Cle 0 0 2 0 3 2 0 0 0 7
Min 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2
Date of game: 9/21/2014

Recap: Minnesota vs. Cleveland

Minneapolis, MN ( - Corey Kluber made another case for the American League's Cy Young Award by striking out 14 batters over eight stellar innings, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 7-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

Kluber (17-9) upped his season strikeout total to 258 while holding Minnesota to two runs on seven hits to win his fourth straight start. More importantly, the effort ensured the Indians wouldn't lose ground in the AL Wild Card race entering the final week.

"When the year's over, that's stuff that you'll take a second to look at and appreciate," said Kluber of his accomplishments. "But right now, it's not important. The important thing right now is that we got the win. That's what we need to keep going."

Cleveland remained 3 1/2 games back of Kansas City, which also won Sunday, for the second Wild Card. The Indians host the Royals for a crucial three- game series beginning Monday.

Michael Bourn went 3-for-5 with three runs scored to help the Indians to a fifth victory in six games. Michael Brantley also collected three hits while knocking in two runs, with Jose Ramirez contributing two RBI on a pair of hits.

Chris Herrmann doubled twice and drove in a run for the Twins, while Danny Santana had an RBI double in the loss.

Minnesota starter Anthony Swarzak (3-2) lasted just 4 1/3 innings, permitting five runs -- three earned -- on eight hits while walking two.

The Indians were put in an early 1-0 hole after Herrmann followed a Josmil Pinto single in the second inning with an RBI double, but struck twice in the third to move in front for good.

Three straight singles by Mike Aviles, Bourn and Ramirez knotted the score before Brantley stroked a double to right that brought home Bourn for a 2-1 edge.

Kluber yielded just one hit over the next two innings, striking out the side in order in the fourth, and his teammates broke the game open with a three-run fifth.

After Bourn and Ramirez reached via singles, Twins second baseman Brian Dozier and Santana both committed throwing errors on Brantley's potential double-play grounder, enabling Bourn to score while placing runners on second and third.

Swarzak then balked in a run for a 4-1 lead, with Brantley later crossing the plate on a Yan Gomes sacrifice fly.

"We made some mistakes out on the field that really hurt us today," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire remarked. "We attempted a double play that was two bad plays in a row. And we had a balk, so it's a bad inning and it turns into that kind of game where now you're in a hole with Kluber."

Doubles by Herrmann and Santana in the bottom of the fifth trimmed the margin to 5-2, but the Indians put up two more runs in the sixth. Ramirez knocked in Lonnie Chisenhall with a sac fly and Brantley plated Bourn with a single off Aaron Thompson.

Kluber's 14th strikeout came against Joe Mauer in the bottom of the eighth. That matched a career-best set just five days ago in Houston.

Game Notes

Brantley extended his hitting streak to 12 games and is hitting .449 (22-of- 49) over that stretch ... Kluber's strikeout total is the most by an Indians hurler in a season since Sam McDowell had 304 in 1970 ... Prior to Cleveland's regularly scheduled game with the Royals, the teams will complete a contest suspended on Aug. 31 with the Indians leading 4-2 in the 10th inning ... The Indians won 11 of their 19 meetings with the Twins this season.

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