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.
"This is really a disappointing loss," Minnesota manager Ron
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
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."
"J.C. couldn't get three outs, he really fell apart there,"
Gardenhire said. "I don't know what happened, but it is
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
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
"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
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
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.
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