Arcia's homer lifts Twins past Indians

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[April 26, 2016]  MINNEAPOLIS -- Having played 16 innings a day earlier, the Minnesota Twins faced the prospect of going to extra innings yet again on Monday against the Cleveland Indians.

Oswaldo Arcia had other plans.

The Twins' powerful left fielder crushed a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Minnesota to a 4-3 win at Target Field.?

Arcia smashed a 1-2 fastball from Indians right hander Zach McAllister (1-1) off the facing of the second deck in right field for his third homer and second game-winning home run this season. Arcia also had a run-scoring single to beat the Los Angeles Angels on April 17.

"The first couple of pitches I was swinging too hard, too big," Arcia said through a translator. "Once I straightened up, the ball came in a little bit. With my short swing, I took it out."

McAllister entered to start the ninth inning, and his fourth pitch ended the game.

Kevin Jepsen (1-3) pitched a scoreless top of the ninth. His blown save in the ninth on Sunday allowed the Washington Nationals to send the game to extras, eventually winning on a solo homer by Chris Heisey in the bottom of the 16th inning.

"After yesterday's very, very challenging loss, to bounce back (was good)," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Some of the pitchers stepped up who I know didn't have a lot, but they went out there and pitched for us."

Both starters lasted just 4 2/3 innings, which forced the Twins to lean on a taxed bullpen.

Cleveland's Yan Gomes hit a solo home run in the top of the eighth inning, the only damage done against Twins relievers.

Gomes' homer tied the game at 3-3, threatening extra innings. The Indians catcher has now homered in consecutive starts.

Indians right-hander Danny Salazar gave up three runs on three hits and four walks, striking out three.

"I was throwing too many balls, getting behind in the count," Salazar said. "That was the problem tonight. The last few games, I've been throwing too many balls and getting behind in the count."

Cleveland's bullpen had allowed one hit in 3 1/3 innings before Arcia's massive homer to end it.

"They gave us a chance," Indians manager Terry Francona said.

Twins lefty Tommy Milone struck out five and walked two, allowing two runs on seven hits.

"Felt pretty good, just used too many pitches," Milone said. "That's been the story here. It's been kind of hard for me to get out of the fifth inning it seems like."

A one-out single by Carlos Santana helped the Indians grab 1-0 lead in the second inning. Two batters later, Santana advanced to second on a wild pitch then scored when Marlon Byrd singled over the head of Twins third baseman Eduardo Nunez.

Byrd was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.

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Cleveland used small ball again in the fifth inning to stretch its lead to 2-0.

Rajai Davis started the two-out rally with a single to center then stole second base. Jason Kipnis followed with a sharp single to center, scoring Davis just ahead of the throw from center fielder Danny Santana.

Minnesota manufactured a two-out rally of its own in the bottom of the fifth, getting a single by Santana and a walk by Nunez. A wild pitch advanced both into scoring position for Brian Dozier, who smacked a two-run double down the third-base line.

"(Salazar) pitched behind in the count, it seemed like all night," Francona said. "His fastball was explosive, but a lot of 3-2 counts. At some point, you figure somebody is going to get a hit. Just thought with the stuff he had tonight, he should go deeper in the game."

An intentional walk to Joe Mauer set up Miguel Sano, who drove in Dozier from second on a soft single to right field, giving the Twins a 3-2 lead.

NOTES: Indians OF Michael Brantley was activated off the 15-day disabled list after missing the first 16 games following offseason shoulder surgery. ... Indians RHP Carlos Carrasco was placed on the 15-day DL with a right hamstring strain. He is expected to miss four to six weeks. ... Twins OF Byron Buxton was optioned to Triple-A Rochester after hitting .156 with 24 strikeouts in 45 at-bats. ... Minnesota also optioned OF Max Kepler to Rochester. Kepler had two doubles in 12 at-bats since being recalled April 10. ... Twins OF Danny Santana was activated off the DL after recovering from a hamstring injury. ... Minnesota recalled RHP Alex Meyer from Rochester. Meyer struck out 19 and walked four in 17 1/3 innings over three starts in Rochester, but he is expected to pitch in relief with the twins. ... Cleveland will send RHP Cody Anderson (0-1, 7.53 ERA) to the mound against Minnesota RHP Ricky Nolasco (1-0, 2.66 ERA) on Tuesday.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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