ter two periods in the regu
Corey Kluber doesn’t often appear hittable Tyler Bozak Jersey , beatable or unremarkable.
It’s a baseball rarity, like a triple play.
On Friday night, it happened.
Kluber had a rare rocky performance, lasting just five innings and losing for the first time in seven starts as Kyle Gibson outpitched the Cy Young winner and Brian Dozier hit a two-run homer off him to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 6-3 win over the Cleveland Indians.
”I guess he proved he’s human,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. ”He doesn’t look like it very often.”
Kluber (10-3) allowed a homer on his fourth pitch of the game to Eddie Rosario and was pulled after throwing just 65 pitches by Francona, who wants to preserve his ace for bigger games ahead.
”If we want to get where we want to go, he’s going to have a major part in that,” Francona said.
It was the shortest outing this season for the All-Star, who came in 5-0 with a 0.76 ERA against AL Central teams and was riding several other impressive streaks.
Kluber didn’t offer any excuses and understood Francona’s rationale for lifting him.
”Just out of whack a little bit mechanically,” Kluber said. ”Obviously didn’t make good pitches to a few guys. Made some mistakes and they took advantage of it.”
Gibson (2-4) limited the Indians to one run and three hits in seven innings and got his first win since his season debut on March 31.
Yan Gomes homered in the ninth and the Indians closed to 6-3 before closer Fernando Rodney struck out Francisco Lindor with one on for his 15th save.
The Twins came into the series struggling at the plate and figured to be in for a tough time against Kluber, who has been as dominant this season as any stretch of his career and was seeking to become baseball’s first 11-game winner.
Kluber, though Youth Terrell Suggs Jersey , wasn’t Kluber.
With Joe Mauer returning from the disabled list after missing 25 games with a strained neck and concussion-like symptoms, Minnesota manager Paul Molitor dropped Dozier from the leadoff spot to No. 5 and the second baseman responded with his two-run homer in the fourth and three RBIs.
Minnesota’s plan was to be aggressive against Kluber and it worked.
”He’s not really a guy where anybody’s too comfortable getting behind or hitting with two strikes,” Molitor said. ”A lot of our damage was aggressive at-bats, Rosie first pitch and Doz I think maybe second pitch of his at-bat, so we were trying to get after him a little bit.”
Dozier put the Twins ahead 4-0 in the fourth, when Kluber allowed his first walk in seven starts.
After Rosario doubled, Kluber threw four balls to Eduardo Escobar, snapping his string without a walk at 46 1/3 innings – the longest for a Cleveland pitcher in 11 years. Rosario then scored when Lindor’s return throw to first after a force out nearly went into Minnesota’s dugout.
Dozier followed by snapping an 0-for-20 slump with his 10th homer, a shot that put Kluber in an unfamiliar hole. The steady-and-stoic star had not given up more than three runs in a game since Aug. 3, a span of 27 starts and testament to his consistency.
Lindor had two more errors, giving the Indians All-Star shortstop 10 this season, tying his total from 2017.
Francona isn’t concerned about it becoming a lasting trend.
”Shoot Womens A.J. Green Jersey , he’s so good,” Francona said. ”We forget how young he is sometimes, because he’s so good. If that’s the worst thing we can come up with, he’s pretty good. ”
The Indians were without starting first baseman Yonder Alonso, who was placed on the family-medical-emergency list and will miss at least this series.
A trip to Progressive Field may have helped Dozier snap out of his funk. His homer was the 14th of his career at the ballpark, his most in any visiting stadium. Dozier has reached base in each of his last 19 games in Cleveland, batting .316 (24 for 76) with eight homers and 19 RBIs.
Twins: OF Byron Buxton (toe fracture) is working out with the team and could begin a minor league rehab assignment in a few days. He was injured May 29 and placed on the disabled list the following day.
Indians: There’s still no definitive plan with All-Star LHP Andrew Miller, who has been out since May 24 with right knee inflammation. Francona said the team is taking a ”long-term” approach with the elite reliever, who has been on the DL twice this season. ”When we get him back, we want to keep him back,” Francona said.
