Kipnis homers twice in leadoff spot, Indians beat Twins 8-3
CLEVELAND — Jason Kipnis, moved to the leadoff spot for the first time this season, was 4 for 5 with two homers and four RBIs, and the Cleveland Indians woke up from an offensive slumber in an 8-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
Carlos Santana and Lonnie Chisenhall also homered for Cleveland, which had scored one run in 24 innings going into the game.
Trevor Bauer (3-4) allowed three runs in six-plus innings as the Indians broke a three-game losing streak.
Minnesota’s four-game winning streak ended, but Jorge Polanco hit a solo homer in the seventh, giving the Twins a home run in 15 straight games, one short of the club record.
Kipnis, who had been batting sixth, homered off Hector Santiago (4-2) to start the game and hit a three-run homer in the third off Adam Wilk. The two-time All-Star missed most of spring training with a shoulder injury and wasn’t activated until April 21.
Indians manager Terry Francona tinkered with his lineup after his team was held to three hits in each of the first two games of the series.
Kipnis came in batting .155 with no homers and six RBIs. He also singled in the second and eighth.
Santana, moved from leadoff to fifth, hit a solo homer in the third while Chisenhall, getting a rare start against a left-hander, added a two-run shot in the second.
Bauer blanked the Twins until the sixth, when Kennys Vargas hit a two-run double.
Santiago gave up six runs, including three homers, in a season-low 2 2/3 innings.
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton crashed into the wall and robbed Santana of extra bases in the sixth. Buxton lost his cap and sunglasses when he hit the ground, but got to his feet and ran off the field.
Daniel Robertson, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Columbus, had an RBI single during Cleveland’s three-run third.
Indians: OF Brandon Guyer was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained left wrist.
Twins: RHP Phil Hughes opens a three-game series Tuesday against Colorado at Target Field.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco seeks his first home victory of the season Monday against Tampa Bay.