CLEVELAND– Ervin Santana allowed two hits in seven innings, Miguel Sano homered and the Minnesota Twins beat Cleveland 1-0 on Friday night in the first shutout against the Indians this season.
Santana (6-1) walked a season-high five and struck out four, lowering his ERA to 1.50. After Cleveland loaded the bases in the fifth on a single and two walks, Santana retired Edwin Encarnacion on an inning-ending flyout.
Taylor Rogers got the first out of the eighth, Matt Belisle finished the inning and Brandon Kintzler pitched a perfect ninth to complete the three-hitter and earn his ninth save in 10 chances. Cleveland, coming off a 4-5 trip, went 0 for 5 with runners scoring position and stranded eight runners.
Sano homered to right with two outs in the first off Josh Tomlin (2-4), who gave up six hits, struck out seven and walked one in a season-high eight innings.
Minnesota has homered in 13 consecutive games, its longest streak since 14 in a row in 1988. The Twins (18-14) have won 10 of 14 and lead the AL Central after losing a major league-high 103 games last season, when they started 8-25.
Santana was coming off his first loss this season, a start in which he allowed six runs in six innings against Boston on Sunday. He is 3-7 at Cleveland, including a no-hitter for the Los Angeles Angels on July 27, 2011 at Progressive Field.
Michael Brantley, in the Cleveland lineup after missing three games because of a sprained right ankle, singled in the first and again with one out in the eighth.
First baseman Joe Mauer dropped Encarnacion’s eighth-inning popup after colliding with shortstop Jorge Polanco, but Brantley had to hold at first and was thrown out trying for second.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (lower back strain) has yet to throw on the mound since going on the 10-day disabled list on May 3. He has been throwing off flat ground and running.
Twins: RHP Jose Berrios will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester to make his first big league start of the year Saturday. He went 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA for the Red Wings.
Indians: RHP Mike Clevinger allowed one hit in 5 2/3 scoreless innings in his first start of the season on May 7, earning a 1-0 win at Kansas City.