Encarnacion powers Indians past Twins
MINNEAPOLIS—Edwin Encarnacion had three hits, including two home runs, and drove in each of Cleveland's five runs as the Indians left Minnesota with a 5-2 win on Sunday, a four-game series sweep and control of the American League Central.
Jose Ramirez had three hits for his sixth straight multi-hit game for Cleveland, while Trevor Bauer dazzled through his first six innings before the Twins pressured late.
The Indians began the series trailing Minnesota by two games in the Central but left with a two-game lead after equaling their season high with a five-game winning streak. Cleveland is 8-2 this season against the Twins, including a 7-0 mark at Minnesota's Target Field.
Bauer (6-5) was lifted after a leadoff walk in the eighth. He gave up two runs on four hits and struck out eight batters. Cody Allen walked one, but kept the Twins off the board in the eighth and Andrew Miller recorded his first save of the season.
Kyle Gibson (4-5) worked around trouble in six innings for Minnesota. He surrendered three runs on eight hits and three walks. The Twins trail the division leaders by more than one game for the first time since the beginning of May.
Bauer kept Minnesota off-balance, using his fastball and snapping curve to give up just two hits and a walk through six innings. All three baserunners came in the second inning, but Max Kepler was thrown at home by Indians center fielder Bradley Zimmer as the game remained scoreless.
Bauer retired the next 15 batters he faced. He hit Kennys Vargas with a pitch with two outs in the seventh and Vargas scored on Eddie Rosario's single to center.
The Twins had pitched around Encarnacion for much of the series, but he hammered the first pitch he saw in the fourth to the second deck in left field.
Encarnacion followed through with another second-deck shot in the sixth after Ramirez walked, and had an RBI single in the seventh. He added a sacrifice fly to score Ramirez in the ninth.
NOTES: Cleveland recalled RHP Shawn Armstrong from Triple-A Columbus and optioned 3B Giovanny Urshela to Triple-A before Sunday's game. Urshela made his season debut in Saturday's doubleheader and went 0 for 4. Armstrong has pitched in nine games for the Indians this season with a 6.00 ERA. ... Minnesota announced that LHP Hector Santiago traveled to Triple-A Rochester to make a rehab start on Wednesday. Santiago has been out since June 7 with a left shoulder strain. He is 4-6 with a 5.26 ERA this season. ... Cleveland OF Michael Brantley (paternity leave) is expected to join the team Monday in Baltimore for a four-game series. The Indians earned their first four-game sweep since Aug. 11-14, 2016 at the Los Angeles Angels. ... The Twins have a day off before hosting the Chicago White Sox for a three-game series. Ervin Santana (8-4, 2.56 ERA) opens the series for Minnesota.