Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer delivers against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Mark Duncan
September 09, 2014

CLEVELAND (AP) Trevor Bauer had one bad sequence. Cleveland's offense had another bad night.

With the days in their season dwindling quickly and the playoffs still within reach, the Indians suffered a bad loss that could haunt them for a while.

Bauer gave up four straight two-out hits in Minnesota's four-run fourth inning, and the last-place Twins dented Cleveland's playoff hopes with a 4-3 victory on Tuesday.

The Indians came in five games out of first in the AL Central, and blew a chance to make up ground in the division or wild-card chase. They are counting on beating the Twins and Houston Astros over the next two weeks, and can't afford many losses and certainly not to any of the league's weakest teams.

''You want to win every game you play, especially because we need to desperately,'' Indians manager Terry Francona said.

The Twins, using a lineup of young players and a rookie starter with a 9.38 ERA, won for just the fourth time in 16 games.

Arcia's homer off Bauer (5-8) made it 4-2, and the Twins hung on despite doing nothing else against the right-hander. Bauer gave up just the four hits - all in a row with two outs in the fourth - over eight innings. He walked one and struck out eight, but it wasn't enough as Cleveland's offense went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

The Indians haven't scored more than three runs in each of their past five games.

''They scored enough to win the game,'' said a dejected Bauer, adding he didn't feel well. ''I didn't do my job.''

Minnesota's bullpen combined for four innings of one-run ball, with Jared Burton, filling in for injured closer Glen Perkins, working the ninth for his second save.

Bauer dominated every inning except the fourth.

In the first, Bauer walked leadoff hitter Jordan Schafer but then picked him off first. He then retired 10 straight before Joe Mauer dropped a double to left. Kennys Vargas followed with an RBI double and Trevor Plouffe's run-scoring single tied it at 2.

Vargas slid awkwardly into home and had barely walked down the dugout steps when Arcia unloaded on Bauer's first pitch, driving it into the seats in right-center for his 16th homer.

''He had the one four-hitter sequence, where he gave up the bloop double and then with three straight pitches all the damage was done,'' Francona said. ''They made it hold up.''

Minnesota rookie Trevor May (2-4) allowed two runs in five innings. The right-hander had to overcome pesky ''midges,'' tiny insects that engulfed him.

''It seemed like I got hit in the face by 300 flies,'' he said. ''I came in and my entire neck was covered.''

Cleveland wasted a couple scoring chances before closing to 4-3 in the eighth on Yan Gomes' RBI single, but pinch-hitter Jason Giambi flew out to left to end the threat.

The Indians staked Bauer to a 2-0 lead in the second inning against May, who picked up his first major league win last week against the White Sox.

Carlos Santana singled and Jason Kipnis, who has struggled all season, doubled before Lonnie Chisenhall's groundout made it 1-0. Kipnis boldly took third on the play and scored on Gomes' sacrifice fly.

The Indians failed to take advantage of May's two walks to open the fourth. Cleveland threatened again in the seventh on a pair of two-out singles, but left-hander Brian Duensing retired Michael Brantley on a routine fly.

EVEN STEVEN

With five games left in their season series, the Twins and Indians are tied 7-7. Cleveland had its four-game winning streak at home over Minnesota stopped.

YANIMAL

In 11 games since being activated from the concussion list, Gomes is batting .302 (13 of 43) with three doubles, a triple, six RBIs and three runs.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Indians: INF/OF Mike Aviles has made progress after sustaining a concussion last week. He took part in pregame activities, except for hitting. Francona said Aviles, who got hurt when he face-planted trying to make a diving catch in right field, could be playing as early as Thursday.

''He looks much better,'' Francona said. ''He's getting antsy. He's pushing the trainers and those are all good signs. He was kind of cloudy for a couple days.''

UP NEXT

Cleveland's T.J. House (2-3), who held the White Sox to one run in seven innings last week, will start against Minnesota's Kyle Gibson (11-10) on Wednesday.

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