Carlos Santana’s grand slam in the top of the 10th inning sent the visiting Cleveland Indians to a pivotal 7-3 win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
Santana took Twins closer Taylor Rogers (2-3) deep over the wall in left-center with nobody out, and the Twins, who’d rallied to send the game into extra innings, could not recover in losing for the fifth time in their last six games.
The Indians left Minneapolis with a series win and tied atop the American League Central with the Twins after taking three of four games in the series. Cleveland trailed Minnesota by 11 1/2 games on June 2; now both teams are 71-47.
The two rivals play each other six more times before the regular season ends.
The Twins forced extra innings with two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning against Indians closer Brad Hand (5-3), who blew his third save chance of the season but ended up the winning pitcher.
Marwin Gonzalez doubled in Luis Arraez with one out to tie the score 3-3, with pinch-runner Ehire Adrianza thrown out at home plate on the play to keep the Twins from walking off as winners.
The Indians loaded the bases quickly against Rogers and got Santana’s 25th home run of the season.
Indians starter Aaron Civale held the Twins to a run on four hits through six innings, and Greg Allen homered and scored twice.
Civale struck out five without a walk, and has allowed just two earned runs in the first three starts of his major league career. With 18 innings pitched overall, he lowered his earned run average to 1.00.
Allen homered off Twins starter Jose Berrios, who got off to a rough start. After the home run, Yasiel Puig doubled in Santana for a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
The Twins made it 2-1 on an Arraez sacrifice fly in the second inning, but Cleveland responded with Santana’s run-scoring single in the third.
Berrios settled down and retired 12 in a row before departing after six innings. He allowed three earned runs on six hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
—Field Level Media