Clevinger deals, but Indians shutout by Twins 2-0

The Indians fall to 86-62 on the season

James Rapien
September 14, 2019 - 4:03 pm
CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 14: Starting pitcher Mike Clevinger #52 of the Cleveland Indians pitches during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins during the first game of a double header at Progressive Field on September 14, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

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CLEVELAND, OH – The Indians’ bid for a fourth straight American League Central Division championship took a big blow on Saturday afternoon.

The Twins beat the Tribe 2-0, to take a commanding 4½ game lead in the AL Central. It's the 13th time Cleveland has been shut out this season. 

"They pieced it together and they never let us see somebody twice," manager Terry Francona said.

The Indians finished with just five hits (all singles) and never could get into a rhythm against Minnesota’s pitching staff. The Twins relied on their bullpen, using five relievers in the game.

Mike Clevinger pitched well for the Tribe, allowing two runs in eight innings. He finished with 10 strikeouts and issued one walk. Clevinger gave up a 2-run homer to Jorge Polanco in the third inning, which was the difference in the game. It was Clevinger’s sixth double-digit strikeout game of the season and the 11th of his career.

"Seems like every start he gets better and better," Roberto Perez said. "We had a great game plan against them. Polanco just got that changeup and hit it out, but Clevinger has been outstanding for us in the second half."

The Indians loaded the bases in the third inning, but Polanco made a diving catch to rob Carlos Santana of a single that ended the inning.

"I feel bad for Santana. We had bases loaded, we got runners moving and if that ball goes into left field we're tied," Francona said. "He (Santana) just leaned on three balls today and he got nothing to show for it."

Oscar Mercado and Yasiel Puig both singled in the eighth, but Santana and Greg Allen struck out to end the threat. Cleveland left eight runners on base.

Francisco Lindor finished 0-for-4, with three foul pop outs. The Indians fall to 86-62 on the season.

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Both teams will have to regroup quickly. They play game two of their day-night doubleheader at 7:10 p.m. on Saturday evening. It’s a bullpen game for both teams.

“It depends on how we get through the first game,” Terry Francona said when asked who would start game two. “If you have a chance to win the first game, you do that, recognizing that you have another one to play. We’ll get to that. I’m sure it’s the same way with the Twins.”