The Minnesota Twins got off to a strong start in a huge series with the Cleveland Indians on Monday night. Entering the series up 1.5 games on Cleveland in the American League Central race, the Twins held on for a 3-2 victory to draw first blood.
Tuesday's game featured a big pitching matchup as the Twins sent Kenta Maeda to the mound opposite Aaron Civale. The Indians got to Maeda first, however, when Cesar Hernandez hit a lead off home run to put Cleveland ahead early.
But the Twins struck back in the fourth inning as Nelson Cruz hit his 11th home run of the season to tie the game and Miguel Sano gave Minnesota the lead with a two-run homer in the sixth inning to put the Twins up 3-1.
The Indians chipped into the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Carlos Santana delivered an RBI single off Trevor May and appeared to have a rally going against Sergio Romo in the eighth. The right-hander got out of the name with a big strikeout of Greg Allen and handed the ball to Taylor Rogers.
Rogers put his recent struggles behind him and got through a clean ninth inning to preserve the win and improve the Twins to 20-10 on the season.
The Twins will have their work cut out for them in the second game of the series, however, as they'll match Rich Hill against Indians ace Shane Bieber on Tuesday night.