Twins drop two to Cleveland

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 19, 2011 - 10:19 AM

The Twins, other than Joe Mauer, struggled to find offense in a sweep that dropped them seven games back.

view larger photos


Joe Mauer had six hits in Monday's day-night doubleheader against Cleveland and would have had seven had the hard bouncer he hit in his final at-bat not deflected off Indians reliever Rafael Perez.

As Perez recovered the ball and threw to first, Mauer hustled down the line and dived headfirst, trying to elude the tag from Carlos Santana.

Mauer was out, but when he got up, with dirt caking the front of his uniform, the Twins had to hope the former MVP was back to his former self.

On a stifling day at Target Field, the Twins got swept as Cleveland rode seven strong innings from David Huff for a 5-2 afternoon victory in Game 1 before Fausto Carmona pitched six innings in Game 2, leading the Indians to a 6-3 victory.

The losses pushed the Twins seven games behind first-place Cleveland in the AL Central with two games remaining in the series.

"It was a long day," Mauer said. "A little longer when you lose."

But Mauer not only raised his batting average from .260 to .290, he answered some questions about his durability.

Mauer, who missed 58 games because of bilateral leg weakness, got his second career start at first base in Game 1. Once again he was error-free, and made two diving stops.

Asked to compare it to July 7, when he made his debut at first base in Chicago, Mauer said: "Leading up to it, I was probably in a better state. It's only the second time I've been over there; there's still some nerves. Yeah, it's getting easier."

Mauer made it look easy at the plate, going 3-for-4, but besides a two-run homer from Michael Cuddyer in the ninth inning, the Twins couldn't get anything going offensively to support losing pitcher Anthony Swarzak.

For Game 2, Mauer was behind the plate as lefthander Scott Diamond took the mound for his major league debut.

"Joe calmed me down a lot," Diamond said.

Diamond kept the Twins in the game, leaving with Cleveland leading 3-2 in the seventh inning, but the Indians pulled away late.

"Both kids actually threw pretty well today," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Swarzak had one bad inning, and Diamond really threw the ball well for us. The runs they scored [against Diamond] were on two or three bloops. Overall, he did a really good job for us."

Mauer went 3-for-4 in Game 2, including a first-inning double that short-hopped the left field wall.

"Just trying to keep it simple," Mauer said. "I was trying to do a little too much, but days like this with the heat, you're a little more fatigued, and I guess you stay within yourself a little bit. It was good to get on base and get a couple hits, but I'd rather take some wins."

Gardenhire could see Mauer's determination in that final at-bat, which came in the eighth inning with the Twins trailing 4-2. All of a sudden, Mauer was making like Nick Punto, trying to dive into first base.

"He's swinging good, he's playing hard," Gardenhire said. "You see him diving into first base, trying to beat out a play there, The guy's body -- it was a long day, in the hot sun, he played two games -- and I think it shows a little bit about his courage."

Said Mauer: "If I get on there, Cuddyer could hit a home run and tie the ballgame. That's what I was trying to do, get on base, just trying to do everything you can."

Of course, the next question is how Mauer's body will respond to playing 18 innings on a day like Monday. Mauer sounds determined to be back in the lineup again Tuesday night, when the Twins face righthander Justin Masterson.

"We'll see what happens," Mauer said. "Long day today, but hopefully get back in there and get a win."

  • related content

  • Swarzak likely lands another opportunity

    Tuesday July 19, 2011

    The righthander gave up six hits and three runs in six the doubleheader opener.

  • Twins-Indians doubleheader recap

    Tuesday July 19, 2011

    GAME 1 RECAPIMPACT PLAYERSGame 1David Huff, IndiansHe held the Twins to five hits and two walks in seven shutout innings.Game...

  • Joe Mauer doubles.


    Up next: 7:10 p.m. tonight vs. Cleveland • Target Field • TV: FSN (1500ESPN)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question