It's never a good sign when the starting pitcher leaves the game in the third inning, but it's even worse when seven pitchers come to the mound and allow 17 runs in eight innings.
The Indians ripped through the Twins pitching lineup Saturday night in Cleveland en route to a decisive 17-4 win. The Indians - the worst team in baseball - had 10 different players score at least one RBI.
The night started out promising, with Joe Mauer scoring on a home run in the first inning. His seventh homer of the season also moved him up on the all-time Twins hit list, tying Rod Carew for eighth.
But it went south pretty quickly. Twins starter Ervin Santana floundered on the mound and gave up eight runs on 10 hits, retiring only seven batters before he was pulled with one out in the third, according to the Pioneer Press.
A succession of relievers didn't do much to stop the Indians, and manager Paul Molitor was forced to turn to a position player to pitch in the eighth. He put in outfielder Shane Robinson, who didn't do too badly, considering.
Robinson started out by walking in a run, but then retired the next two batters on a grounder and a fly ball. Robinson then gave his knuckleball a try and struck out Jerry Sands to end the inning.
The Twins had a few good moments at bat. Kurt Suzuki help the Twins play catch-up, scoring a two-run homer in the fourth, MLB.com reports.
Eddie Rosario had a solo homer in the sixth, to score another run.
But the Indians didn't slow down, adding five runs in the fifth inning and four more in the eighth.
On Friday night, Twins starter Mike Pelfrey also struggled, lasting only 3 2/3 innings, before he was pulled. The Twins used five relief pitchers Friday night and managed a 10-9 win on a ninth-inning homer by Torii Hunter.
The Twins are now 55-55 and officially out of the Wild Card spot they've been holding onto for weeks. This loss puts them 10.5 games behind the division leader, the Kansas City Royals. The Tigers are trailing the Twins by one game in the division standings.
Minnesota will look to right-hander Phil Hughes to turn around the trend in the series. He's gone 10-7 with a 4.14 ERA so far this season, but Hughes also leads the league with most home runs allowed, according to MLB.com. Game starts at 12:10 p.m.