MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins might want to consider starting their games closer to midnight.
The Twins waited out a rain delay of more than two hours in the top of the inning in a 5-4 win against the Cleveland Indians at Target Field, wrapping up the victory shortly after 12:30 a.m. local time Sunday morning, when rookie outfielder Max Kepler's comebacker to the mound with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 11th inning produced an error and allowed the winning run to score.
"It was adventurous," said Twins manager Paul Molitor. "But he finished it off with a big hit to help us get the win."
It was the third time in the last month the Twins have started a game on one day, finished it on the next while also playing a day game the following afternoon.
So far, the Twins are 5-0 in those games and will look for their sixth win on Sunday.
"I told the guys before we went back out there, 'We've been good in these situations,'" said Molitor. "They came out with some energy and got it done."
The loss dropped the American League Central Division-leading Indians to 3-5 against Minnesota this season; the Twins have the worst record in the American League and are 2-19 against every other team in the Central. Meanwhile, the Indians have posted a 24-7 mark against the rest of the division.
"Every game with these guys is a tug-of-war," said Indians manager Terry Francona. "Some teams just play you tough."
Cleveland will send Josh Tomlin to the mound in search of his 10th victory of the season. The right-hander will look to bounce back from his worst outing of the season his last time out against the Detroit Tigers on July 6.
In a game the Indians lost 12-2, Tomlin was tagged for eight runs -- five of them earned -- on seven hits and a walk in just 4 2/3 innings of work.
Tomlin has been good in two outings against the Twins this season, earning the victory each time out. He allowed five runs, four earned in 5 1/3 innings pitched at Target Field on April 27, but got enough offensive support in a 6-5 victory.
He was better two weeks later, giving up three earned runs over 6 1/3 innings while striking out four.
Cleveland has a 13-3 record in his 16 starts this season.
Minnesota will counter with right-hander Kyle Gibson, who has been uneven in 10 starts this season. He didn't pick up his first victory until June 28. Despite the inconsistencies, the Twins have won three of his last four starts and were in line for a victory in the other before a late bullpen meltdown against the Texas Rangers his last time out on July 8, when he surrendered four runs in five innings.
Gibson's 5.77 career ERA in seven starts against the Indians is his highest against any American League Central opponent.