MINNEAPOLIS -- Sometimes earning a win comes down to having one good inning or taking advantage of one good opportunity. The Cleveland Indians proved that Sunday.
For six innings, the Indians had little answer for Minnesota starter Carl Pavano. They couldn't score, they couldn't get multiple hits in an inning and they couldn't generate any momentum.
But given an extra out in the seventh because of a Minnesota error, Cleveland made the Twins pay. With Shelley Duncan homering and hitting a two-run double off of the left-field wall in the inning, the Indians scored six times and sent 11 hitters to plate in their 6-5 victory.
"The whole season they've been very relentless and have never given up," Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. "They know we're one good inning from doing stuff like that. Pavano was pitching so well and we just hung in there and when he came out of the game, we took advantage and had some good at-bats and Shelley had the big hit."
It was a fitting inning for a game that featured a combined six errors, two hit batters and four runs walked in.
After Duncan homered to lead off the seventh, Cleveland's Lonnie Chisenhall reached on what would be a costly error by Minnesota first baseman Chris Parmalee. After fielding a grounder, Parmalee threw wide to Pavano at first and Chisenhall was safe.
The Twins quickly got the next two outs, but Cleveland took advantage of the extra out and loaded the bases. Minnesota relievers Jose Mijares and Alex Burnett each walked in a run, allowing Cleveland to tie the game at 3.
Cleveland's Jim Thome -- who spent all of 2010 and much of 2011 with the Twins -- gave Cleveland a 4-3 lead with a broken bat single that didn't leave the infield.
Batting for the second time in the inning, Duncan hit a line drive that hit the left-field wall to drive in two runs and give Cleveland a 6-3 lead.
"Shelly Duncan was the key guy offensively," Acta said. "Not only with the home run that got us on the board against Pavano, who had our number the whole day, but also the two-run double that proved to be the key in that inning."
For Duncan, the key was getting a few looks at Pavano.
"He's crafty, but third time through the lineup, you saw people get more comfortable with him, taking better at-bats," Duncan said. "We put him on the ropes and got him out of the game and went from there."
The big inning also got Justin Masterson (12-10) the victory in a game that was played in an on-and-off drizzle.
"You knew something crazy was going to happen with the weather and it turned out in our favor," Masterson said. "Every time the ball was in the grass, it was nice and wet and saturated. You knew every play was going to be a difficult one."
Masterson pitched six innings, giving up three runs -- one earned -- on seven hits. Chris Perez pitched a scoreless ninth for his 34th save in 38 chances.
The win allowed the Indians to secure their first three-game sweep since mid-June. In addition, Cleveland moved back to .500 on the season (75-75) and closer to the franchise's first winning season since 2007.
"We're not done yet, we've got a lot of games to play," Acta said. "But it's very important to us. Our goal is to finish second and to play above .500. To go back home, it's very important and hopefully we can have a good homestand and end the season on a very positive note.
"It was a good bounceback series after being swept in Texas."
Pavano (8-13) lost despite being sharp for six-plus innings. He gave up four runs, though only one was earned.
The Twins, who started a lineup that featured only one opening-day starter, scored twice in the bottom of the eighth to cut Cleveland's lead to 6-5. After hitting Matt Tolbert with a pitch to load the bases, Cleveland reliever Vinnie Pestano walked in two runs.
Hughes scored his third run of the game in the sixth to give Minnesota a 3-0 lead on Brian Dinkelman's single. Dinkelman finished with his first career four-hit game.
In the second, Hughes scored on Joe Benson's groundout. In the bottom of the fourth, he scored again, this time when Lou Marson threw ball into center field in an attempt to throw out Benson on an attempted steal.
Minnesota's Jason Repko left the game after being hit in the head by a pitch from Masterson in the bottom of the sixth. Repko walked off of field with assistance and was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for evaluation, but was back in the Twins clubhouse after the game.
"The ball just flew out of my hand," Masterson said. "I don't mind hitting people, just not in the head. You don't ever want to see a ball go up there."
Both teams have one-game makeups Monday. David Huff (2-5) will pitch for Cleveland against Seattle in a makeup of a May 14 rainout. The Indians will then host the Chicago White Sox for four games in three days. Minnesota was scheduled to fly to New York on Sunday night for a one-game makeup against the Yankees before returning home to face the Mariners. Scott Diamond (1-4) will start for the Twins against the Yankees. ... Because of the quick, one-game trip to New York, the Twins are leaving the rest of the starting rotation and several injured players in Minnesota.