CLEVELAND -- The Indians might want to find a different way to pitch to Eddie Rosario this season.Rosario continued to torment the Indians by going 4-for-4 with a solo homer, two RBIs and four runs scored, while Logan Morrison added two doubles and three RBIs to help lift the Twins
CLEVELAND -- The Indians might want to find a different way to pitch to Eddie Rosario this season.
Rosario continued to torment the Indians by going 4-for-4 with a solo homer, two RBIs and four runs scored, while Logan Morrison added two doubles and three RBIs to help lift the Twins to a 9-3 win on Saturday afternoon at Progressive Field.
Rosario helped Minnesota to its fifth straight win over Cleveland, and he's hitting .471 (16-for-34) with six homers, two doubles, 11 RBIs, 12 runs and five walks in eight games against the Indians this year.
"I don't know -- I feel more comfortable when I play against the Indians," Rosario said. "It's easier for me. I know what the pitcher will throw me in the situation. I feel good at home plate. Everything I see, I'm hitting."
After drawing a one-out walk in the first, Rosario's four hits all came on a first pitch, as he singled on a sinker from lefty Oliver Perez in the second, doubled on a curveball from right-hander Zach McAllister in the fourth, singled on a curveball from lefty Tyler Olson in the sixth and homered on a four-seamer from righty Adam Plutko in the eighth.
"People are trying different things: offspeed, fastballs, in, out, it doesn't seem to matter," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He gets a lefty out there, and he hits one to left, and they throw him a first pitch try to come in and he hits a homer. I don't remember what that feels like, but he's in a good place."
A day after the Twins knocked reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber from the game after five innings, Minnesota roughed up Carlos Carrasco, who exited in the second after taking a line drive from Joe Mauer off his right forearm. Carrasco was charged with four runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings, as the Twins improved to 6-2 against the Indians. It helped Minnesota move within four games of Cleveland in the AL Central.
The Twins scored those four runs against Carrasco in the first with Mauer roping a single and Rosario walking to set the stage for a two-run double from Eduardo Escobar. The Twins loaded the bases with one out and Max Kepler ripped a two-run double that was nearly a grand slam. It marked the first extra-base hit for Kepler since May 28, snapping a stretch of 16 games without one.
Rosario helped bring home another run in the second after Carrasco departed, hitting a one-out single off Perez and scoring on a double from Morrison. Minnesota broke it open with three runs in the sixth with Rosario smacking an RBI single and Morrison lacing a two-run double to right.
"LoMo's had a couple of good days, hit a couple of balls hard yesterday that didn't get hits, but he had a couple of big hits for us today," Molitor said. "Maybe guys are starting to get that feel, from top to bottom."
Rosario put the icing on the cake with his solo shot off Plutko, who was scheduled to start on Sunday. It was Rosario's sixth homer in his last four games against the Indians.
The offense made up for a subpar start from rookie right-hander Fernando Romero, who gave up three runs on six hits over four innings to get stuck with a no-decision. He surrendered solo homers to Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez in the first and ran into trouble in the fourth, allowing a Tyler Naquin sacrifice fly before getting out of a jam. Reliever Matt Magill threw three hitless innings to pick up the win.
"[Romero] was having trouble with the lefties, they were getting some good swings," Molitor said. "Magill, you're not sure what you're going to get after 10 days [off], but he threw it over, got three long fly balls for the first three outs he got, but he settled in a little bit and did a nice job picking up three big innings for us."
The Twins have a .750 winning percentage against the first-place Indians, but a .424 winning percentage against all other teams.
HE SAID IT
"It's kind of his whole game. Baserunning, tried to make a throw today that got away from him. He's just going to do things. Kind of the way it is. Most of them are good." -- Molitor, on Rosario, who also had a baserunning gaffe with the bases loaded to end the fourth and made an unsuccessful long throw home from left to try to throw out Jason Kipnis as he tagged from third in the fourth
Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (3-3, 4.19 ERA) will start for the Twins in the series finale against the Indians at 12:10 p.m. CT on Sunday. Odorizzi is coming off a no-decision against the Tigers, allowing two runs in five innings. The Indians will recall Shane Bieber for his second career start.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.