Kepler homers twice as Twins stop Bauer, IndiansReuters | Cleveland | Updated: 14-07-2019 08:25 IST | Created: 14-07-2019 08:21 IST
Max Kepler homered twice to continue his recent mastery of Trevor Bauer as the visiting Minnesota Twins recorded a 6-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday. Kepler, who went deep three times off Bauer in Minnesota's 5-4 win on June 6, homered to lead off Saturday's game before belting a solo shot in the second inning.
Rookie Jake Cave homered and drove in three runs and Jake Odorizzi (11-4) tossed 5 1/3 strong innings for the Twins, who have won five of eight contests in the season series to move 7 1/2 games ahead of second-place Cleveland in the American League Central. Jose Ramirez belted a solo homer and rookie Bobby Bradley went deep for the first time in his career for the Indians, who have lost two in a row after entering the All-Star break on a major-league-best 21-8 run.
Kepler didn't wait long to renew acquaintances with Bauer (8-7), as the 26-year-old hit a 2-0 fastball over the wall in right field for his fourth career leadoff homer. Cave doubled the advantage to lead off the second inning by sending a 3-2 fastball over the wall in left field for his second homer of the season.
After Byron Buxton flied out, Kepler launched an 0-1 knuckle-curveball just over the wall in right-center field to give Minnesota a 3-0 lead. The homer was Kepler's team-leading 23rd of the season and 79th of his career, with 13 hit against the Indians. Ramirez trimmed the deficit to two runs in the bottom of inning after sending a 1-0 fastball from Odorizzi over the wall in right field.
Odorizzi rebounded after Ramirez's third homer in five games to allow just one run on three hits in his 89-pitch outing. Bradley jumped on a 3-2 fastball from Tyler Duffey for a 457-foot homer to bring Cleveland within one run at 3-2 in the seventh inning, but Minnesota answered in the top of the eighth.
Luis Arraez and Jonathan Schoop singled to lead off the inning before Cave plated them both with a double down the right field line. Marwin Gonzalez capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning.