Wednesday afternoon the Indians announced that left-hander Andrew Miller had been placed on the disabled list with a sore left shoulder. It was Miller's third trip to the DL this season.

A few hours later Cody Allen, struggling no matter where he's used, allowed a two-run single by Randy Grossman in the seventh inning as the Twins came from behind to beat the Indians, 4-3, at Progressive Field.

Manager Terry Francona's plan for the pen ever since Miller was activated in early August was to take it slow and let all the pieces come together by mid to late September. Well, no one is exactly sure when or if Miller will be back and Allen is in the midst of one of the biggest funks of his career.

The franchise leader in saves entered the seventh with a 3-2 lead and retired the first two men he faced. But Allen walked Logan Forsythe, gave up a single to Eddie Rosario and walked Miguel Sano to load the bases. Grossman, down in the count 1-2, sent a 93 mph fastball into right field for a 4-3 lead.

Allen (4-6) has allowed six earned runs in his last five games covering four innings. He's 0-2 with two blown saves in those games.

Trevor Hildenberger retired the Indians in order in the ninth for his fifth save.

The Indians took a 2-0 lead in the first on consecutive two-out singles by Yonder Alonso and Melky Cabrera off rookie Kohl Stewart. Francisco Lindor opened first with a single after he had four hits in Tuesday's 8-1 win.

Stewart retired the next two batters as Lindor stole second. Edwin Encarnacion walked and Alonso singled for a 1-0 lead with Encarnacion taking third on an error by center fielder Jake Cave. Cabrera made it 2-0 with a single to left to give him 16 RBI in his last 16 games.

Rookie catcher Willians Astudillo put the Twins or the scoreboard with a leadoff homer in the third off Adam Plutko. It was his first big-league homer.

The Twins tied the score in the fifth on doubles by Joe Mauer and Eddie Rosario. Mauer doubled to right with one out and scored on Rosario's two-out double to deep center to make it 2-2.

It was the 1,000th run of Mauer's career, putting him in third place in franchise history behind Kirby Puckett at 1,071 and Harmon Killebrew at 1,047.

Stewart, in just his fourth big league start, put together three scoreless innings after throwing 30 pitches in the first inning. The Indians finally caught up to him in the fifth when Encarnacion hit a two-out double of right field field wall near the foul pole to score Jose Ramirez for a 3-2 lead.

It was Encarnacion's ninth RBI in the last seven games since he came off the disabled list. Not a bad way to celebrate Edwin Encarnacion bobblehead night.

What it means

Tyler White hit a walk-off homer in the ninth inning Wednesday afternoon to give Houston a 5-4 win over Oakland and stretch its lead in the AL West to 2 1/2 games. The loss dropped the Indians to six games behind the Astros for possible home-field advantage in a best-of-five ALDS between the two teams.

The Astros won the season series against Oakland, 12-7.

The pitches

Stewart threw 94 pitches, 56 (60 percent) for strikes. Plutko threw 95 pitches, 63 (66 percent) for strikes.

Thanks for coming

The Twins and Indians drew 20,398 to Progressive Field on Wednesday night. First pitch was at 7:10 p.m. with a temperature of 74 degrees.

The Indians have drawn 1,540,246 fans in 64 home dates this year.

Up next

Right-hander Mike Clevinger (9-7, 3.30) will start Thursday afternoon for the Indians in the season finale against the Twins. He'll face right-hander Jake Odorizzi (5-8, 4.38) at 1:10 p.m. This game will be seen on Facebook and carried on WLKR.

Clevinger is coming off a six-inning, no-decision effort in a 5-4 loss to Kansas City. This will be his third start against the Twins this season. He has no record and a 3.45 ERA against them.

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