Gomes, Indians move up in playoff race, beat Twins
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Yan Gomes remembers the Indians coming to Minnesota last year and clinching a playoff spot on the last day of the regular season.
Now Cleveland is back in Minnesota, trying to sneak into the postseason through the back door.
Gomes homered and drove in four runs to help the Indians advance in the AL wild-card race by beating the Twins 7-3 on a rainy Saturday night.
The Indians pulled to 3 1/2 games out of the second wild-card spot after Oakland, Kansas City and Seattle all lost ahead of them earlier in the day.
''I was thinking about it today, how we celebrated that game,'' Gomes reminisced.
Then he grinned and said: ''It would've been nice to be celebrating again here, but I don't think that's going to happen. It's going to be at home, which is probably even better.''
The start of the game was delayed for more than hour because of rain.
Gomes, who had three hits, broke it open with a three-run homer off Trevor May (3-5) in the fifth inning that made it 7-2.
After a bunch of recent close games, Indians manager Terry Francona was grateful for an early lead and a more lopsided win.
''Maybe it's that time of year, it just never seems like it's enough,'' he said. ''You feel better when you get the last out.''
T.J. House (4-3) was removed after Joe Mauer and Kennys Vargas singled to start the sixth. Zach McAllister came in and struck out the side.
Brian Dozier had three hits for Minnesota, including his 21st homer in the eighth.
All seven of Cleveland's runs came with two outs against May. Mike Aviles hit a two-run triple, Michael Bourn and Gomes added RBI singles.
''Three instances I can think of where I was one pitch away from getting out of an inning unscathed and I think I was 0 for 3 in those instances,'' May said.
The Indians finish the series Sunday at Target Field, then resume a suspended game Monday against Kansas City. Cleveland leads 4-2 in the bottom of the 10th.
''It's exciting. Things are starting to pull together a little bit in the final stretch,'' House said. ''It's going to be fun to see what happens.''
GOMES TO CATCH SUNDAY
After sitting Gomes on Friday and using him as the DH on Saturday, Francona said he'll catch on Sunday and be plenty rested down the stretch.
''I'm sure he doesn't feel fresh as a daisy, but he hasn't had to catch every day, so that should help, too,'' Francona said.
Indians: 2B Jason Kipnis remains day-to-day with a hamstring injury. He hasn't played since Thursday.
Twins: All-Star closer Glen Perkins, shut down for the season on Friday with a left forearm strain and secondary nerve irritation, said he's pitched through discomfort the last month. The injury lowered his velocity and limited use of his slider. He will rest for a couple weeks, then meet with the Twins' training staff in early October to develop a strengthening and maintenance program. ... CF Aaron Hicks was scratched from the lineup with back stiffness.
Corey Kluber (16-9, 2.54) starts for Cleveland on Sunday against Anthony Swarzak (3-1, 4.42). Kluber struck out a career-high 14 in his last start against Houston, the first Indians pitcher to fan at least 14 since Bartolo Colon on May 29, 1998. Swarzak will be making this third start of the season and 30th of his career. As a starter, the right-hander is 7-17 with a 5.85 ERA.