Eddie Rosario’s big hit lifts Indians over Twins 4-1

Jun 24, 2021, 8:37 AM | Updated: 10:16 pm

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Eddie Rosario broke an eighth-inning tie with a two-run single and the Cleveland Indians defeated the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Thursday night.

Rosario, who spent six seasons with the Twins, was playing his first game in Minnesota since he signed with Cleveland in the offseason.

Austin Hedges and Cesar Hernandez started the eighth with singles off reliever Jorge Alcala (1-2). Amed Rosario then grounded into what was initially ruled a double play, but after a replay review umpires ruled he beat the relay to first.

With runners at the corners and one out, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli elected to intentionally walk Jose Ramirez, the Indians’ home run and RBI leader, to fill the bases.

Eddie Rosario then lined Taylor Rogers’ first pitch into center field to put Cleveland on top 3-1. Another run scored on Bobby Bradley’s RBI groundout.

“I love this moment. I love when they change the pitcher for me, lefty-to-lefty, late innings,” Eddie Rosario said. “I want to (give) everything I have in this moment.”

Baldelli refused to second-guess his decision to walk Ramirez and have Rogers face Rosario.

“Eddie kind of likes those moments, but I’m going to bet on (Rogers) every time,” Baldelli said. “Rog is as good a left-hander out of the bullpen as you’re going to find anywhere in baseball … and in spots like that, he comes up big the vast, vast majority of the time.”

The ex-Twin said he expected Baldelli to make that move.

“I saw Rogers earlier in the bullpen and I know he’s coming to me,” Eddie Rosario said, “but I’m ready.”

Blake Parker (1-0) earned the win with one scoreless inning of relief. Brian Shaw pitched a perfect eighth and James Karinchak picked up his ninth save with a scoreless ninth inning.

Minnesota manufactured its only run in the first, thanks in part to mistakes by starter J.C. Mejía. Leadoff hitter Luis Arraez capped a nine-pitch at-bat with a base hit. After Josh Donaldson struck out, Mejía walked Trevor Larnach on four pitches.

Nelson Cruz popped out, but then with Max Kepler at the plate, Mejía balked to move up the runners, then threw a wild pitch that scored Arraez.

The Indians tied it in the second on Hedges’ two-out, broken-bat single that scored Bradley, who led off the inning with a walk.

STRONG STARTS

Both starters pitched well and posted remarkably similar lines, with neither figuring in the decision. Mejía threw a season-high 96 pitches for Cleveland, giving up one run and four hits while walking two and striking out six over six innings.

“The first couple innings I think he was at 53 pitches after two, and you’re kind of like, oh boy,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “But he limited the damage early and then … he got into a little bit of a rhythm.”

For the Twins, Jose Berríos allowed one run on four hits with two walks and nine strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings.

“He looked sharp. He threw strikes,” Baldelli said. “He found ways to get through some of these innings a little bit more quickly as the game went on and became a little more efficient. He gave us a very nice effort.”

HOMECOMING

Eddie Rosario made his big league debut with the Twins in 2015, hitting a home run at Target Field in his first career at-bat. He was a regular starter and a fan favorite for the next six years. Following the 2020 season, the Twins decided it was time to give young outfielders such as Larnach and Alex Kiriloff a shot, so they didn’t offer Rosario a contract.

For his part, Rosario indicated there were no hard feelings about his time in Minnesota coming to an end, and he enjoyed his return to Minneapolis.

“Before we started the game I was really excited. I know I’ve had many good moments here in Target Field,” he said. “But my focus right now is to play my game and help my team to win games. Not thinking too much for the other side. I want to have fun in Cleveland.”

After his big hit in the eighth, Rosario did flip his bat and took a quick look into the Twins dugout. But he insisted that was nothing personal.

“That’s in the moment,” he said. “I did that a lot before for the Twins. I do that when I’m doing a good job in the moment. I play excited.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: Francona said RHP Aaron Civale (finger) would be shut down for 10 to 14 days before he begins a throwing program. The AL wins leader is expected to miss at least a month after being placed on the injured list Thursday. … OF Franmil Reyes (abdominal strain) and C Roberto Perez (finger) began rehab assignments at Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday. … Hedges returned from concussion protocol and was in the starting lineup.

Twins: RHP Randy Dobnak was placed on the 10-day IL with a strained middle finger on his pitching hand. … Baldelli said CF Byron Buxton is not expected to need surgery on his broken left hand.

UP NEXT

The Indians will send RHP Cal Quantrill (0-2, 2.74 ERA) to the mound to face the Twins on Friday night. Dobnak had been slated to start for Minnesota; he’ll be replaced by lefty Danny Coulombe, who will be recalled from Triple-A St. Paul to make the start.

___

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Latvia considers Olympic boycott if Russians compete

RIGA, Latvia (AP) — Latvia will consider boycotting next year’s Paris Olympics if athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus are allowed to take part after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While various governments in Europe, including Latvia, have condemned the International Olympic Committee’s push to allow Russians and Belarusians to compete, and Ukraine has threatened […]
1 day ago
New Orleans Pelicans guard Trey Murphy III, right, goes up for a basket as Denver Nuggets guard Jam...
Associated Press

Murray, Jokic help Nuggets hold off Pelicans 122-113

DENVER (AP) — Jamal Murray is locked in right now — with his shot, with his swagger and especially with his confidence in his team. “It’s fun to play basketball,” the Denver point guard said. “But we still have room to improve. We’re not satisfied with where we’re at.” Murray scored 32 points, Nikola Jokic […]
1 day ago
FILE - Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) drives past Chicago Sky forward Candace Parker (...
Associated Press

Griner’s return, free agency raises charter flight concerns

Brittney Griner’s return to the WNBA this summer after being traded in a dramatic prisoner swap in December with Russia has collided with free agency, creating potential travel complications for the league out of safety concerns for her. If Griner, who is a free agent but has said she’ll return to Phoenix, needs special travel […]
1 day ago
Milwaukee Bucks' Khris Middleton drives past Charlotte Hornets' Terry Rozier during the second half...
Associated Press

Bucks beat Hornets 124-115 for 5th consecutive victory

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Khris Middleton is making the most of his limited minutes as he works his way back from injuries that kept him from playing for much of the season. Middleton scored 18 points and sparked a third-quarter run that put the Milwaukee Bucks ahead for good as they beat the Charlotte Hornets 124-115 […]
1 day ago
Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George, right, slaps the ball away from Chicago Bulls forward DeMar...
Associated Press

Leonard, Powell lead Clippers past Bulls, 108-103

CHICAGO (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 33 points and Norman Powell added 27 to help the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Chicago Bulls 108-103 on Tuesday night. Paul George added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, who’ve won six of seven. Nikola Vucevic had 23 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Bulls, […]
1 day ago
Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis (3) defends a shot by New York Knicks' RJ Barrett (9) during the ...
Associated Press

James has triple-double, leads Lakers past Knicks in OT

NEW YORK (AP) — LeBron James will soon be the NBA’s top scorer, though that was never his focus. He’s also one of the game’s leading passers, and combining the two — possibly better than anyone ever — is what really makes him proud. “I didn’t get to this point in my career by thinking […]
1 day ago
Eddie Rosario’s big hit lifts Indians over Twins 4-1