CLEVELAND 4, MINNESOTA 1 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Thursday, July 3.
Batting star: Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-4 with a home run, his eighth.
Pitching star: Kenny Rogers pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three runs on six hits and four walks and striking out three.
Opposition stars: C. C. Sabathia pitched a complete game, giving up one run on four hits and one walk and striking out five. Shane Spencer was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Coco Crisp was 2-for-5 with a stolen base (his fifth) and two runs. Jody Gerut was 1-for-4 with a home run, his ninth.
The game: Crisp led off the game with a bunt single and scored from first on Milton Bradley's double to give the Indians a 1-0 lead. The Twins put men on second and third with one out in the second, but a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning. In the third, ex-Twin Matt Lawton and Bradley drew two-out walks and Spencer singled home a run to make it 2-0.
Crisp scored again in the fifth. He had a one-out single, stole second, and scored on Spencer's single to make it 3-0. The Twins put two on with two out in the fifth, but again could do nothing with it. In the eighth, Gerut hit a leadoff home run to increase the lead to 4-0.
The Twins did not threaten to get back into the game. Their lone run came on LeCroy's home run with one out in the ninth, but all that did was spoil Sabathia's shutout.
WP: Sabathia (8-3). LP: Rogers (7-4). S: None.
Notes: The Twins used their B lineup against Sabathia, if that's any consolation. Tom Prince was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski. LeCroy was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz. Dustan Mohr was again in left and Bobby Kielty in right, with Jacque Jones still out. Lew Ford was in center field, with Torii Hunter as DH.
Ford was 0-for-3 to drop his average to .333. Corey Koskie was 1-for-3 and was batting .305.
Grant Balfour made his season debut with the Twins in this game, striking out five in 2.1 innings. He gave up one run on two hits and a walk. It was not his major league debut--he had appeared in two games in 2001. He was not a good pitcher for the Twins, but he would become one in 2008 with Tampa Bay and would make the all-star team with Oakland in 2013. He didn't have his first good season until he was thirty--I guess he's an example of "sometimes it takes guys a while to figure it out."
Sabathia had 38 complete games in his career. Ten of them came in 2008, and seven of them came in the half-season he pitched for Milwaukee.
The Twins had now lost four in a row and six of eight. They were starting to be in danger of dropping below .500. They were also in danger of dropping to third place.
Record: The Twins were 43-31, in second place in the American League Central, 2.5 games behind Kansas City. They were just one game ahead of third-place Chicago.