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Twins avoid shutout but lose again to Indians, 8-1

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The Twins' woes continue. They needed a ninth-inning score to avoid a shutout against the Indians, losing 8-1 Sunday afternoon at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The Indians took two of three games in the series.

The Twins have lost seven of their last eight games, and are now under .500, at 55-56, for the first time since May 1, according to MLB.com.

It looked for a while as though the Twins would not just be shut out, but no-hit; Indians' ace Corey Kluber didn't give up a hit until the seventh inning, when Joe Mauer hit a single to left center.

Kluber, the reigning Cy Young Award winner, allowed only three hits while pitching a complete game, striking out 10 and allowing just one walk.

On the other side of the ball, the Twins continue to struggle with pitching. Starter Phil Hughes (10-8) lasted just three innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits and a walk, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Abraham Almonte hit a two-run homer off Hughes in the third - his second home run in as many days - while Chris Johnson went 4 for 4 with two doubles for Cleveland (51-59), according to the Associated Press.

Minnesota managed one run in the ninth inning when Aaron Hicks hit a double and drove in Shane Robinson.

The Twins are definitely in a post-All-Star break slump. They've played seven series since the break and have not won any of them, the Pioneer Press notes.

And Twins pitchers have a 6.17 ERA, since the break - the worst in the majors - and have given up at least one home run in 15 straight games, according to the paper.

Perhaps some home cooking will help get them back on track. The Twins open a series against Texas on Tuesday night at Target Field, with Kyle Gibson on the mound.

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