Friday, September 12, 2014
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Indians take two from Twins

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[September 12, 2014]  CLEVELAND -- You win with pitching, and the Indians on Sept. 11 pitched well twice and won twice.

T.J. House worked seven scoreless innings and Carlos Santana hit his second home run of the day and drove in both of Cleveland's runs as the Indians completed a doubleheader sweep of the Minnesota Twins with a 2-0 victory on Thursday at Progressive Field.

"We played two pretty crisp games," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Doubleheaders are hard to win."

The left-handed House gave up four hits, had eight strikeouts and did not issue a walk. He struck out the side in the seventh inning, his last. Cody Allen pitched the ninth inning to pick up his 20th save.

In the first game, Santana and catcher Yan Gomes homered and right-hander Corey Kluber pitched 8 1/3 strong innings as the Indians won 8-2.

Kluber (15-9) gave up two runs and eight hits with seven strikeouts and did not issue a walk. Santana belted a two-run homer in the first inning, and Gomes hit a solo homer in the second and added a two-run double in the third.

Right-hander Kyle Gibson (11-11) started for the Twins but lasted only three innings, giving up seven runs.

There wasn't much hitting by either side in the second game, with House (3-3) out-pitching right-hander Ricky Nolasco (5-11). House and two relievers combined on a four-hitter.

Kluber and House, the Indians' two starters in the doubleheader, combined to pitch 15 1/3 innings with 15 strikeouts and no walks.

"Corey pitched them really well, pounding the zone," House said. "He had a ton of 0-2 and 1-2 counts. I tried to stay in the same place he was."

In his last three starts, House has pitched 21 innings with 20 strikeouts and no walks. Called up from Triple-A Columbus in May, House stepped into the rotation and has been one of the Indians' most consistent pitchers during the last two months.

"It's exciting watching the development of this kid. He's out there doing it," Francona said. "Finding pitching is one of the best feelings in the game. We didn't knock the ball out of the park, but the way we pitched it ended up being a good day for us."

Nolasco, who is 0-5 with a 6.05 ERA in his last seven starts, pitched seven innings, giving up one run and six hits with five strikeouts and no walks.

"My curve was good today and I did a good job filling up the zone. I thought I did pretty good," Nolasco said. "That's the way this game goes. It's hard sometimes. Their guy threw the ball well."

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Leading 1-0, the Indians added an insurance run in the eighth inning off left-hander Caleb Thielbar. Center fielder Michael Bourn reached on a bunt single, left fielder Michael Brantley walked and Santana singled, scoring Bourn to make it 2-0.

House, who matched his career highs in strikeouts and innings in the game, has quietly been a very effective starter for the Indians in the second half of the season. In his last five starts, he is 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA.

"Their kid pitched really well," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He had a lot of nice stuff, made a lot of good pitches. We couldn't get anything going."

Nolasco retired 10 of the first 12 batters he faced. That streak was interrupted with one out in the fourth inning when Santana pounded a 1-2 pitch over the right-field wall for a solo home run, giving Cleveland a 1-0 lead.

Santana has 27 home runs, which matches his career high set in 2011, and is also a club record for a switch-hitter.

NOTES: Indians RHP Corey Kluber (15-9) was the winner in the first game. Kluber's 15 victories are the most by an Indians pitcher since LHP Cliff Lee went 22-3 in his Cy Young Award-winning 2008 season. ... Indians INF-OF Mike Aviles started the second game at third base. It was Aviles' first start since Sept. 1. He had been sidelined since then with a concussion. ... Twins RHP Kyle Gibson, who took the loss in the first game, gave up seven runs in three innings, his shortest outing since giving up seven runs in three innings to the New York Yankees on July 4.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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