MINNEAPOLIS — Zach McAllister won for the first time in almost three months, Ryan Raburn homered and the Indians beat the Minnesota Twins 5-2 on Tuesday night.
Cleveland had lost seven of its last eight and posted a 6.00 ERA during that stretch.
Coming off his worst start of the season on Thursday against Detroit, McAllister (5-7) bounced back and held Minnesota to one earned run and four hits in six innings. He struck out seven in his first win since May 23.
Josh Willingham homered for the Twins in the second inning, Minnesota’s 23rd straight run from a home run.
The Indians led 3-1 in the sixth when Samuel Deduno (7-6) hit Carlos Santana in the toe with a pitch. Plate umpire Adam Hamari initially ruled that Deduno’s pitch didn’t hit him, but awarded Santana first base after conferring with the rest of his crew and changing the call.
Rayburn then lined a home run into the left-center field bleachers.
Minnesota cut it to 5-2 in the sixth when Joe Mauer scored from first base on a single by Justin Morneau that skipped under the glove of center fielder Michael Bourn for an error and rolled all the way to the warning track.
It was the first time the Twins scored without a home run since Aug. 7.
But McAllister fanned Willingham and Oswaldo Arcia to end the inning and strand Mauer at third, getting several pats on the back from teammates as he walked back to the dugout.
McAllister’s strong start was much needed for an Indians team that entered Tuesday in third place instead of second in the AL Central for the first time since June 17.
After McAllister exited, Cody Allen and Joe Smith each pitched a perfect inning. Chris Perez allowed a two-out double to Arcia in the ninth, but retired Trevor Plouffe to end the game and record his 19th save in 22 chances.
Bourn, Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley added RBIs for Cleveland.
The Twins went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position and are now 3-for-48 in those situations over their last six games.
The Indians signed former Blue Jays’ No. 1 pick David Cooper to a minor league deal and sent him to their spring training complex in Goodyear, Ariz. The 26-year-old first-baseman is expected to join Triple-A Columbus later this month.
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