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Guardians sweep collapsing Twins | News, Sports, Jobs


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Andrés Giménez and Steven Kwan hit solo homers, Shane Bieber got off to another strong start and the Cleveland Guardians finished a sweep of the Minnesota Twins with a 4-1 win on Sunday.

Bieber (10-8) went 6 1/3 innings, allowing five hits and a run while striking out seven. Bieber has allowed more than two runs only once in his last nine starts. James Karinchak walked a pair of batters in the ninth inning but struck out three to earn his second save.

“It’s big,” Bieber said of the three-game sweep. “I think we feel good about it for solid reasons. There are a lot of areas where we can continue to improve, but we knew this was a big streak coming. So being able to capitalize on that was good for us.

Cleveland had lost nine of its previous 13 games, but still held a 1½ game lead over Minnesota in American League Central entering the series. The Guardians have strengthened their position and the Twins have lost nine of 11 and are in third place, 4 1/2 games back.

“It’s not done yet” said Luis Arraez of Minnesota. “We expect a lot of games to come. We’re just waiting for Kansas City. We just need to win games. That’s it.”

Josh Winder (4-4) allowed two runs in four innings for the Twins after being called up from Triple-A St. Paul before the game. Winder, who made his first major league start since July 13, had recently returned from the minor league injured roster.

Minnesota fell behind early for the third straight game when Giménez hit his 16th home run in second. Kwan started the third with his fourth homer of the year.

Gary Sánchez threw a run in the fifth as a pinch hitter for the Twins as his ground fly deflected off the third base sack, allowing Nick Gordon to score from third. Gio Urshela and Gordon started the seventh with singles against Bieber to put runners in the corners with no outs.

Bieber retired Kyle Garlick on a popout on the ground. Sam Hentges picked up Bieber and got a popout and an out to leave the tying run in third place.

“We do it again and have a couple of those good sticks right at the end of the game,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said. “Not enough. It’s not the series we’re even close to looking for here. … I would say as disappointing as that is, there are still games to be played here and there are still games against this team, there there are still games against other teams in our division.

The Guardians added two insurance runs in the ninth.

“I don’t remember winning here and being so anxious at the end of the match,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “We made it difficult, but we won and it’s not an easy thing to do.”

The Guardians have won five straight against Minnesota and posted their first sweep of the Twins since 2017.

“It was a big weekend, a big weekend for us” Hentges said.

OBSERVE AND SUCCEED

Kwan finished with three hits on Sunday and continued his standout rookie season with a big streak. He was 4 for 11 in the series with four walks and is now at .291. He added his 14th stolen base on Sunday.

“He is smart and he watches” Francona said of Kwan hitting his home run on the first pitch of the bat. “He’s careful, talks to (batting coach Chris Valaika) before every at-bat. He hit that ball well.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Guardians: Kwan received medical treatment on his right hand after being caught in the dirt during the former’s flight.

Twins: OF Max Kepler left the game after two innings with a bruised right leg. He fouled a ball to his leg in his only time at bat. … RHP Chris Archer was placed on the disabled list with a right pectoral tightness. He left Saturday’s game after pitching two innings. … RHP Bailey Ober (right groin strain) made a rehab start for Triple-A St. Paul on Sunday and pitched 4 2/3 innings with one run allowed.

NEXT

Goalies: LHP Konnor Pilkington (1-2, 3.99 ERA) will start on Monday as Cleveland head home against the Los Angeles Angels. LHP Reid Detmers (5-5, 3.67) is scheduled for Los Angeles.

Twins: After a day off, RHP Joe Ryan (10-8, 4.05) will start the series opener against Kansas City on Tuesday. The Royals will start LHP Kris Bubic (2-11, 5.40).

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