Twins win 6-4, drop Indians to last place

Associated Press Modified: September 19, 2012 at 11:03 pm •  Published: September 19, 2012
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CLEVELAND (AP) — Liam Hendriks finally has a win, thanks in part to another productive night for Josh Willingham.

Willingham had four hits and four RBIs to help Hendriks and the Twins beat Cleveland 6-4 on Wednesday, dropping the Indians into last place in the AL Central.

Hendriks (1-7) allowed two runs and two hits in six effective innings to get the win in his 18th career start. The right-hander was pelted with shaving cream by happy teammates after picking up the elusive win.

"It took a long, long time," Hendriks said. "I could have done without the shaving cream in my eye, but I'm excited to become the 16th Australian to win a major league game."

Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire couldn't help but tease the 23-year-old pitcher.

"I told him if it takes him that long to win again, the shaving cream is going to be gasoline," Gardenire cracked.

Willingham belted a tiebreaking two-run homer off Zach McAllister (5-8) in the fifth inning, giving Minnesota a 4-2 lead. He also had three singles.

Willingham now has 35 homers and 110 RBIs in his first year with the Twins. It's the most homers by a Minnesota player since Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew's 41 in 1970. His previous career high for RBIs was 98 set last season with Oakland.

"It has been a special year for me," said Willingham, who said he didn't predict any numbers when he moved to Minnesota as a free agent, turning down Cleveland's contract offer last winter.

"To make a long story short, I wanted three years and two teams offered that," he said. "Cleveland was not one of them."

Gardenhire is glad.

"He can put it in the seats and we knew that when we signed him," he said. "He has some big RBIs for us."

Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera homered, but left in the seventh with a sore right wrist as the Indians fell to 5-12 against Minnesota. Manager Manny Acta said Cabrera will not play Thursday.

Glen Perkins worked the ninth for his 14th save.

Minnesota's Joe Mauer went 1 for 4 with a walk and had an RBI single taken away when the umpires reversed a call. Mauer is hitting .324 while contending for his fourth AL batting title. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera leads at .333.

Mauer hit a sinking liner to left with Jamey Carroll on second base in the eighth. Vinny Rottino made a diving catch, but third base umpire Mike Muchlinski gave a safe sign as Carroll scored.

Acta argued with Muchlinski, a fill-in ump from the minors. The entire crew huddled for a moment and Muchlinski reversed his call, ending the inning and keeping the score at 6-2.

"I thought I could see he caught the ball," Acta said. "It's always a tough call."

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