Twins falter against Lowe in 5-0 loss to Indians

Associated Press Published: May 15, 2012
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Derek Lowe didn't fool the Minnesota Twins. His trusty sinker was so good he didn't have to.

Lowe pitched his first shutout in nearly seven years, throwing a six-hitter Tuesday and leading the Cleveland Indians past the Twins 5-0.

The 38-year-old Lowe (6-1) became the first pitcher since Scott Erickson for Baltimore in 2002 to throw a shutout without a strikeout. Lowe induced four double-play grounders and used his sinker roughly 120 times. He said he threw only about seven or eight breaking balls.

"Until you see a major adjustment — not just one hitter — your eyes and your ears will tell you when you need to make a change," Lowe said.

Lowe threw a season-high 127 pitches for his 10th career complete game, and first since Aug. 26, 2008, for the Los Angeles Dodgers. This was his fourth big league shutout, the previous one coming on Aug. 31, 2005, for the Dodgers at San Diego.

The only time the Twins truly came close to scoring was in the seventh when they loaded the bases with two outs on two singles and a walk. But Alexi Casilla swung at the first pitch for a lazy fly to right field.

This was Lowe's longest outing in eight starts this season. He's allowed three runs or less with six innings or more in seven of them.

"Believe it or not, the guys in the dugout are still hooting and hollering, and we believed we were going to score runs in that last inning," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

But the clubhouse was quiet again afterward. Joe Mauer's average dropped to .270. He's 8 for 46 this month.

"I'm just in a little funk right now," he said, "and trying to get out of it."

Mauer has started 35 of 36 games this season.

"I don't like to sit on the bench. I did enough of that last year. I'm just trying to stay on the field and get out there as much as I can," he said.

Shin-Soo Choo scored after a leadoff double in the third inning and then hit the first of three Cleveland home runs in the fifth against Jason Marquis (2-3). Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana also homered to break the game open.

The first-place Indians rebounded from five losses in their previous six games with a two-game sweep at Target Field of the majors-worst Twins, who entered the game with the most groundballs hit in the league, an average of more than 14 per game.

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