CLEVELAND (AP) — Francisco Lindor connected for a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning as the Cleveland Indians again moved 10 games ahead of Minnesota in the AL Central with a 5-2 win over the Twins on Wednesday night.
Lindor, who struck out with the winning run at second base in the ninth in a loss on Tuesday, drove the first pitch from Trevor Hildenberger (2-3) over the wall in right to trigger a wild celebration.
Jason Kipnis singled with one out in the ninth before Twins right fielder Max Kepler robbed Yan Gomes of extra bases with a leaping catch before crashing into the wall. Brandon Guyer followed with a single to bring up Lindor, who capped a wild ninth inning with his 29th homer.
The All-Star shortstop skipped around the bases before being mobbed at home plate by his teammates.
Down 2-1, Minnesota tied it in the ninth on Miguel Sano’s leadoff homer against Cody Allen (4-4), who wound up with a blown save and win.
Cleveland’s dependable closer — and career saves leader — not only let the lead go, but he cost Indians starter Mike Clevinger his first win since July 1. The right-hander limited the Twins to one run and five hits over seven strong innings, retiring the final 11 batters he faced before turning things over to the Indians’ rejuvenated bullpen.
However, Allen’s 2-1 knuckle curve didn’t fool Sano, as Minnesota’s cleanup hitter pounded his eighth homer over the wall. It was the ninth homer allowed by Allen in 47 1-3 innings — a concerning statistic for the Indians as the push toward the playoffs.
Minnesota committed three errors in the first six innings.
The Indians didn’t do much against Twins starter Jake Odorizzi, but they managed to scratch out a run in the fifth to take a 2-1 lead.
Gomes and Guyer opened with singles, and following a force out that put runners at the corners, Michael Brantley hit a slow grounder to short to give Clevinger a thin cushion.
Clevinger escaped trouble in the third, helped by catcher Gomes picking Mitch Garver off second from his knees. But the right-hander wasn’t as fortunate in the fourth when the Twins tied it 1-1 on Logan Forsythe’s RBI double.
Twins center fielder Jake Cave helped the Indians take a 1-0 lead in the first with a pair of miscues — one mental, one physical.
Lindor led off with a shot that Cave broke in on before realizing the ball was hit harder and it sailed over his head for a double. Brantley followed with a sinking linger that Cave charged but dropped for an error. One out later, Lindor scored on Edwin Encarnacion’s fly to Cave, whose throw to the plate was way offline.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa tackle Alaric Jackson and defensive lineman Cedrick Lattimore will be suspended for the season opener against Northern Illinois for violating team rules.
The Hawkeyes say the suspensions aren’t for legal matters. But coach Kirk Ferentz says Jackson and Lattimore’s issues surfaced in the late spring and both players were given guidelines to meet.
Ferentz called their response “excellent.” However, it apparently wasn’t strong enough to avoid missing the opener.
The loss of Jackson means that Iowa will face the Huskies on Sept. 1 without either of their starting tackles. Tristan Wirfs, like Jackson a sophomore pressed into duty a year ago, is suspended for one game after being charged with drunk driving on July 29.
AMES — The timing was right for Iowa State tight end Chase Allen.
The Missouri native joined the Cyclones in Matt Campbell’s first year as head coach as Campbell was looking to bolster the tight end position. He caught nine passes as a redshirt freshmen and was named second team All Big 12.
“It’s one of the main reasons I came here, I knew coach Campbell used his tight ends very well at Toledo. And now that we’ve had a chance to mature as a position group, were very excited for this year and the other years going forward,” Allen says.
With a year under his belt Allen feels good about the upcoming season. “I think it’s just a lot of confidence, myself and Dylan Soehnor, now we both have a full year under our belts — we consider ourselves veterans now and we can do more things now, we are not a liability to the offense and we can make impacts,” according to Allen.
Allen says they have been getting a lot of encouragement from the receivers as they become an even bigger part of the offense this season.
Allen is the son of former Northern Iowa head coach and Cyclone assistant Terry Allen and still seeks input from his father. “He’s around a lot now, he’s up here, he’s been in the offensive staff room with the guys. It’s just good to get more input because (with) 20 plus years of head coaching experience under his belt, I’m sure he I’ll take all the advice I can get,” Allen says.
The Cyclones open at home September first against South Dakota State.
CEDAR FALLS — Scoring should not be a problem for Northern Iowa this season. The Panthers have plenty of experience back on offense from last year’s team that finished 8-5 and made it to the FCS playoffs.
That’s UNI coach Mark Farley. Grinnell native Eli Dunne returns for his senior season at quarterback.
Farley expects Dunne to take his game to the next level.
Farley considers senior running back Marcus Weymiller the leader of the offense and the team.
The Panthers are ranked 13th in the preseason FCS Poll and will open September first with a visit to 24th ranked Montana.