Roberto Perez belted a go-ahead, three-run home run in the sixth inning as the host Cleveland Indians recorded a 7-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon to salvage the finale of their three-game series.
Mike Freeman added a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh inning for the Indians (87-63), who responded to Saturday’s doubleheader sweep by trimming their deficit to 4 1/2 games behind first-place Minnesota in the American League Central.
Eddie Rosario launched a pair of solo shots and LaMonte Wade and Miguel Sano also went deep for the Twins (91-58), who also had four homers in the two games Saturday.
Wade’s first career homer gave Minnesota a 4-2 lead in the top of the sixth, however some shoddy defense in the bottom of the frame led to the undoing of Fernando Romero (0-1). Rosario misplayed a catchable ball to give Jason Kipnis a double, and an error by second baseman Jonathan Schoop two batters later allowed Kipnis to score to trim Cleveland’s deficit to one.
Perez made the Twins pay further by belting a 1-0 fastball from Kyle Gibson over the wall in center field to stake the Indians to a 6-4 lead. Perez’s homer was his 23rd of the season. His previous career high was eight.
Rosario, who launched a solo homer in the sixth off Shane Bieber, did the same in the seventh off Nick Wittgren (5-1) to bring Minnesota back within one at 6-5.
Cleveland right-hander James Hoyt retired the side in order in the eighth inning and struck out two in the ninth before Oliver Perez secured his first save of the season after inducing Rosario to pop out to end the game.
Cleveland scratched out a pair of runs in the first inning before Sano halved the deficit in the third with his second homer in as many games.
Sano, who belted a go-ahead grand slam in the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader, launched a 1-0 fastball from Bieber over the high wall in left field. Sano’s 29th homer of the season set a new career high, eclipsing the 28 he hit in 2017.
Rosario’s first homer tied the game at 2 before Willians Astudillo walked and Wade sent a first-pitch fastball over the wall in right-center field.
—Field Level Media