CLEVELAND — Minnesota’s bullpen had been perfect for nearly a week.
Jared Burton couldn’t hold a one-run lead in the eighth and Casey Fien gave up Drew Stubbs’ one-out double in the 10th as the Cleveland Indians beat the Twins 7-6 Friday night.
Minnesota’s three-run rally in the seventh that had put it ahead went for naught.
“We had the lead and we got it to Burty and a couple of bloops fell in on him,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “And they end up tying the ball game back up after him. That hasn’t happened to us all year.”
Chris Parmelee’s two-run homer in the seventh gave Minnesota a 6-5 lead. Minnesota’s bullpen hadn’t allowed a run since last Saturday and Josh Roenicke kept that streak going with a scoreless seventh, extending the relievers’ stretch to 11 2-3 innings without yielding a run.
That good work all unraveled in the eighth, however. Burton, who had five holds on the season, allowed Mike Aviles’ leadoff single. After Jason Giambi flied out to deep center, Stubbs’ blooper fell near the right-field line for a double and sent Aviles to third. After Michael Brantley was intentionally walked to load the bases, Kipnis hit a ground ball to the right side that second baseman Brian Dozier knocked down. Dozier could only get Kipnis at first as Aviles scored to tie it at 6-all.
“Burton did a good job getting the ground ball. If we would have made the double play or not, I don’t know. Kipnis runs well, you never know,” Dozier said.
Stubbs, who had four hits, drove a 1-0 pitch from Fien (1-2) off the wall in left-center to give Cleveland its first five-game winning streak since winning seven in a row from April 26-May 3, 2011.
Aviles started the rally with a leadoff single. Pinch-hitter Ezequiel Carrera, claimed off waivers from Philadelphia on Thursday, moved Aviles to second with a sacrifice. Stubbs, who had two singles and two doubles, then drove in the game-winner.
Chris Perez (1-0) pitched a scoreless 10th for Cleveland.
Parmalee’s two-run homer in the seventh capped Minnesota’s three-run rally, wiping out a 5-3 deficit, but Jason Kipnis tied the score in the eighth with a run-scoring grounder, his fourth RBI of the game.
Parmalee’s two-out blast came off reliever Cody Allen and gave Minnesota a 6-5 lead.
Minnesota trailed by two going into the seventh against Justin Masterson, who retired the first two hitters. Justin Morneau singled and took second on a passed ball by Yan Gomes. Ryan Doumit slapped a single on a 3-2 pitch through the left side that scored Morneau to make it 5-4.
Parmalee hit a 2-2 pitch to right that cleared the wall despite a leaping attempt by Raburn, for his third homer of the season to put the Twins ahead 6-5.
“It was a big home run at the time for us. Unfortunately, we couldn’t finish it off but it was a big home run. He’s been swinging very good,” Gardenhire said.
Trevor Plouffe also hit a solo homer in the second.
Rookie center fielder Aaron Hicks went hitless in three at-bats, dropping his average to .115.
“Our goal is to leave him here. We want him here,” Gardenhire said. “We think this kid is gonna be a real good one, and we’re going to let him play for a while and see what happens.”
Twins starter Pedro Hernandez, who recorded his first career win over Texas in his last start, gave up five runs in 5 1-3 innings
Mark Reynolds hit a two-run homer in the fifth for Cleveland that broke a 3-3 tie.
Kipnis also had a two-run double in the third and a drove in another run with a bunt single in the sixth.
Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer had one hit in five at-bats, his second straight game with a hit after enduring the longest hitless streak of his career (21 at-bats).