CLEVELAND (AP)Franmil Reyes homered twice, including a 452-foot drive that landed in the left-field bleachers about six rows in front of the scoreboard, and the Cleveland Indians beat the slumping Minnesota Twins 7-4 on Tuesday night.
Reyes broke a sixth-inning tie with his second homer off Kenta Maeda to give the Indians a 4-3 lead. The slugger led off the second with a majestic clout that sent fans in the stands scrambling and tied the game after Minnesota scored two runs in the first.
Reyes thought his first home run had a chance to hit the scoreboard, a feat that’s definitely in his future plans.
”I hit one in the last seat in batting practice last season and when you hit the ball in the game it’s going to go farther, so why not?” he said. ”It’s going to happen one day.”
Reyes’ second home run also landed in the bleachers and traveled a projected 434 feet. His teammates were impressed with his power display.
”It’s loud when he hits it,” said reliever James Karinchak, who retired the final four Twins hitters for his second save. ”It’s exciting in the bullpen.”
Jose Ramirez drove in two runs, including a first-inning homer that helped Cleveland to a win over its AL Central rival for the second straight night.
The Twins have lost four straight and 13 of 15, falling to 7-15 this season. Byron Buxton homered with two outs in the eighth to chase Aaron Civale (4-0), but Karinchak struck out Nelson Cruz before the Indians scored twice in the eighth.
Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli met with his players following the game and tried to offer encouragement during a difficult time.
”It’s been about as tough a stretch as I’ve ever seen in professional baseball,” Baldelli said. ”The way we’ve played these games, we’ve had our guts ripped out over and over again, is what I said. Our guys have continued to give everything they have. We haven’t played particularly well, it’s no secret, but I can’t be upset with the effort I’m getting from our guys.”
Civale allowed four runs and eight hits in 7 2/3 innings.
Maeda (1-2) was charged with five runs, including three homers, in 5 2/3 innings. Jake Bauers’ RBI double off Caleb Thielbar in the sixth gave Cleveland a two-run lead.
Reyes, the Indians’ 6-foot-5, 265-pound designated hitter, has had a memorable homestand with two triples – the first of his career – and his first stolen base in the majors.
Cruz’s RBI triple and a single by Alex Kirilloff gave Minnesota a 2-0 lead in the first. Ramirez hit a solo homer in the bottom half before Reyes tied the game.
Ramirez was credited with a double when Kiriloff dropped his fly ball close to the line in left after a long run, giving Cleveland a 3-2 lead in the third. Willians Astudillo’s RBI single in the fourth tied it.
Buxton returned to the lineup and batted third after missing Monday’s game with a sore knee. He beat out a grounder to deep shortstop in the first and scored on Cruz’s hit that drifted into the right-field corner and bounced off the wall. Cruz lumbered into third with his first triple since June 24, 2018.
Kiriloff drove a hit off the wall in left, but was thrown out by Eddie Rosario trying for a double after Cruz scored.
Baldelli said struggling reliever Alex Colome, who gave up the game-winning home run to Jordan Luplow on Monday, will be moved out of the closer’s role for now. Colome pitched the eighth Tuesday, hitting Josh Naylor on the right hand with a pitch and walking three, including Cesar Hernandez with the bases loaded. The right-hander retired two of six batters and threw 30 pitches.
Twins: OFs Max Kepler and Kyle Garlick have cleared COVID-19 protocols and could be activated this weekend when Minnesota opens a home series against Kansas City.
Twins LHP J.A. Happ (1-0) starts Wednesday for the first time since taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning Friday against Pittsburgh. LHP Logan Allen (1-3) goes for Cleveland in the series finale.
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