Another winner for Garver

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Following another player dump, Twins rally past Indians

Mitch Garver has the game-winning hit

July 31, 2018 - 4:36 am

   MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Twins lost two more teammates to trades before the game.

   They finished the night, at least, in a better mood.

   Mitch Garver drove in the winning run with a one-out double in the ninth inning, capping a 5-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Monday night at Target Field and triggering the familiar bucket-dumping celebration in the infield after he rounded second base.

   The Twins had more cold water poured on their disappointing season in the afternoon, when reliever Zach Duke and starter Lance Lynn were sent away in separate deals for more minor leaguers.

   "That was a big win for us as a group, as a group of brothers," Garver said. "We lost some key guys to our team this year, and to come back and kind of put that one away and finish that game like is pretty exciting for us."

   Jose Ramirez hit two home runs for Cleveland to match Boston's J.D. Martinez for the most in the majors with 32, but the Indians fell to 3-7 against the Twins this season. The Twins still trail by eight games in the AL Central, not nearly close enough for the front office to halt the sell-off two-thirds of the way through this disappointing season. Eduardo Escobar, who thrived at third base while Miguel Sano was out, and reliever Ryan Pressly were dealt for prospects on Friday.

   "It's really good way to start the series, especially with all the tumultuous things that have been going on," manager Paul Molitor said.

   Sano, who hit an RBI single earlier and went 2 for 3 for his first hits in the majors since June 12, drew a walk to start the ninth against Neil Ramirez (0-1). Jake Cave advanced pinch-runner Ehire Adrianza with a sacrifice bunt. Then Garver delivered the deep drive to left-center field.

   Fernando Rodney (3-2) pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out Yonder Alonso with runners at second and third. He struck out Ramirez two batters before that.

   Twins starter Ervin Santana got one out in the sixth before being removed, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks, and gave up both of Ramirez's homers before another solo shot by Yan Gomes that gave the Indians a 3-2 lead in the fifth.

   Jorge Polanco's two-run single in the bottom of that inning against Shane Bieber put the Twins in front, but Santana lost the lead again when Cave made an ill-advised dive for a sinking line drive by Alonso to center field. That went for an RBI double to score Edwin Encarnacion from first base with one out.

   The Twins announced Adalberto Mejia will start on Wednesday afternoon, taking Lynn's place in the rotation. Duke's departure opened a spot in the bullpen for Addison Reed, who was returned from his rehab assignment.

   Sano, who missed a month with hamstring trouble and after struggling upon his return was sent to the minor leagues for what turned out to be a six-week stay for conditioning and refining his swing, went 0 for 7 with five strikeouts in his first two games back over the weekend.

   Trevor Bauer (9-6, 2.32 ERA) pitches Tuesday night for Cleveland. The All-Star kept up his career-best season against Pittsburgh last week by striking out 10 batters over seven scoreless innings while surrendering only two hits.

   Kyle Gibson (5-7, 3.42), who held MLB batting leader Boston to one run on four hits over eight innings last week, takes the mound for the Twins in the middle game of the three-game series.

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