The Cleveland Indians' previously stagnant offense has woken up against the Minnesota Twins.
Another big output could be on the way in Sunday's series finale at Progressive Field with a depleted bullpen backing up the home run-friendly Phil Hughes.
The Indians (50-59) had averaged 2.7 runs over 14 games immediately preceding this three-game series. They woke up for 14 hits in a 10-9 loss Friday, then had a season-high 19 in a 17-4 victory Saturday, their most runs since scoring as many June 9, 2014, at Texas.
"Today was a real good, fun, productive day for us," manager Terry Francona said.
Jerry Sands delivered a pinch-hit grand slam in the fifth, one of three innings in which Cleveland scored at least four runs. Jose Ramirez, who continues to fill in at second base for the injured Jason Kipnis, was a home run shy of a cycle with a career-best three RBIs.
Michael Brantley and Abraham Almonte - called up from Triple-A Columbus earlier in the day - combined for seven hits. Brantley is batting .415 with 12 RBIs in his last 13 meetings with the Twins.
Cleveland is hitting .407 while scoring 34 runs in the last three matchups with Minnesota (55-55), which is trying to avoid falling below .500 for the first time since it was 11-12 through May 1.
The Twins have used 11 relievers over the last four games, combining to allow 15 runs over 20 1-3 innings. Outfielder Shane Robinson pitched Saturday's eighth inning.
"I tried to go as long as I could without going to a position player," manager Paul Molitor said. "But I had to get Robinson in just to get us off the field."
An exasperated bullpen could be an issue after Hughes (10-7, 4.14 ERA) was unable to pitch deep into his last two starts. He gave up two homers each against Seattle and Toronto, failing to get through six innings either time after doing so in 13 of his previous 15 outings.
Hughes' 27 homers allowed are the most in the majors, and his 1.72 per nine innings marks the highest rate of his career - a year after he limited opponents to a personal-low 0.69. This is the sixth time he's surrendered multiple home runs in back-to-back starts, but he has never done so in three straight.
"I was missing over the plate a lot with my cutter and my fastball," Hughes said after serving homers up to Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki in a 3-1 loss at Toronto on Tuesday.
He has allowed exactly four runs in three straight meetings with Cleveland, splitting two this year while yielding one homer in each.
Corey Kluber (6-12, 3.60) has sandwiched a complete game July 29 against Kansas City with a couple of shaky starts, unraveling late in both. He gave up six runs over seven-plus innings July 24 against the Chicago White Sox, with four runs coming in the eighth. In Monday's 5-4 defeat against the Los Angeles Angels, all five runs during his 5 2-3 innings came in the fifth and sixth.
"Corey started out good," manager Terry Francona said. "It just seemed like about the fifth inning, they started stringing some hits together and he was having a hard time putting guys away."
Kluber is 2-1 with a 2.59 ERA while striking out 37 over 31 1-3 innings in his last four against Minnesota.