CLEVELAND (AP) — It's easy to see why Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire wasn't happy following Sunday's loss to Cleveland.
The Indians tried to give the game away by committing four errors and making numerous other mistakes, but the Twins couldn't take advantage, ending their road trip on a sour note with a 3-1 defeat.
"I don't know who was supposed to win the game," Gardenhire said. "I know they won it with a couple of hits, but I don't know who was supposed to win. Sounds like we were. You make four errors, you're not supposed to win."
The box score will say the Twins lost the game when Jared Burton (2-7) gave up a two-out homer in the eighth inning to Drew Stubbs that broke a 1-all tie, but missed opportunities told the real story. The Twins struck out 12 times, stranded 13 runners and went 3 for 19 with runners in scoring position.
Sunday ended a stretch in which Minnesota played 27 games in 27 days, but Gardenhire wasn't ready to use it as an excuse for the team's inconsistent performance.
"I don't know if that's because we're in such a grind right now when you're playing this many games in a row," he said. "Guys are a little worn out, but every team is in the same boat."
The Twins wasted leadoff doubles in the fourth and sixth innings, while leaving the bases loaded after scoring their only run in the fifth.
Cleveland's shoddy defense gave the Twins plenty of chances. Pitchers Scott Kazmir and Cody Allen and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera had throwing errors while second baseman Jason Kipnis dropped a soft line drive.
However, the game was still tied when Stubbs unloaded off Burton. The Indians added a run on Nick Swisher's RBI single before turning it over to closer Chris Perez in the ninth, who secured his 21st save of the season. Joe Smith (5-1) pitched the eighth.
The Twins came to town with some momentum after taking two of three from Detroit, which leads the American League Central. Minnesota won the opener of this series, but dropped Saturday's game 7-2.
Pelfrey, making his 24th start of the season, is accustomed to a lack of run support. The Twins have scored three runs or less 17 times when the right-hander has been on the mound. Pelfrey has gone 1-9 with a 5.46 ERA in those games. In his other seven starts, he's 4-1 with a 4.20 ERA.
Pelfrey was unable to notch his third consecutive quality start, but he did go five innings, giving up one run on two hits and striking out three while walking six.