Plouffe’s homer lifts Twins past Indians in 11th

Minneapolis, MN ( – Trevor Plouffe’s solo shot in the
11th inning lifted the Minnesota Twins to a 3-2 victory over the Cleveland
Indians in the opener of a three-game set on Friday.

Plouffe crushed a 3-1 hanging cutter off Bryan Shaw (0-1) into the second deck
in left field to ensure Minnesota’s third straight win.

“It felt good right there,” Plouffe said. “We battled all game and scored some
runs off a tough pitcher tonight.”

Chris Herrmann went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored and Blaine Boyer
(1-0) struck out two and worked around a leadoff double in the top of the 11th
to record his first win since Aug. 10, 2010 as a member of the Diamondbacks.

Brandon Moss homered and Cory Kluber got off to a terrific start, but allowed
two runs on three hits and a walk with eight strikeouts over eight innings in
a no-decision.

Kluber was cruising through five perfect innings with a 2-0 lead, but ran into
trouble during the sixth.

Oswaldo Arcia smacked a line drive to right to open the frame, moved to second
on a wild pitch and scored on Herrmann’s grounder to right. Herrmann moved to
second on Moss’ off-target throw home. Jordan Schafer reached on a failed
fielder’s choice and Danny Santana loaded the bases with a bunt.

Herrman raced home to tie the game at 2-apiece after Eduardo Escobar struck
out and Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez was unable to hold on to the pitch.

The Twins failed to capitalize in the eighth, ninth and 10th frames. Kluber
stranded runners on first and third, Zach McAllister pitched around a leadoff
single in the ninth and Shaw struck out Kennys Vargas with the bases loaded to
keep Minnesota alive.

The Indians loaded the bases with two outs in the third, but Lonnie Chisenhall
flied out to the warning track in left to leave them stranded.

In the fifth, Perez and Jose Ramirez each singled to place runners on the
corners to open the frame. Perez raced home on starter Mike Pelfrey’s high
wild pitch. Ramirez moved to second, advanced to third on a fielder’s choice,
but was thrown out at home Escobar off Michael Brantley’s fly out to left to
end the frame.

Tim Stauffer relieved Pelfrey to begin the sixth and had a first-pitch
fastball belted by Moss to left-center field for a solo shot and a 2-0 game.

Game Notes

Pelfrey surrendered just one run on three hits and four walks over five
innings for the Twins … Brantley returned to the lineup for the Indians and
went 2-for-5 after missing six of the first eight games with lower back
stiffness … Kluber has made eight straight starts of at least six innings,
while holding opponents to two runs or fewer … Cleveland will send Danny
Salazar to the mound to face fellow right-hander Phil Hughes Saturday.