Final in 16

Series: Game 2 of 3

Minnesota leads 2-0 (as of 4/6)

Game 1: Monday, April 5
Cleveland4Final
in 11
Minnesota7
Game 2: Tuesday, April 6
Cleveland6Final
in 16
Minnesota7
Game 3: Wednesday, April 7
Cleveland11Final
Minnesota4

Indians 6

(0-2, 0-2 away)

Twins 7

(2-0, 2-0 home)

    8:10 PM ET, April 6, 2004

    Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

    R H E
    CLE - -
    MIN - -

    W: J. Roa (1-0)

    L: J. Westbrook (0-1)

    Jones' homer in ninth lets Twins play on -- and on

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- After two nights, 26 innings and nearly nine hours of baseball, the Minnesota Twins have a taxed bullpen and three injured stars.

    They're also, somehow, still undefeated.

    Jacque Jones hit a tying two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning, and Jose Offerman's bases-loaded single in the 15th gave the Twins a 7-6 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.

    "Man, that's too much drama," said center fielder Torii Hunter, who left the game with a strained right hamstring. Minnesota also lost rookie catcher Joe Mauer to a mildly sprained left knee and starting pitcher Johan Santana to spasms in his left forearm.

    "It's a tough, tough win," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We used everything we had."

    Cleveland's bullpen blew another late lead, and Minnesota finally scored against losing pitcher Jake Westbrook in the 15th after wasting several earlier chances.

    Nick Punto beat out an infield single to shortstop with a headfirst dive and stole second. Doug Mientkiewicz was intentionally walked, and Punto was thrown out at third on Corey Koskie's sacrifice bunt attempt. With two outs, Jones walked to load the bases.

    Offerman, signed to a minor league contract after spending all of last season in the independent Atlantic League, singled up the middle on a 3-2 sinker to win it.

    "There's no complaining," said Offerman, who went 2-for-2 in his Twins debut. "Hopefully, I can keep going like that."

    Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia pitched seven shutout innings Monday, only to watch relievers Jose Jimenez and Scott Stewart squander the lead in a 7-4 defeat in 11 innings.

    Jimenez and Stewart did their jobs Tuesday, but David Riske -- who became the closer when Bob Wickman injured his elbow in spring training -- didn't do his after Jody Gerut's two-run double broke a seventh-inning tie to put the Indians ahead 6-4.

    Riske left a 3-1 fastball up to Jones, who hit it over the tall wall in right field.

    "You can't let it get to you," Riske said. "The closer's mentality is that you have to be ready to get back out there again tomorrow."

    Westbrook pitched out of danger in the 12th and 14th.

    "We wanted to start out the season strong," Westbrook said. "Now everybody's got a lot of innings again. It's tough mentally, but you've got to bounce back and play the game again tomorrow."

    Hunter, who went 3-for-6, hurt his hamstring running to first on an 11th-inning single. He said he was OK, but he'll be re-evaluated Wednesday. Same goes for Santana, who's expected to make his next start.

    Mauer, who hurt his knee on a sliding attempt to catch a foul ball behind the plate, will have an MRI exam on Wednesday. Gardenhire said Mauer was very sore, with a little swelling.

    He appeared to aggravate the injury while rounding third on a single by Luis Rivas when coach Al Newman initially waved Mauer around but then held up the stop sign.

    In the fifth, Santana started wiggling his left wrist after throwing ball three to Matt Lawton. Santana was taken out after trainer Jim Kahmann looked him over.

    Carlos Pulido came in and served up a three-run homer to Tim Laker that made it 4-2 Indians.

    "That's a lot of innings on our bullpen the first couple days," Gardenhire said.

    Joe Roa pitched two scoreless innings for the victory.

    Indians starter Jason Davis gave up seven hits, four runs -- two earned -- and four walks in 6 1/3 innings. The Twins scored twice in the sixth after a two-out error by first baseman Lou Merloni.

    "I think we're still trying to get over the hump when games get tied late," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "It's part of the maturation process."

    Game notes


    Public-address announcer Bob Casey was tired, too, after two long nights. In the 12th inning, Casey -- known for a malapropism or two -- called Cleveland SS Omar Vizquel "Ozzie Virgil." One Ozzie Virgil played for the Minneapolis Millers, a Triple-A club in the 1950s. Another was a major league catcher for 11 seasons from 1980 to 1990. ... Santana gave up four hits, two runs and a walk and struck out one. ... Mauer has three hits and two walks in his first six major league plate appearances. ... Merloni filled in for Ben Broussard, who is expected to miss seven to 10 days with a sprained left ankle. ... Davis went 0-3 with a 5.16 ERA in five starts against Minnesota last season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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