Royals Blank Twins to take series
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Rookie T.J. House threw shutout ball into the sixth inning, combining with four relievers to pitch the Cleveland Indians past the Minnesota Twins 5-0 Wednesday night.
Rookie Zach Walters hit his sixth homer. It was his third home run in eight games with the Indians since he was acquired from Washington on July 31 in a trade for shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera.
Mike Aviles homered among his three hits and drove in two runs.
House (2-3) gave up four hits while striking out five and walked three. The Indians extended Minnesota’s scoreless streak to 17 innings.
Ricky Nolasco (5-9) gave up four runs in 6 2-3 innings.
Nolasco has given up 17 home runs in 20 starts. No Twins pitcher has allowed more homers or lost more games this season than Nolasco, who signed a four-year, $48 million contract last December to anchor Minnesota’s rotation.
Indians manager Terry Francona started Aviles at third base and rested regular starter Lonnie Chisenhall, in part because Aviles had a good track record against Nolasco.
Aviles went 2 for 3 off the Twins’ starter and drove in the Indians’ third run with a broken-bat single. He’s now 7 for 11 with four 4 RBIs in his career against Nolasco.
Aviles added a ninth-inning homer off reliever Sam Deduno for good measure.
Indians: 1B/OF Nick Swisher underwent season-ending arthroscopic surgery on both knees on Wednesday. He had been suffering from chronic pain related to cartilage damage. Swisher’s recovery is expected to take eight to 10 weeks.
Twins: RHP Kohl Stewart, the fourth pick in the 2013 MLB draft, was pulled from his start at Class A Cedar Rapids in the second inning on Tuesday night when his fastball was registering 5-to-7 mph slower than usual. Twins general manager Terry Ryan said he didn’t think Stewart’s situation was serious, and that he hoped Stewart would make another start before the end of the minor league season.
Twins: Phil Hughes (13-8) also can tie for the AL lead in victories with a win Thursday. Hughes has won three straight starts, allowing just one earned run in each outing.