Tribe’s only run
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO
Eddie Rosario scored the winning run in his homeland in the bottom of the 16th inning, coming around on Ryan LaMarre’s single to lift the Minnesota Twins over the Cleveland Indians 2-1 on Wednesday night to split their two-game series in Puerto Rico.
Rosario led off the 16th with a single and went to third when Logan Morrison’s grounder — which could have been a double-play ball — got past second baseman Jason Kipnis.
Eduardo Escobar was intentionally walked to load the bases with none out, and LaMarre finally ended the 5-hour, 13-minute marathon with a sharp liner to center.
The game took so long that Minnesota’s Joe Mauer and Zach Duke both aged a year — they turn 35 on Thursday, which meant their birthdays started around the 16th inning.
The teams were scoreless until trading solo homers in the 14th. Edwin Encarnacion got his off the left-field foul pole for Cleveland, and Miguel Sano tied it for the Twins leading off the bottom half against former Minnesota pitcher Matt Belisle.
Cleveland used 23 players, with only three starting pitchers left on the bench by game’s end. Josh Tomlin (0-2) made his first relief appearance since 2016 and took the loss though the only run he allowed was unearned.
Minnesota used eight pitchers, Alan Busenitz (1-0) the last of them. Busenitz worked the last two innings.
The game was played hours after an island-wide blackout hit Puerto Rico in the morning, though officials quickly determined the game at Hiram Bithorn Stadium could go on as scheduled with the help of backup systems.
Both starters were brilliant, each throwing seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball. Jose Berrios finished with five strikeouts and no walks for Minnesota, and Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco struck out seven and walked one.
The game started with Puerto Rican vs. Puerto Rican, Berrios vs. the Indians’ Francisco Lindor, Cleveland’s offensive hero in Tuesday night’s win. Berrios set the tone in three pitches: Lindor fouled off the first two, then couldn’t check his swing on the third.
From there, the pitcher’s duel was on.
Berrios’ ERA fell to 1.63, and some fans were unhappy when he got pulled after 84 pitches. Carrasco’s ERA dropped to 2.60.
Indians: Manager Terry Francona is seriously concerned about the future of 1B Mike Napoli, who was with Cleveland for its run to the World Series in 2016 and is now dealing with a serious knee injury. Napoli was hurt Tuesday night playing for Cleveland’s Triple-A affiliate, chasing down a foul ball. “I believe things happen for a reason. Who knows? Maybe this now starts him on a second journey in his career,” Francona said. “He was an impact player. My guess is he’ll impact the game doing something else now.”
Twins: CF Byron Buxton missed his second consecutive game with migraines and was placed on the 10-day DL retroactive to Sunday. His spot on the roster went to LaMarre, who was already with the Twins as their MLB-approved extra player for this series.
Berrios became only the second Puerto Rican pitcher to start a regular-season MLB game at Hiram Bithorn; the other was Javier Vazquez, who made four starts there in 2003 when the Montreal Expos used San Juan as an alternate home site.
The Twins were aware Lindor issued a blanket apology to anyone who may have been offended by his on-field exuberance after homering Tuesday — but they weren’t looking for him to say “sorry.” Manager Paul Molitor said he wasn’t aware of anyone upset about Lindor’s reaction.
It wasn’t just players returning to Puerto Rico for work. Umpire Roberto Ortiz, who’s been in the big leagues for about two years, was on the crew assigned to the series. He was at third on Tuesday, and second on Wednesday.
Indians: Off Thursday, then RHP Trevor Bauer (1-1, 2.25) starts Friday at Baltimore and RHP Dylan Bundy (0-2, 1.40).
Twins: Off Thursday, then RHP Lance Lynn (0-1, 5.00) starts Friday at Tampa Bay and RHP Chris Archer (1-1, 7.84). Lynn hasn’t pitched since April 9, getting pushed back because of the Twins’ weather-related postponements last week.
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