Series: Game 3 of 3

Minnesota won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, September 2
Game 2: Saturday, September 3
Game 3: Sunday, September 4

Indians 5

(75-61, 42-29 away)

Twins 7

(72-64, 38-30 home)

2:10 PM ET, September 4, 2005

Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

123456789 R H E
CLE 010002011 5 7 2
MIN 00110230 - 7 12 1

W: J. Crain (10-4)

L: J. Westbrook (13-14)

S: J. Nathan (35)

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.

AL wild-card standings
Team W L Pct. GB
Yankees 77 59 .566 --
A's 76 60 .559 1
Indians 75 61 .551 2
Twins 72 64 .529 5

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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press