Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Cleveland leads 2-0 (as of 4/8)

Game 1: Friday, April 7
Minnesota6Final
Cleveland11
Game 2: Saturday, April 8
Minnesota0Final
Cleveland3
Game 3: Sunday, April 9
Minnesota2Final
Cleveland3

Twins 0

(1-4, 1-4 away)

Indians 3

(4-1, 2-0 home)

    5:05 PM ET, April 8, 2006

    Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    MIN 000000000 0 6 0
    CLE 01011000 - 3 12 1

    W: J. Johnson (1-0)

    L: S. Baker (0-1)

    S: B. Wickman (2)

    Johnson throws seven-inning shutout as Indians drop Twins

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- The only thing sweeter than Travis Hafner's swing right now is his candy bar.

    Hafner went 3-for-3 to extend his streak of reaching base safely to 10 straight and Jason Johnson threw seven shutout innings in his Cleveland debut, leading the Indians to a 3-0 win over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday.

    After going 4-for-4 with two homers Friday in Cleveland's 11-6 win over the Twins, Hafner homered, walked, hit an RBI double and singled. He started the streak with a walk in his last at-bat Wednesday in Chicago.

    He also has a new candy bar that has his nickname "Pronk," and is being sold in the Cleveland area.

    "Best candy bar I've ever tasted," he said. "I think the name is cool."

    Johnson (1-0), signed as a free agent in December just hours before Kevin Millwood left Cleveland to sign with Texas, gave up only four hits. The right-hander walked one, struck out two and was helped by two double plays.

    "The defense made some big plays," Johnson said. "I had a little trouble gripping my curve and slider because of the cold weather, but my sinker worked really well."

    Hafner hit his fourth homer leading off the second against right-hander Scott Baker (0-1).

    "I take a lot of pride in being a tough out," he said. "Right now, I just feel comfortable."

    Guillermo Mota pitched the eighth inning for Cleveland. He gave up two one-out singles before coming back to strike out Nick Punto and Joe Mauer.

    Bob Wickman worked the ninth for his second save as Cleveland won its fourth straight after an opening-night loss to Chicago.

    "It's a combination of things, but most of all it's about a team that is more experienced," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said.

    "Jason was outstanding. He just controlled the game."

    Minnesota fell to 1-4 for the first time since 1994 when it opened 1-7.

    "I thought we pitched well enough to win, but we didn't get it done offensively," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We've got hitters. We're just not clicking."

    Johnson, listed as Cleveland's No. 5 starter, pitched in C.C. Sabathia's spot in the rotation. Sabathia went on the disabled list with a strained side after pitching 2 1-3 innings in the opener last Sunday.

    In order to stay sharp, Johnson pitched in an exhibition game Tuesday at Single-A Kinston (N.C.).

    "It helped," he said. "I worked in game conditions there and felt good today."

    Wedge said he considered -- for an instant -- letting Johnson continue after seven innings.

    "As good as he was pitching, it would have been easy to let him go back out there, but not the smart thing to do," Wedge said.

    Casey Blake's two-out RBI single in the fourth made it 2-0. Blake, who hit a grand slam Friday, went 3-for-4.

    Jhonny Peralta led off the fifth with a double and Hafner followed with a run-scoring double off the wall in left-center for a 3-0 lead.

    "I'm sure with the groove he's in, everything looks like a beach ball to him," Baker said. "I don't think we're making perfect pitches to him -- and right now that's what it will take."

    Johnson agreed. "I'm sure glad I don't have to face him right now," he said.

    Baker allowed three runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings.

    Game notes


    Both managers kept players out because of the cold. The game-time temperature was 37 degrees and a brisk wind made it colder as the game wore on. Twins OF Lew Ford (hamstring) and 2B Luis Castillo (sore leg) didn't play. Indians 2B Ronnie Belliard rested a tight calf. ... Johnson improved to 7-8 in his career against the Twins. ... Minnesota has scored three or fewer runs in three of five games. ... RHP Francisco Liriano struck out four in 2 2-3 scoreless innings for Minnesota.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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