Twins top Indians

Published 5:05 am Wednesday, September 10, 2014

CLEVELAND — Minnesota starter Trevor May overcame being bombarded by tiny insects on the mound.

The Twins wouldn’t let the Indians swat them away.

Oswaldo Arcia hit a two-run homer to cap Minnesota’s four-run fourth inning against Trevor Bauer, and the Twins dented Cleveland’s playoff hopes with a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night.

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The last-place Twins, using a lineup of young players and starting May and his 8.38 ERA, won for just the fourth time in 16 games.

In doing so, they handed a damaging loss to the Indians, who failed to make up any ground in the AL Central and can’t afford to lose to the league’s weaker teams.

“Our job is to go out and compete against these teams that are in a pennant race,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “They’re battling and we have to go out and play A-grade baseball. We owe it to the rest of the league to give everything we have.”

May (2-4) allowed two runs in five innings for his second consecutive win. The right-hander also had to contend with those pesky “midges,” the tiny flying bugs that infamously baffled the New York Yankees in the 2007 playoffs.

“It seemed like I got hit in the face by about 300 flies,” May said. “It was incredible. I came in and my entire neck was covered.”

Arcia’s homer off Bauer (5-8) made it 4-2, and the Twins hung on despite doing nothing else against the right-hander. Bauer gave up just four hits — all in a row with two outs in the fourth — over eight innings. He walked one and struck out eight.

Minnesota’s bullpen combined to hold the Indians to one run over four innings, with Jared Burton, filling in for injured closer Glen Perkins, working the ninth for his second save.

Reliever Brian Duensing said the midges were as challenging as Cleveland’s hitters.

“It was kind of difficult, I’ve never dealt with that before,” he said. “I remember that playoff game back in the day when they had a boatload of them out there. They weren’t like that in the bullpen when you were warming up or anything like that so you got out there and it was kind of a little different.

“You just kind of blink a lot and keep your mouth closed.”

Bauer dominated every inning except the fourth, when the Twins tagged him for the four runs on four consecutive two-out hits — the last Arcia’s two-run homer.

In the first, Bauer walked leadoff hitter Jordan Schafer but then picked him off first. He then retired 10 straight before Joe Mauer dropped a double to left. Kennys Vargas followed with an RBI double and Trevor Plouffe’s run-scoring single tied it at 2.

Vargas slid awkwardly into home and had barely walked down the dugout steps when Arcia unloaded on Bauer’s first pitch, driving it into the seats in right-center for his 16th homer.

“We had really one big inning offensively,” Gardenhire said. “Other than that we didn’t do too much. But our pitching did really well. It was an exciting game for us. It was pretty intense in our dugout. We’ve had trouble finishing off games and tonight we were able to do it.”


Schafer batted leadoff for the first time since coming over from Atlanta in early August. He’s hitting .312 (29 for 93) with five doubles, 11 stolen bases and 11 walks in 30 games with Minnesota.


Arcia has hit 11 of his 16 homers in the past 38 games. Over the span since July 23, he also has nine doubles, a triple and 30 RBIs.


Twins: Rookie OF Danny Santana (lower back) took batting practice from both sides of the plate, and came away a little stiff. He strained his back Saturday against the Angels when he tried to throw out David Freese at home. Gardenhire said Santana is feeling better but remains day to day.


Cleveland’s T.J. House (2-3), who held the White Sox to one run in seven innings last week, will start against Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson (11-10) on Wednesday.