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Twins split 2 with Indians, fail to gain ground in Wild Card race

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The Minnesota Twins split a crucial doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians Wednesday at Progressive Field. The Twins won the first game, but lost the second one.

The loss in the second game snapped Minnesota's four-game winning streak.

As for Minnesota's race for the final Wild Card spot in the American League, the Astros won and the Angels lost, so the three-team race has the Astros a ½ game in front of the Angels and 1 1/2 games in front of the Twins. Houston is off today while the Twins play the Indians and the Angels play the Rangers.

Game 1: Twins 7, Cleveland 1

Kyle Gibson (11-11) tossed six shutout innings as the Twins beat the Indians 7-1 in the first game Wednesday afternoon.

Joe Mauer had a big day. He was 2-for-5 with an RBI, two runs scored a home run and a double.

Mauer put the Twins on the scoreboard in the top of the first with his 10th home run of the season – a solo shot putting Minnesota on top 1-0.

Minnesota added four more in the third. Mauer got it rolling with his 33rd double of the season. He scored on a single from Trevor Plouffe. After the Twins loaded the bases, Torii Hunter cleared them with a double to push the lead to 5-0.

Byron Buxton was 2-for-4 with his second Major League home run. Eduardo Nunez was 2-for-3 with a double, a stolen base and a run scored.

Gibson struck out nine, while holding Cleveland to four hits.

Game 2: Cleveland 10, Twins 2

Cleveland took the second game of the doubleheader 10-2 Wednesday night.

The Indians jumped on Twins starter Mike Pelfrey (6-11) early. After leaving the bases loaded against Pelfrey in the first, the Indians put a four spot on the board in the bottom of the second.

A key play came with the Twins trailing 2-0 and two out in the second inning, when they lost a challenge on a close play at first.

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After a delay of more than four minutes, and runners at the corners, Pelfrey threw a wild pitch that allowed Jose Ramirez to score. Carlos Santana then followed with a clutch hit to score another run, and the Indians pushed their lead to 4-0.

Pelfrey lasted just 1 2/3 innings. He gave up four runs on six hits while walking two.

Things didn't get a lot better against the Twins bullpen as the Indians extended their lead to 7-0 in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run homer by Francisco Lindor.

Ramirez added a three-run homer. He finished 2-for-4 with four RBIs and a pair of runs scored. Abraham Almonte also had a big night for Cleveland, he was 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

Cody Anderson (7-3) tossed seven shutout innings holding the Twins to two hits and four walks for the win.

Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario hit solo home runs in the loss for the Twins.

Tyler Duffey (5-1) heads to the mound on Thursday in the series finale against Josh Tomlin (6-2).

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