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.
"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."
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
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
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.
"That's a lot of innings on our bullpen the first couple
days," Gardenhire said.
Joe Roa pitched two scoreless innings for the victory.
"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
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.