CLEVELAND -- A week ago, the Indians concluded a four-game sweep of the Twins at Target Field to take a two-game lead in the American League Central. But on Sunday, the Twins returned the favor to the Tribe, finishing off a sweep of their own at Progressive Field with a
CLEVELAND -- A week ago, the Indians concluded a four-game sweep of the Twins at Target Field to take a two-game lead in the American League Central. But on Sunday, the Twins returned the favor to the Tribe, finishing off a sweep of their own at Progressive Field with a 4-0 victory to reclaim first place.
After the Twins were outscored 28-8 when they were swept by Cleveland last weekend, the Twins responded by outscoring the Indians 13-2 in their three-game sweep in Cleveland this weekend. Minnesota has won five of its past six, and now has a half-game lead over the Tribe in the division going into a four-game series against the Red Sox.
"Well, we didn't hold a meeting or anything, but we've been talking about getting embarrassed at home," Twins second baseman James Dozier said. "And now I can say it, we wanted to stick it to them. Especially today, after yesterday, and not just be content with winning the series. ... It was a huge, huge game today, going into Boston, and we were able to sweep here and get back in first place where we belong."
Twins manager Paul Molitor said that the ballclub should enjoy the sweep, and that he was proud of the mentality that the team had in each game of the series.
"Well, it was a really fun series," Molitor said. "I was confident that we would play well, but you're never sure how games can turn along the way. It was just one of those things where we came in here, all the games were tough -- I don't think you ever feel comfortable. You know how they can swing the bats, and what we witnessed last weekend. But to win three games, you got to feel good about it."
The Twins capped off the three-game sweep on Sunday behind a three RBI-day from catcher Jason Castro and a strong outing by ace Ervin Santana. The right-handed starter allowed nine hits, but held the Indians scoreless through six innings and did not issue a walk, while striking out seven.
In the series as a whole, the Twins' starters -- Adalberto Mejia on Friday, Kyle Gibson on Saturday and Santana -- allowed 15 hits and nine walks in 15 2/3 innings, but they only allowed one run. The Twins' bullpen picked up the starters, combining to go 12 1/3 innings and only allowing one run as well.
"Phenomenal," Dozier said of the pitching staff. "That's a credit to those guys. That's a very good lineup over there, one through nine. ... The whole staff did a heck of a job."
With the sweep, the Twins are now 5-1 against the Indians at Progressive Field this season.
"We had a chance to take a step forward and spread it out a little bit, and we didn't take advantage of that at all," Indians starter Josh Tomlin said. "They came in here and wanted it a little bit more than we did, and they took three games."
Dozier said that the Twins can build off the sweep going forward.
"[Our confidence] as high as it's ever been," Dozier said. "I can't be more proud of the way we competed from the very first pitch of the first game to that last out today. Just the fact that we came in here wanting to sweep them, we kind of pushed that, our confidence is exactly where it needs to be."
William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland who covered the Twins on Sunday.