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Twins fade fast in 7-2 loss to Indians

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 4, 2014 at 9:12 pm •  Published: April 4, 2014
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CLEVELAND (AP) — As the sixth inning started, Mike Pelfrey was in complete control. Dominating.

By the time it ended, Pelfrey was gone, Minnesota's lead had vanished and the Twins were on their way to their third loss in four games.

Just like that.

Pelfrey unraveled in the sixth, giving up a leadoff solo homer to Yan Gomes and Nick Swisher's two-run shot as the Cleveland Indians rallied to win their home opener, 7-2 over the Twins on Friday.

Pelfrey held the Indians without a hit until the fifth inning, and carried a 2-0 lead into the sixth before crumbling.

"He just lost it out there," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Goodness gracious, that was pretty quick."

Swisher's homer off Pelfrey (0-1) allowed the Indians to cap a day of pomp and pageantry as they celebrated Progressive Field's 20th anniversary. Before the sixth, the Indians had been shut out by Pelfrey and were in danger of disappointing a sellout crowd that stuck around following a 2-hour, 13-minute rain delay and plummeting temperatures.

But Swisher, who added a run-scoring double in Cleveland's four-run seventh, helped the Indians win their first home opener since 2008.

Michael Brantley hit a two-run single in the seventh for the Indians, who were flat and hitless through four innings. But Gomes and Swisher woke the Indians up in the sixth when they finally figured out Pelfrey.

Chris Colabello homered for the Twins, who jumped on starter Danny Salazar for two runs in the first inning and were coasting toward a win when Pelfrey fell apart.

"It kind of ruins the whole day, no matter how the first four innings went," Pelfrey said. "The game got away from me. It was kind of like a kick in the stomach."

The Indians didn't get their first hit off Pelfrey until Carlos Santana's leadoff double in the fifth. Pelfrey, though, buckled down and stranded the runner, protecting his lead.

"Even in the fifth he got through it," Gardenhire said. "He went back out for the sixth and wasn't the same pitcher. He started missing. The next thing you know, a home run, walked a couple of guys on eight pitches and we had to get him out of there. It just went that quick."

Gomes got things started in the sixth with his leadoff homer, a lined shot into the center-field bullpen to trim Minnesota's lead to 2-1. Lonnie Chisenhall walked and Nyjer Morgan sacrificed.

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