Arcia homers in 9th to lift Twins to 4-3 win over Indians
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) On a team full of free swingers, no one swings for the fences harder than Oswaldo Arcia.
The Minnesota Twins are trying to get him to harness his considerable power, and he made an adjustment during the game's pivotal at-bat that made all the difference.
Arcia led off the ninth inning with a home run off of Zach McAllister to lift the Twins to a 4-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Monday night.
Hitting coach Tom Brunansky has been trying to convince Arcia that he doesn't have to swing quite so hard to hit the ball a long way, and he hollered at his slugger after a couple of wild cuts early in his at-bat against McAllister.
''I can hear him,'' Arcia said through an interpreter. ''I understand that he's saying I don't have to have a big swing to hit the ball far. I just need to hit it.''
Brian Dozier added a two-run double and the heavily taxed Twins bullpen gave up one run over the final 4 1-3 innings to snap a three-game skid. Kevin Jepsen (1-3) pitched the ninth for the win.
Yan Gomes homered and Michael Brantley made his season debut with a pinch-hit appearance in the eighth inning for the Indians, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. McAllister (1-1) gave up his first run in nine appearances this season.
''Every time he takes one of those out-of-control swings, Bruno is yelling at him,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Arcia. ''You can see him stepping out of the box trying to regroup.''
Danny Salazar gave up three runs on three hits and walked four in 4 2-3 innings for the Indians.
The Twins struck out just five times on Monday, a significant improvement after fanning 38 times in their final two games in Washington over the weekend. That included 20 strikeouts in a 16-inning loss to the Nationals on Sunday.
Brantley, an All-Star in 2014, missed the first 17 games while recovering from right shoulder surgery. He was originally slated to make his debut on Tuesday, but manager Terry Francona sent him to the plate with two outs, runners on the corners, and the score tied 3-3 in the eighth inning. Brantley flew out to left field and finished the game in the outfield.
Salazar breezed through four innings, but got out of whack in the fifth. He had a balk, a wild pitch and gave up a two-run double down the line to Dozier, who was hitting .187 when he came to the plate.
Miguel Sano added a cue-shot single off of Jeff Manship to push the Twins ahead 3-2.
''When you're on the road in a tie game, what happened has a chance to happen,'' Indians manager Terry Francona said. ''We'll win some of those, too.''
Both teams paid tribute to Minneapolis music legend Prince, who died last week. The Twins used a purple hue on their scoreboard with the musician's famous symbol in the corner, and every hitter walked up to the plate to a Prince song. Twins star Joe Mauer used the song ''7,'' the first time he has used a walkup song other than T.I.'s ''What You Know'' in 12 years.
Prior to the game the team released a flock of doves, a nod to Prince's hit ''When Doves Cry.'' And players on both teams wore purple wristbands.
Indians: Placed RHP Carlos Carrasco on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring that could sideline him for up to six weeks. ... Francona said Brantley would get his first start on Tuesday because the team wanted him to play back-to-back days before the team has an off day on Thursday. The plan will be to then play him Friday and Saturday before evaluating him again for the game on Sunday.
Twins: RHP Ervin Santana continues to be slowed by back spasms. The team is hopeful to have a clearer picture on his situation in the next day or two. ... 3B Trevor Plouffe (intercostal strain) is on track to come off the DL when his 15 days are up on Tuesday, manager Paul Molitor said.
The Indians send RHP Cody Anderson (0-1, 7.53) to the mound to face Twins RHP Ricky Nolasco (1-0, 2.66). Anderson has given up 10 earned runs in his last two starts. Nolasco has been one of the few bright spots for the Twins after two injury-riddled seasons.