Hernandez comes out flat in latest Twins loss as Indians roll

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 28, 2013 - 12:34 AM

The race for the American League wild cards is growing incredibly tense during the season’s final weekend. But Pedro Hernandez removed most of the tension from Target Field on Friday night.

The Twins lefthander gave up six runs and recorded only five outs, and the Indians were able to spend the rest of the night watching the scoreboard while going through the motions of a 12-6 victory over the Twins. With the victory, and Tampa Bay’s loss in Toronto, Cleveland moved into a tie with the Rays for the two wild-card spots, while Texas, which defeated the Angels, remains one game back with two to play.

The Indians can clinch a postseason berth Saturday with a victory and a Rangers loss.

The Twins couldn’t do much to spoil their pennant drive Friday, not after five of the first seven hitters Hernandez faced whacked hits, four of them for extra bases. The Indians added three more runs in the second off Hernandez and Shairon Martis, leaving the announced 24,074 — the smallest non-April, non-makeup crowd in the stadium this year — with little to cheer for.

“Just a bad night,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “They were all over him right from the get-go.”

By the time it was over, the Twins had given up more than 10 runs for the 10th time this season — something the Twins have done just once all year.

Pedro Florimon homered in the fifth inning, and the Twins added three more runs in the sixth to make it 9-6, but Cleveland kept adding runs against unlucky Liam Hendriks. The Australian righthander became the first Twins pitcher to strike out more than seven hitters in a game this season, racking up eight in 4⅔ innings of relief. But he gave up five runs, too.

Two of them scored when Ryan Doumit’s sliding catch of Mike Aviles’ bloop to right bounced out of his glove, and two more scored on Drew Stubbs’ two-run homer in the ninth, after the Twins believed Stubbs had not checked his swing on a 2-2 fastball.

“He actually struck the guy out. He just didn’t get the check-swing call,” Gardenhire said. “But you can’t blame the umpires when you play the way we do.”

Pinto injures hand

Josmil Pinto’s strong first month may have come to a premature end Friday night.

The rookie catcher, who has impressed the Twins with his opposite-field power and overall hitting ability, was hit on his right hand by a Corey Kluber pitch in the fourth inning, and he was removed from the game once the inning ended.

Pinto underwent X-rays, but no break was found. “Just a little bruise,” Gardenhire said. “It was scary. It was barking on him. But he should be fine.”

But with only two games remaining, it’s possible the bruise on his throwing hand could keep him out of the lineup this weekend.

Etc.

• One thing the Twins have accomplished this weekend: they knocked Chris Perez out of his role as Indians closer, at least temporarily. After giving up four runs in the ninth inning Thursday, Perez and manager Terry Francona agreed he shouldn’t be closing while these games are so critical to Cleveland’s postseason chances. Francona said he will use several relievers, depending upon the situation. Justin Masterson, trying to work his way back from an oblique injury, is one candidate, along with Joe Smith, Marc Rzepczynski, Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen.

• Twins play-by-play man Dick Bremer has a busy weekend, and not just because he’s handing Fox Sports’ regional coverage of Saturday’s game with Eric Karros. Bremer will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Upper Midwest Regional Emmy board at their banquet on Saturday night, and after Sunday’s season finale, he will be inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

  • related content

  • Brunansky hoping first year as Twins coach isn't also his last

    Saturday September 28, 2013

    The Twins offense took a step backward this year under the tutelage of former star Tom Brunansky.

  • Photo gallery: Cleveland 12, Twins 6

    Saturday September 28, 2013

    Cleveland 12, Twins 6 in action from Target Field on Friday, September 28

  • Postgame: September pitching has been awful

    Saturday September 28, 2013

    Rotation has been mediocre all season, but starters have failed to last 5 innings a dozen times this month

  • Minnesota Twins pitcher Pedro Hernandez throws against the Cleveland I...

  • Minnesota Twins' left fielder Darin Mastroianni makes a futile dive on...

  • Josmil Pinto gathered himself after he was hit in the right hand by a pitch from Corey Kluber in the fourth inning Friday night. The Twins rookie catcher soon after left the game, but X-rays were negative.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
4:10 PM ET123456789RHE
MinnesotaK. Correia (4-11)000
ColoradoT. Matzek (1-3)000
@theBallpark
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago WSox - S. Carroll 2:05 PM
Cleveland - Z. McAllister
Atlanta - M. Minor 3:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - E. Jackson
NY Yankees - S. Greene 3:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Arizona - W. Miley 3:05 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
St. Louis - A. Wainwright 3:10 PM
Milwaukee - J. Nelson
Miami - T. Koehler 3:10 PM
NY Mets - D. Matsuzaka
Boston - J. Peavy 3:10 PM
Houston - B. Oberholtzer
Minnesota - K. Correia 3:10 PM
Colorado - T. Matzek
Toronto - D. Hutchison 3:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Detroit - R. Porcello 6:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Washington - S. Strasburg 6:15 PM
Philadelphia - C. Hamels
Pittsburgh - C. Morton 6:15 PM
Cincinnati - M. Leake
LA Angels - J. Weaver 6:15 PM
Texas - M. Mikolas
San Diego - I. Kennedy 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - P. Maholm
Oakland - J. Chavez 9:10 PM
Seattle - H. Iwakuma
Colorado 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 6:00 PM
Toronto FC
Columbus 6:00 PM
Red Bull New York
Chicago 6:30 PM
New England
Sporting Kansas City 6:30 PM
Montreal
Chivas USA 9:00 PM
Vancouver FC
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Winnipeg 34 FINAL
Montreal 33
Ottawa 11 FINAL
Edmonton 27
Calgary 5:30 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 8:30 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 7/17/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 7/18/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Hamilton 7/18/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Montreal 7/19/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Atlanta 6:00 PM
Indiana
Washington 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What are you most looking forward to during All-Star festivities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close