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Cleveland Indians’ Carlos Santana slides safely into second base as Minnesota Twins shortstop Eduardo Escobar gestures to the umpre during the second inning Tuesday at Target Field in Minneapolis. USA Today Sports

Santana, Indians get best of Twins

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MINNEAPOLIS – After beating the shift with a bunt base hit in the third inning, Carlos Santana decided he would go a little farther with his next one.

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The Cleveland Indians first baseman had four hits, including a mammoth solo home run in the fifth inning, leading Cleveland to an 8-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday at Target Field.

“The kid has got super light-tower power,” Indians designated hitter Nick Swisher said. “It’s nothing we haven’t seen before. When he gets a ball up in the air to that pull side, there ain’t no stopping that ball.”

Santana doubled in the second inning and scored the game’s first run later in the frame. He also doubled again in the ninth to drive in the final two runs for the Indians, needing only a triple for the cycle.

Santana’s big night gave plenty of support to Cleveland right-hander Danny Salazar, who allowed one run on six hits and three walks in five innings. Recalled from Triple-A Columbus before the game, Salazar improved to 2-4 with the big club this season.

The only real danger Salazar ran into came in the bottom of the second, when three straight one-out walks loaded the bases. But Salazar came back to strike out the next two hitters to escape the jam.

“Besides those walks, he actually threw a lot of strikes,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “I think that kind of skewed it a little bit, put him in position for a tough inning. But when he did run into trouble, I thought he really reached back for his best stuff.”

Swisher had his first three-hit game of the season and first since Sept. 13. He has four multi-hit games against Minnesota in nine games this year.

“I don’t care about my stats as long as we keep winning,” Swisher said.

Brian Dozier led the Twins’ attack, going 3-for-5 with a double and a solo homer, his career-high 19th homer. He grounded out to third base in his final at-bat, in the bottom of the ninth.

The Twins went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

“We’re not hitting,” Dozier said. “One time it’s not getting guys on base to drive in runs, and the next time guys are getting on base and we can’t come through with a two-out hit, myself included. We left a lot of guys on base. We haven’t done a good job of putting two and two together, and that’s the key.”

Twins righty Yohan Pino (1-3) went 6Z\c innings, giving up four runs on seven hits.

The Indians were on the board first, plating three runs in the top of the second. The first three batters reached. After Yan Gomes struck out, Daniel Murphy singled sharply to right field, driving in two. Mike Aviles followed with a sacrifice fly to center.

“You can’t win games if you fall behind early,” Dozier said. “Not saying it’s been solely just pitching or offense; it’s a group effort. We’ve been falling behind early but good offensive teams can find ways to scrap along for nine innings. It seems like, if we get down early, we’re not very good.”

After a one-out single in the fourth inning, Minnesota’s Oswaldo Arcia scored on a fielder’s choice to make it 3-1.

Cleveland got the run back in the next half inning on Santana’s massive blast onto the right-field plaza, his 15th homer of the season, making it 4-1.

Dozier’s homer in the seventh made it a two-run game, but the Indians blew the game open in the ninth on an RBI double by Gomes and a two-run single by Chris Dickerson.

CLE ab r h bi MIN ab r h bi

Kipnis 2b 4 1 0 0 Santana cf 4 0 1 0

Dckrson lf 5 1 1 2 Dozier 2b 5 1 3 1

Brantly cf 4 0 0 0 Plouffe 3b 5 0 0 0

Santana 1b 5 2 4 2 Morales 1b 4 0 1 0

Chsnhll 3b 4 1 0 0 Wllnghm dh 4 0 0 0

Swisher dh 4 2 3 0 Suzuki c 3 0 1 0

Gomes c 4 1 2 1 Arcia rf 2 1 1 0

Murphy rf 4 0 1 2 Nunez ph 1 0 1 0

Aviles ss 3 0 0 1 Escobar ss 2 0 1 0

Parml ph 1 0 0 0

Fuld lf 4 0 0 1

Totals 37 8 11 8 Totals 35 2 9 2

Cleveland 030 010 004 — 8

Minnesota 000 100 100 — 2

LOB—Minnesota 10, Cleveland 6. 2B—Dozier (17), Y.Gomes (16), C.Santana (15), Swisher (18). 3B—Nunez (2). HR—Dozier (19), C.Santana (15). SB—Kipnis (15).

IP H R ER BB SO

Cleveland

Salazar W, 2-4 5 6 1 1 3 6

Crockett H, 2 1 0 0 0 0 1

Atchison H, 6 1 X\c 2 1 1 0 2

Rzepczynski 0 1 0 0 0 0

Allen H, 9 Z\c 0 0 0 0 1

Carrasco 1 0 0 0 1 0

Minnesota

Pino L, 1-3 6 Z\c 7 4 4 0 5

Duensing 1 X\c 0 0 0 0 3

Guerrier 1 4 4 4 2 0

Inherited runners-scored—Allen 1-0, Crockett 1-0. HBP—Chisenhall (by Pino).

Umpires—Home, D.J. Reyburn; First, Will Little; Second, Brian O’Nora; Third, Jim Wolf.

T—3:6. A—28,291 (42,035)

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