Sunday, June 23, 2013

Minnesota Twins vs Cleveland Indians June 23, 2013

It hasn't always been easy, but the Cleveland Indians have managed to find ways to win of late. Trying for a fifth consecutive victory, the Indians look to complete a sweep of the visiting Minnesota Twins on Sunday.

Michael Bourn had three hits with three RBIs as Cleveland (38-35) took advantage of five walks to score six times in the first inning, then hung on for an 8-7 win over Minnesota on Saturday.

Though the Indians have won eight of 10 since a season-high eight-game slide, it's been a challenge to succeed at times during the stretch.

They scored in bottom of the ninth for a 2-1 win over Washington on June 14; rallied from a pair of two-run deficits to beat Kansas City 4-3 on Tuesday and came back from two down to beat the Royals 6-3 the next game.

Cleveland had to sweat out Saturday's contest which it led 8-3 after five innings.

"We won the game," Vinnie Pestano said after he converted his third straight save opportunity despite allowing two ninth-inning runs. "That's the bottom line. If I go out there and give up five runs and we win by one, we win by one." Bourn is batting .429 (9 for 21) in six games, including 5 for 8 in this series. Making his return from serving a seven-game suspension for throwing at the New York Yankees' Kevin Youkilis earlier this season, scheduled Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco (0-2, 8.40 ERA) allowed a run and four hits in 7 1/3 innings but did not factor in the decision of a 2-1 loss to Kansas City on Monday. Carrasco, who missed all last season while recovering from elbow surgery, is 0-7 with an 8.08 ERA in nine starts since his last win June 29, 2011. However, his latest performance provides a reason to believe that drought could soon end. "That was what we were hoping for," manager Terry Francona said. "That kind of performance." The right-hander has posted a 1.82 ERA while going 1-1 in four starts versus Minnesota (33-38), which looks to avoid a fifth straight road loss and first sweep of at least three games at Cleveland since Sept. 15-17, 2008. Chris Parmelee had three hits, including two solo homers, Joe Mauer hit his eighth and Justin Morneau added two hits Saturday for a Twins team that swept the Chicago White Sox prior to this set. "Nobody should be hanging their heads," said Parmelee, who had four hits in his previous 27 at-bats before Saturday. "Our pitching wasn't there at the beginning, but we went out and played extremely well. "We've got a day game coming up, and we'll come back and get them (Sunday)." Mauer is batting .391 with two homers and four RBIs in five games. Scheduled Minnesota starter Mike Pelfrey (3-6, 6.11) is 0-3 with a 5.95 ERA in eight starts since he allowed a run and four hits while striking out seven in six innings of a 4-2 victory at Cleveland on May 5. The right-hander has not factored in his last three decisions, though the Twins won the last two. He gave up four runs and a season-high 10 hits over six-plus innings during Tuesday's 7-5 win over the Chicago White Sox. Pelfrey has a 4.66 ERA in those three June starts after he posted a 6.66 ERA over his first 11.


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