Indians RHP Carlos Carrasco shut out Chicago with 11 strikeouts in seven innings in his last outing. He’ll make his third start this season against the Twins, who will counter with Fernando Romero.
Ryan Hartman got a bit nervous with the puck so close to the empty net after a shot by P.K. Subban.
The Nashville forward wound up with not only the first playoff goal of his career but the winner with 1:09 left as the Predators held off the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 Saturday for a 2-0 lead in their first-round Western Conference series.
Hartman’s goal gave the Predators a 5-3 lead until Alexander Kerfoot pulled Colorado to 5-4 with 35.8 seconds left. But the Avalanche couldn’t get another puck past goalie Pekka Rinne.
”I knew he made a shot toward the net Sam Huff Jersey , and I just wanted to be there in case he missed the net to beat out the icing,” Hartman said. ”Sometimes those pucks don’t bounce far enough to the front of the net, luckily it did. Those are the ones you get nervous about, the ones that are laying right there. You just want to make sure you put it in.”
The Presidents’ Trophy winners gave up a goal on Colorado’s first shot for a second straight game. Yet the Predators rallied again to take their first 2-0 lead when starting a best-of-seven series in their own building.
”It was nice to start here for sure in front of our fans, and it was nice to get the job done,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. ”We did what we’re supposed to do. Now we got to go on the road and do what I said, you got to win some road games along the way too.”
Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist, and Viktor Arvidsson, Ryan Johansen and Austin Watson scored a goal apiece. P.K. Subban and Mattias Ekholm each had two assists for Nashville, which has won 12 straight over the Avalanche.
”It’s fun playing in this building,” Watson said. ”It’s tough to come in here as an opposing team. For us to be able to hold up our end of the bargain and get the two wins is great.”
Rinne made 26 saves for the win.
Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist, and Gabriel Bourque and Gabriel Landeskog each added a goal for Colorado.
Game 3 is Monday night in Denver.
”We’re going to go put our best foot forward T.Y. Hilton Jersey ,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. ”To me, if we would clean up a couple of mistakes, we win that hockey game. That’s the way I look at it. We’re certainly capable of doing it.”
Nashville struggled early yet again despite having country star Brad Paisley singing the national anthem and wrestler Jeff Jarrett revving up the fans before the game.
Bourque put Colorado up 1-0 on the Avs’ first shot 2:34 into the game after a turnover in the defensive zone by Hartman.
The Avalanche scratched rookie defenseman Samuel Girard with an upper-body injury and replaced him with Duncan Siemens after coming into the series with defenseman Erik Johnson already missing with a knee injury. The corps thinned when Tyson Barrie was hit in the face by a puck that deflected off goalie Jonathan Bernier’s stick, but he returned later in the period.
Fiala tied it with 3 seconds left on Nashville’s first power play a minute into the second period. Fiala beat Bernier with a snap shot from the inside edge of the left circle, and that seemed to get the Predators going.
The Predators kept Colorado from taking a shot until Nathan MacKinnon put one on net at 9:48, and Rinne smothered that.
Arvidsson gave the Predators a 2-1 lead, skating up the right side and blasted a slap shot that went under Bernier’s right arm for an unassisted goal. In a 4-on-4 situation, Predators defenseman P.K. Subban blocked a shot by Barrie. Johansen got the puck on a breakaway and beat Bernier with a backhander.
MacKinnon pulled the Avs within 3-2 just 36 seconds later with his first goal this postseason.
Watson scored off a Colorado turnover in the Predators’ offensive zone in the third period for a 4-2 lead. But Nashville gave the Avalanche 1:46 of a 5-on-3 to rally, and MacKinnon’s shot deflected off Landeskog to pull Colorado within 4-3. The Predators killed the rest of the penalty, and Rinne made a big pad save on Sven Andrighetto just after the advantage ended.
NOTES: The Predators have started series twice before 2-0 and won both series, including last spring when they swept Chicago in the first round. … Nashville went 37-2-4 when leading after two periods in the regular season. … Bednar said Girard is day to day. … Colorado went 2-26-4 when trailing after two periods in the regular season.
Game 3 on Monday night in Denver.
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