Tens of people in attendance at Progressive Field were treated to free baseball between two last place teams on a chilly night in Cleveland. The Indians and Twins combined to use 16 pitchers, a franchise-record 10 from the Indians, as the teams played 12 innings. The Twins eventually won on a run-scoring infield single on a Matt LaPorta blunder to vault themselves into a tie with the Indians for fourth place in the AL Central Division.
Neither starting pitcher had a lot of success as each team nickel and dimed their way to offense on the night. David Huff, in his first start with the big league club this season, put the Indians behind early, giving up two runs in the first inning. The first three hitters reached, as Denard Span doubled, Ben Revere dropped down a bunt single, and Joe Mauer drove in Span with a base hit. After a strikeout of Josh Willingham, Justin Morneau lofted a sacrifice fly to left to plate another run. The Twins lead the AL in sacrifice flies.
The Indians got on the board right away as well. Shin-Soo Choo started the game with a single, went to third on a Jason Kipnis single, and scored on Asdrubal Cabrera's groundout. In the second inning, Lonnie Chisenhall homered to tie the game at two. For the Tribe, it was their only run-scoring hit of the night. Casey Kotchman followed with a single and Ezequiel Carrera moved him to second with a single to put two on with one out, but the Indians couldn't drive in any more.
The Twins scratched out one more run off of Huff in the fourth. Ryan Doumit walked and Jamey Carroll doubled him to third with one out. Eduardo Escobar put the ball in play with a runner on third and less than two out to put the Twins back on top. Huff reached his 85 pitch limit in the fifth, going 4.1 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, with a walk and three strikeouts.
In the sixth, the Indians took the lead for the first time in the game. Three straight singles opened the inning, with Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley, and Russ Canzler all getting aboard. After Chisenhall struck out, Kotchman reached on an error to score a run and Carrera bounced into a fielder's choice to plate the go-ahead run and make it a 4-3 game.
Minnesota answered right away off of Cody Allen. Span singled, stole second, and scored on Willingham's single. That ended the scoring until the 12th inning.
Both bullpens put up zeroes from the bottom of the seventh through the 11th. After Twins starter PJ Walters left the game, the Indians managed just four hits and one run. Plenty of pitchers made appearances in the game and it was recently-acquired Scott Maine who took the loss. With two outs in the 12th, Darin Mastroianni singled and stole second. Alexi Casilla slowly chopped a ball toward the hole between first and second that Kipnis got to, but Matt LaPorta was nowhere to be found at first base. Mastroianni never stopped running and scored the go-ahead run. Carroll singled and Pedro Florimon singled, driving in Casilla for an insurance run. The Twins would need that run.
Carlos Santana homered in the 12th off Twins closer Glen Perkins, but it was not enough as the Indians fell 6-5 in 12 innings to the Twins.
With the loss, the Indians and Twins are now tied in last place at 61-87. Scott Maine was the loser and Tyler Robertson was the winner. Glen Perkins picked up the save.
Stat of the Night: The Indians are now 3-7 in extra inning games. They're also 5-11 against the lowly Twins this season.
Player of the Game: Carlos Santana. Another home run for the big guy, though it was too little, too late.
Tomorrow's Game: The Indians and Twins will try to break the last place deadlock at 7:05 p.m. Zach McAllister goes up against Liam Hendriks.