EditorsNote: Corrects to Ludlow’s 2nd HR in 4 games in graf 7; corrects count on Cruz HR and clarifies HR trimmed Twins’ deficit in last graf; other minor edits
Miguel Sano belted a grand slam in the eighth inning as the visiting Minnesota Twins recorded a 9-5 victory over the Cleveland Indians to complete a sweep of their doubleheader on Saturday.
Eddie Rosario launched a two-run homer in the first inning, and Nelson Cruz followed suit in the sixth for the Twins (91-57), who boosted their lead to 5 1/2 games ahead of second-place Cleveland in the American League Central.
Rookie Oscar Mercado crushed a two-run homer to highlight his three-hit performance, and Jordan Luplow also went deep for the Indians (86-63), who dropped a 2-0 decision in the opening game. That contest served as a makeup game for the Friday night tilt that was postponed after two innings because of rain.
Jorge Polanco, who belted a two-run homer in the first game, sent an offering from Oliver Perez (2-3) off the wall in left field for an RBI double to forge a tie at 5-5 in the eighth inning. Two walks loaded the bases for Sano, who sent a first-pitch slider from Nick Goody over the left-center field wall for his 28th homer and first this season against Cleveland.
The five-run outburst allowed Brusdar Graterol (1-0) to pick up his first career victory. The 21-year-old struck out three in two scoreless innings.
The Indians answered Rosario’s 29th homer of the season with two runs of their own in the first inning, as Carlos Santana plated Francisco Lindor with an RBI single before Luplow worked a five-pitch walk with the bases full.
In the third, Luplow deposited a 2-0 fastball from Lewis Thorpe halfway up the bleachers in left field to stake Cleveland to a 3-2 lead. Luplow’s homer was his 13th of the season and second in four games.
Mercado upped the advantage to 5-2 in the fourth inning, as he sent a 1-0 changeup from Thorpe over the wall in left field for his 11th homer of the season and first since Aug. 18.
Cruz trimmed the Twins’ deficit back to one in the sixth inning by golfing an 0-2 curveball from Carlos Carrasco over the wall in left field.
—Field Level Media