MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The first month of the season was a
forgettable one for Jake Westbrook, and Cleveland's lineup could
say the same thing.
But Westbrook won for the first time this year, his teammates
began to hit and the Indians beat the Minnesota Twins 4-2 on
Though Westbrook (1-5) had thrown eight innings in three of his
first five starts, he brought a 6.35 ERA into this one. Allowing
eight hits, one walk and two runs in six innings, he lowered his
ERA to 5.77.
"It was getting in my head a little bit," Westbrook said.
"It's been hit or miss with me. I've either pitched great or been
Travis Hafner and Casey Blake homered for the Indians, who
carried a major league-worst .225 team batting average into the
game. This was only the fourth time all season they had 10 hits or
more in a nine-inning game.
"Anything we can get right now is good," Blake said. "We're
scratching for runs."
Still, they left 13 men on base -- including eight between the
second and the fifth.
"We need to do a better job with runners in scoring position,"
said Hafner, who homered for the third straight game. "We could've
put the game away."
Justin Morneau homered for the Twins, who stranded nine runners.
"It was good for me to be able to get after guys," Westbrook
Minnesota, playing for the first time since reliever Juan Rincon
was suspended 10 days for violating baseball's new
performance-enhancing drug policy, fell behind 4-0 early.
Joe Mays (1-1), who has never beaten Cleveland in 13 career
starts and now has a 5.58 ERA against the Indiana in 17
appearances, usually succeeds when his sinking fastball dances
around the strike zone and induces groundball outs.
That didn't happen in the first two innings, when the Indians
scored twice in each frame and five of the six outs were recorded
in the air. Hafner's homer, just his third after hitting 28 last
year, drove in Coco Crisp in the first. Then Blake's solo shot and
an RBI double by Ronnie Belliard came in the second.
Some interruptions in the schedule have kept Mays from pitching
on regular rest in his comeback from major elbow surgery, is having
trouble getting loose and finding his location in the early
"We're going to have to find a way to get that fixed," he
Escaping a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fifth, Mays gave up
nine hits, two walks and struck out three over five innings.
"He just kept battling," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I
don't know how he did that one, either. It wasn't beautiful."
After Morneau led off the inning with an opposite-field homer
that nestled into the left-field seats, the Twins ran themselves
out of a rally in the second.
Torii Hunter, taking off before Westbrook delivered, was caught
stealing second after a single -- his first failure in 12 attempts
this season. Then Jacque Jones, after hesitating slightly as he
rounded first on a single down the left-field line, was thrown out
easily by Crisp trying to stretch a double.
"We're going to run into some outs sometimes," Gardenhire
said, "but we're going to run into some better things."
Joe Mauer's RBI single cut the lead to 4-2 in the third, but
Hunter left the bases loaded when he flied out to center to end the
"We just weren't able to get them when they counted," said
Cuddyer, who went 3-for-4. "We just didn't come through."
Boone returned to the lineup after a three-day mental and
physical break, going 0-for-5 to lower his average to .115. ...
Since being activated from the disabled list on April 22, Morneau
has three homers and 10 RBI while batting .417. ... Crisp made a
diving, full-extension catch of Nick Punto's line drive to end the