Series: Game 3 of 4

Cleveland leads 2-1 (as of 9/25)

Game 1: Thursday, September 23
Game 2: Friday, September 24
Game 3: Saturday, September 25
Game 4: Sunday, September 26

Twins 3

(89-66, 42-35 away)

Indians 5

(76-79, 44-36 home)

    7:05 PM ET, September 25, 2004

    Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    MIN 000010020 3 6 1
    CLE 00001013 - 5 5 0

    W: B. Howry (4-1)

    L: J. Romero (7-3)

    S: B. Wickman (11)

    Crisp's three RBI lift Cleveland

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- Coco Crisp's big night for Cleveland could wind up altering the Minnesota Twins' playoff plans.

    Crisp drove in three runs, including a tiebreaking two-run double that capped a three-run eighth inning Saturday night in the Indians' 5-3 victory over the Twins.

    Coco Crisp

    "This is really a disappointing loss," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said.

    Minnesota (89-66) failed to add to its lead in the race with the eventual AL West winner, Oakland (88-66) or Anaheim or Texas (both 86-68), for home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Athletics and Angels both hold tiebreakers over the Twins.

    After Jacque Jones hit a two-run double off Bob Howry (4-1) for a 3-2 lead in the Twins' eighth, Josh Phelps tied the score with two outs in the bottom half off J.C. Romero (7-3) with his first career pinch homer.

    "That was the key hit right there," Crisp said. "Phelpsie tied it and got us going again."

    Victor Martinez and Ben Broussard then walked, and Crisp doubled on a 2-0 pitch.

    "J.C. couldn't get three outs, he really fell apart there," Gardenhire said. "I don't know what happened, but it is frustrating."

    Bob Wickman pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 12 chances, dropping Minnesota to 1-4 since the Twins clinched their third straight AL Central title. With the bases loaded and one out, pinch-hitter Torii Hunter bounced into a game-ending double play.

    Both starting pitchers took one-hitters into the seventh.

    Cleveland's Scott Elarton retired 12 straight before Justin Morneau led off the fifth with a home run into the Twins bullpen in eight.

    The Twins' Brad Radke retired his first 10 batters and didn't allow a hit until Crisp homered to tie the score with one out in the fifth.

    "We wanted to yell out, `Hey, let's break up his no-hitter, but we didn't say too much because our guy had one going, too," Crisp said.

    Morneau and Crisp each got their team's second hits, both one-out singles in the respective seventh innings. At that point, those two players were 4-for-6 and everyone else was 0-for-37.

    Crisp stole second after his single, however, and went to third when catcher Pat Borders' throw sailed into center field. Ronnie Belliard then hit an RBI single to right, breaking an 0-for-21 slide, and putting the Indians ahead 2-1.

    "I felt better tonight, not good, but getting that hit helps," said Belliard, who had missed the previous three games with flu-like symptoms.

    Elarton allowed one run and two hits in seven innings, while Radke gave up two runs and three hits in seven innings with six strikeouts. He walked three -- his highest total since April 12, 2003, at Toronto.

    Game notes

    It was a doubly painful night for Gardenhire, who was hit in a calf by a batted ball during pregame practice. ... Phelps has hit four of his 16 homers since Cleveland acquired him from Toronto on Aug. 6. Twelve of his homers have been off left-handers. ... Rookie Jhonny Peralta started at third for Cleveland in place of Casey Blake. ... Romero made 23 pitches, only six for strikes. ... Twins OF Shannon Stewart left in the seventh inning with a sore right hamstring.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press