Series: Game 2 of 4

Cleveland leads 2-0 (as of 9/13)

Game 1: Thursday, September 12
Minnesota 4Final
Cleveland 5
Game 2: Friday, September 13
Minnesota 5Final
Cleveland 12
Game 3: Saturday, September 14
Minnesota 3Final
Cleveland 2
Game 4: Sunday, September 15
Minnesota 5Final
Cleveland 0

Twins 5

(85-63, 36-37 away)

Indians 12

(66-81, 36-40 home)

    7:05 PM ET, September 13, 2002

    Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    MIN 000000203 5 - -
    CLE 54000300 - 12 - -

    W: T. Mulholland (3-1)

    L: E. Milton (13-9)

    Twins' magic number still remains at three

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- The magic number is frozen. Pretty soon, the champagne could be, too.

    The Cleveland Indians, in no rush to surrender their division title, stalled Minnesota's eventual clinching again with a 12-5 rout of the Twins on Friday night.

    Terry Mulholland took a shutout into the seventh inning, and Jim Thome and Karim Garcia hit three-run homers for the defending AL Central champions, who blasted Eric Milton (13-9) for nine runs in the first two innings.

    You know, I think we'd rather they do that somewhere else.
    Terry Mulholland, on wanting the Twins to celebrate their division title anywhere but Cleveland

    Travis Fryman homered as the Indians delayed a party the Twins can't wait to get started.

    "You know, I think we'd rather they do that somewhere else,'' Mulholland said.

    Minnesota arrived in Cleveland with a magic number of three. The Twins then brought in 10 cases of champagne in anticipation of celebrating their first playoff appearance since 1991.

    It's still on ice.

    "I wish them luck,'' Garcia said. "They've had a good season, but not in our place.''

    Matt LeCroy hit a pair of two-run homers for the Twins, who haven't played like champions in the first two games of the series.

    Could they be a little tight with the division title so close?

    "I don't think so,'' LeCroy said. "We've got some more time to get it done.''

    "We'll call this a mulligan and leave it at that,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Tonight, we just got whacked. Right now, we might be a little too wired up.''

    The Indians, who won the series opener 5-4 on Thursday, scored five runs in the first and four more in the second off Milton, who gave up nine runs and eight hits in 1 2/3 innings -- matching the shortest outing of his career.

    Milton, who tore cartilage in his knee while warming up in the bullpen last month, hasn't been sharp since returning from the disabled list on Sept. 2.

    "Milty says he's fine,'' Gardenhire said. "It's a mechanical thing. Once he gets the ball down in the zone, he'll be fine.''

    Milton dropped to 0-3 against the Indians this season, allowing 23 runs in 11 2-3 innings.

    Spotted the big lead, Mulholland (3-1), making his first start with the Indians at Jacobs Field since coming over in a trade from Los Angeles, had little trouble with the Twins.

    The left-hander entered the seventh with a four-hitter before giving up a single and LeCroy's two-run homer. The win was Mulholland's first as a starter since July 8, 2000, when was with Atlanta.

    "That was fun,'' he said.

    Mulholland got some defensive help in the third on a spectacular play from second baseman John McDonald.

    As McDonald made a diving stop up the middle, he flipped the ball with his glove to shortstop Omar Vizquel, who stepped on second and threw to first for a double play.

    Thome followed an RBI single by Ellis Burks in the first with his 45th homer, a towering shot into the Twins' bullpen in right, to make it 4-0.

    One out later, Fryman lined his 10th homer -- and first since Aug. 17 -- into the seats in left-center.

    "They hit everything Eric threw up there,'' said Wells, who was touched for three runs in the sixth.

    The Indians opened the second with two singles before left fielder Jacque Jones saved at least one run with a diving catch on Omar Vizquel's sinking liner.

    Milton was done moments later, however. Thome hit an RBI single and Garcia followed with his 13th homer, sending Milton to the locker room to ice his left arm not far from where the Twins' champagne is chilling.

    Garcia entered with more RBI than anyone in the majors since Aug. 6, and now has 13 homers and 47 RBI in just 37 games since being re-signed by the Indians.

    Cleveland added three runs in the sixth off Bob Wells.

    LeCroy hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Jaret Wright and Jones hit a solo shot.

    Game notes

    Rookie Alex Herrera made his major league debut in the eighth, becoming the 56th player used by the Indians this season -- a club record. Cleveland used 55 players in 2000. ... With his homer, Thome moved past Hal Trosky on the club's career RBIs list. Thome's 914 RBI trail only Nap Lajoie (919) and Earl Averill (1,084) in Indians history. ... Milton also lasted just 1 2-3 innings on Aug. 21, 1998, against Boston ... Twins OF Torii Hunter sat out after straining a muscle in his rear end in Thursday's game. ... Wright made his first career relief appearance after 96 major league starts. ... Thome has reached base safely in 42 straight games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press