Morneau homers twice, leads Twins over Indians

Associated Press Modified: September 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm •  Published: September 9, 2012
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — After Justin Morneau homered in the ninth inning to beat Cleveland, Indians manager Manny Acta bemoaned another shot the Minnesota slugger tagged.

Acta was disappointed in the way starter Corey Kluber approached Morneau much earlier in the Twins' 8-7 win Sunday.

Morneau hit a two-run homer in the third after Kluber got ahead of him.

"You can't let be letting guys take those kind of rips on 0-2 counts," Acta said. "The whole thing of pitching ahead is to make a guy expand, try to make him chase, take advantage of it."

The Indians had taken a 4-0 lead when Kluber tried to get Morneau out on an 0-2 changeup.

"I just really made a bad pitch, made a mistake and he took advantage of it," Kluber said. "It was a pitch that was the best one to try and get him out."

The Twins also hit a pair of 0-2 pitches in the seventh to take the lead. Joe Mauer doubled off Esmil Rogers to put runners on second and third and Chris Parmelee later hit a sharp, two-out, two-run single off Tony Sipp.

"We did a very good job on taking advantage of the walks earlier and moving guys over and scoring them, we only failed in that situation and it proved to be costly," Acta said. "Still, you can't be giving up eight runs and be expected to win ballgames."

With one out in the ninth, Morneau hit the first pitch from Vinnie Pestano (3-2) just inside the right-field foul pole for his 19th homer of the season. Morneau has four two-homer games this season.

Brian Duensing (4-2) pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief to pick up the victory for the Twins. Minnesota's Joe Mauer had three hits — a single, double and triple — and scored twice.

Carlos Santana had three hits, including a home run, and scored twice for Cleveland. Brent Lillibridge and Michael Brantley each scored a pair of runs for the Indians.

The Twins have won two in a row and are now 5-4 in September. The victory also moves Minnesota within one game of Cleveland in an attempt to get out of last place in the AL Central.

Cleveland had an opportunity to take the lead in the top of the ninth when Matt LaPorta singled and moved to second on the first out of the inning. However, neither Carlos Santana nor Russ Canzler could drive in the go-ahead run off Duensing.

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