MINNEAPOLIS – Brian Dozier and the Minnesota Twins never caught up with Corey Kluber .
Kluber matched a career high by striking out 14 for the second straight start, pitching the playoff-contending Cleveland Indians past the Twins 7-2 Sunday.
“He commands all three of his pitches that he throws,” said Dozier, who fanned twice. “He’s got electric stuff. He’s a big swing-and-miss type guy, pretty much all cutters and sliders the whole time. When he’s got that working, it’s pretty good.”
Kluber (17-9) struck out 14 in his previous start against Houston . He fanned at least two in each of the first six innings against Minnesota .
Kluber left after eight innings. He leads the majors with 258 strikeouts.
The Twins dropped two of three in the weekend series and are now one away from a fourth-straight 90-loss season.
Michael Bourn and Michael Brantley each had three hits for the Indians , who have won five of six.
Chris Herrmann and Danny Santana drove in the Minnesota runs.
A trio of Twins miscues helped give the Indians a 5-1 lead in the fifth.
With runners on first and second, Brantley hit a potential inning-ending double play ball to Dozier. The second baseman’s throw Santana at shortstop was off the mark for an error, and Santana’s relay to first ended up the Twins’ dugout for another error, allowing Bourn to score.
Jose Ramirez scored on a balk by Anthony Swarzak (3-2) before Brantley scored on a sacrifice fly.
Making his second straight start in place of the injured Tommy Milone , Swarzak allowed five runs — three earned — 4 1-3 innings.
“I would love to be a starter,” Swarzak said. “Get that ball every five days, win some games, get in a grove. When you know what you’re going to expect and you know when you’re going to pitch, that has a lot to do with it.”
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE
The Twins hit three more doubles, giving them a major league-best 106 since Aug. 1 . Herrmann had two of them, his first extra-base hits in the majors this season after managing straight singles. He’s played in 28 games in three different stints with the Twins this season.
HAVE A SEAT
Twins centre fielder Aaron Hicks was late showing up at Target Field, and was not in the starting lineup. Manager Ron Gardenhire said there won’t be any further action against Hicks. “He didn’t play today, I think that’s punishment,” said Gardenhire, who met with Hicks about his tardiness. “A learning experience for him,” the manager said. “There you have it, we got it straightened out.”
In 62 games since he was recalled from Triple-A Rochester , Hicks is hitting .209 with one home run and 17 RBIs.
Twins : Team trainers said SS Eduardo Escobar, out since jamming his right shoulder last Tuesday, was available to pinch run, but Gardenhire was leery of having Escobar sliding. Escobar slides head first.
Twins : Ricky Nolasco (5-11, 5.34) gets the ball Monday when the Twins open a three-game home series with Arizona . He’s scheduled to face Josh Collmenter (10-8, 3.60).