John Gant recorded his first win in nearly 3 1/2 months after tossing five strong innings on Tuesday, lifting the visiting Minnesota Twins to a 3-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
Minnesota’s Brent Rooker homered to lead off the seventh inning and Andrelton Simmons and Luis Arraez each drove in a run. Simmons and Miguel Sano each had two of the seven hits for the Twins (61-77), who have won three in a row overall and nine of 14 contests against the Indians (68-68) this season.
Cleveland’s Aaron Civale (10-3) allowed one run on three hits and struck out six in 4 2/3 innings after being activated from the 60-day injured list prior to the game. He was making his first start in the majors since spraining the middle finger on his right hand during a game against the Chicago Cubs on June 21.
Gant (5-9) scattered three hits and struck out seven batters before exiting after 96 pitches. He snapped a six-game losing streak and posted his first win since working five innings of a 4-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on May 26.
Three relievers struck out five batters over three innings to bridge the gap to Alex Colome, who retired the side in the ninth to secure his 13th save of the season.
Max Kepler worked a walk-off Civale to lead off the fifth inning and then promptly stole second base. Civale struck out the next two batters, but Simmons’ single up the middle allowed Kepler to scamper home and give Minnesota a 1-0 lead.
Two innings later, Rooker doubled the advantage by depositing a first-pitch cutter from Alex Young over the wall in center field. The homer was Rooker’s seventh of the season and first since Aug. 14.
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Arraez’s triple to right field with two out in the ninth inning scored Simmons to give the Twins a 3-0 lead.
Cleveland nearly opened the scoring in the third after loading the bases with two outs, but Franmil Reyes’ bid for a grand slam ended on the warning track with an inning-ending flyout. Reyes had homered in each of his previous three games.
Also on Tuesday, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli and his wife, Allie, welcomed a baby girl, Louisa, in Minneapolis. Baldelli left the team late in Sunday’s series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays to be with his wife.
–Field Level Media