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Minnesota takes last two games of Central showdown

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- In a game they needed to win, the Minnesota
Twins delivered an offensive performance their pitchers wish they
saw more of.

Shannon Stewart drove in the go-ahead run with a sixth-inning
single and Mike Redmond delivered a three-run double in the
seventh, leading the Twins to a 7-5 victory over the Cleveland
Indians on Sunday.

The Twins won the final two games of the three-game series
between AL Central rivals. Cleveland is two games behind the New
York Yankees in the wild-card race, while Minnesota is five back.

"We're battling, and we got some big hits," manager Ron
Gardenhire said. "Our fans saw a pretty fired-up bunch of guys out
there today."

Redmond's hit off the glove of right fielder Casey Blake broke
open a game that included four lead changes through the first six
innings, the last coming when Stewart's single to right-center
scored two runs and put Minnesota ahead 4-3.

Jesse Crain (10-4) pitched 1 2/3 innings for the win, taking
over for rookie Scott Baker in the sixth inning. Joe Nathan pitched
the ninth, allowing Ben Broussard's homer, for his 35th save.

Indians starter Jake Westbrook (13-14) gave up 10 hits for the
third time in four games and blew two leads to snap a three-game
win streak.

Blake took the blame for missing Redmond's double, saying he
"didn't think (Redmond) could get one over my head."

"I was guarding against the ball in front of me instead of over
my head," Blake said. "The way it hit my glove, I thought I
caught it, but it hit the top of my glove or the front or
something."

The Indians lost back-to-back games for the first time since
Aug. 14. After losing 3-2 thanks to a pair of errors in the ninth
inning on Saturday, the Indians could blame a handful of defensive
miscues in this one, too.

The Twins scored a run on Victor Martinez's errant pickoff
attempt in the third inning, and set up another one when Lew Ford
advanced to second on Aaron Boone's throwing error in the fourth.
Ford also doubled over the head of center fielder Grady Sizemore in
the eighth inning and later scored.

"The defense has been pretty consistent, but we've had a rough
stretch the past couple of days," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.
"When that happens, it's tough to win ballgames."

Baker gave up a home run off the right-field upper deck facing
to Travis Hafner in the second inning. He shut the Indians out from
there until the sixth, when they chased him and scored twice to
take a 3-2 lead.

"You try to pitch the same way, whether you get one or two runs
or whether you get seven," Baker said. "I was fortunate the
offense came through today."

He lasted 5 1/3 innings, and the 73 pitches he threw were the
fewest of his four major league starts, but Baker came out with a
no-decision thanks to an uncharacteristic showing from the Twins'
offense.

"The kid pitched OK," Gardenhire said. "He gave us a chance
to win."

Game notes
With his second-inning shot, Hafner has now hit home runs
in back-to-back games six times this year. ... Jhonny Peralta went
0-for-3 with a walk, extending his slump to 0-for-16. ... Twins
third baseman Michael Cuddyer missed Sunday's game with sore ribs
and a sore hand stemming from his diving catch in Minnesota's 3-2
win on Saturday. Manager Ron Gardenhire said Cuddyer is still
doubtful for Monday's game against Texas. ... Ford, who went
3-for-4 with three runs, improved his lifetime average against
Westbrook to .454. ... Redmond went 2-for-4 and is hitting .500
over his last seven games.