Series: Game 1 of 4

Minnesota leads 1-0 (as of 8/11)

Game 1: Monday, August 11
Game 2: Tuesday, August 12
Game 3: Wednesday, August 13
in 14
Game 4: Thursday, August 14

Indians 3

(50-69, 20-40 away)

Twins 5

(61-57, 33-27 home)

    8:05 PM ET, August 11, 2003

    Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

    123456789 R H E
    CLE 000100002 3 8 0
    MIN 00300200 - 5 10 0

    W: K. Lohse (9-9)

    L: J. Westbrook (5-7)

    S: L. Hawkins (1)

    Rivas sparks Twins to fourth straight win

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins have found the obvious solution to their first-half troubles.

    Better starting pitching.

    Kyle Lohse pitched smoothly into the ninth inning and Luis Rivas hit a two-run homer to lead Minnesota to its fourth straight victory, 5-3 over the Cleveland Indians on Monday night.

    The Twins rotation is 7-3 with a 3.29 ERA in the last 12 games after struggling through most of June and July. Minnesota lost 22 of 28 before the All-Star break.

    "We've talked about it over and over," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "When they get on a roll here, they can carry this ballclub."

    Lohse (9-9) won his third consecutive start for the Twins, who improved to just 3-5 against the Indians this year. They're 17-8 since the All-Star break -- the second-best record in the majors in that time.

    "It's just a matter of not trying to do too much," Lohse said. "Everyone was going out there trying to throw the perfect game."

    Jody Gerut went 3-for-4 for Cleveland, which is 1-12 on the road in the second half. Gerut and Ben Broussard doubled to begin the ninth and chase Lohse, who gave up seven hits, three runs and two walks while striking out three.

    "A strong pitching performance -- that's key for them and actually for anyone," Cleveland's Casey Blake said. "Lohse was tough. He hides the ball pretty well, and he picked his spots well."

    LaTroy Hawkins relieved and gave up a single to Ryan Ludwick before getting Travis Hafner to ground into a double play. Hawkins got his first save since August 2001.

    Minnesota, which hit five doubles, gave Lohse a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning against Jake Westbrook (5-7). Dustan Mohr doubled and scored on a single by Cristian Guzman -- who was 2-for-16 on last week's road trip.

    After two throws to first by Westbrook to keep Guzman close, Rivas hit the first pitch he saw into the left-field seats. Rivas is batting .327 with two of his four homers and 10 RBI in the last 13 games.

    The Twins tacked on two more in the sixth. Torii Hunter was hit by a pitch, without incident, and scored from first when A.J. Pierzynski reached out and slapped a double down the left-field line.

    Hunter was ejected on July 4 for walking toward Indians pitcher Jason Davis after a pitch came high and inside. Last year, Hunter was fined and suspended three games for throwing a ball back at Cleveland pitcher Danys Baez, who had hit him with a pitch.

    Mohr's bloop single landed in shallow left-center to score Pierzynski and make it 5-1. The Twins have won the first game in six of their eight second-half series.

    "It's a concerted effort, really," Mohr said. "Everyone realizes the first game is a tone-setter."

    Terry Mulholland started the seventh to relieve Westbrook, who allowed eight hits, five runs and a walk while striking out three.

    Lohse went 0-5 with a 10.95 ERA in eight starts from mid-June through the end of July, not lasting longer than five innings over that span. He's 3-0 in August, though, after recording his team-high 15th quality start and tying for the club lead in victories with Hawkins and Kenny Rogers.

    Lohse didn't give up a hit until the fourth inning, when Blake barely beat out a slow roller to third base. Blake, who advanced to third when Gerut singled off the glove of diving second baseman Rivas, scored when Broussard hit into a double play.

    Speedy Coco Crisp led off the sixth with a bunt single, but he was picked off.

    Game notes

    Michael Restovich entered as a pinch-runner in the eighth for DH Jacque Jones, who reaggravated his nagging groin strain when he reached on an infield single. Gardenhire wanted to pinch-hit for Jones, but he was insistent on batting. "He's a little hard-headed at times," Gardenhire said. ... After the game, the Twins optioned 1B Todd Sears to Triple-A Rochester and recalled OF Mike Ryan, who adds some depth to the outfield after Jones' injury. .... Milton Bradley was a late scratch from the Indians' lineup and missed his third straight game with discomfort in his back. Hafner replaced him as the DH. ... A moment of silence was held before the game for famed hockey coach Herb Brooks, who died Monday in a car accident.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press