MINNEAPOLIS — Mike Clevinger won his 10th straight decision, and Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor homered as the Cleveland Indians beat the Minnesota Twins 5-2 on Sunday.
The Indians, 1 1/2 games behind Oakland for the second wild card in the American League, moved back to 5 1/2 games behind the Twins in the AL Central. The Indians and Twins close the season series with a three-game set in Cleveland that begins on Friday.
Clevinger pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. He hasn't lost since June 28. In his last 13 starts, Clevinger is 10-0 with a 2.00 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 81 innings.
Mike Clevinger, Filthy 87mph Changeup. 😷 pic.twitter.com/rQNHicFgST— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 8, 2019
Brad Hand pitched around a walk and a hit batter in the ninth to earn his 34th save of the season.
The Indians took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on Franmil Reyes' two-run single off Twins starter Randy Dobnak.
Santana hit his 33rd homer of the season, a solo shot off reliever Devin Smeltzer in the third. Lindor tagged Smeltzer for his 29th of the season in the fifth.
The Twins got a solo home run from Mitch Garver — his third in two days and 29th of the season — in the fourth inning. Rookie LaMonte Wade Jr. drove in a run with an infield single in the seventh to make it 5-2.
The Twins loaded the bases with one out, but reliever Nick Wittgren struck out C.J. Cron and Garver to end the threat.
After Sunday's win, the Indians are now 5.5 games behind the Twins in the AL Central standings and 1.5 games behind the Oakland A's for a Wild Card spot.
Shane Bieber will take the mound on Monday night as Cleveland opens a three-game series against the Angels in Anaheim. Bieber has given up more than three earned runs just once in his last 16 starts.