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Published: Sunday, 7/6/2008

Indians drop 7th straight

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Cleveland's Grady Sizemore, right, is congratulated by Andy Marte, left, and Kelly Shoppach after hitting a three-run home run in the second inning. It was his 22nd homer of the season. Cleveland's Grady Sizemore, right, is congratulated by Andy Marte, left, and Kelly Shoppach after hitting a three-run home run in the second inning. It was his 22nd homer of the season.
TOM OLMSCHEID / AP Enlarge

MINNEAPOLIS - Kevin Slowey walked off the mound and went straight for the computers set up in a cranny behind the dugout.

Video of a five-run second inning provided visual evidence of what his brain, his pitching coach and his catcher were telling him about a rushed delivery. Problem solved, and the Minnesota Twins came back.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians are having a much harder time overcoming their mistakes.

Joe Mauer homered, walked three times and scored three runs to help Slowey and the streaking Twins rally past the

Indians 9-6 last night. Minnesota won its fourth straight and improved to 17-3 since June 13.

"We've been playing good enough to know we can get back in the thing if we can just stay after it and get some pitching," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's a lot of fun, a lot of fun to watch."

Craig Monroe and Alexi Casilla hit two-run doubles, and the Twins rebounded from the Indians' five-run second inning by scoring five times in the sixth.

"We're swinging so well and playing such great defense that if you can give our guys a chance, just a chance, that's all they need to get the job done," said Slowey (6-6), who settled down and struck out six over six innings with only five hits allowed.

Grady Sizemore's three-run homer, his league-leading 22nd, was the lone highlight for last-place Cleveland, which lost its seventh straight amid speculation that ace C.C. Sabathia will be dealt before the trade deadline on July 31.

"It's tough. Obviously we're not playing our best," said, Sizemore, whose homer was his 100th in a four-year career. "Guys are playing hard. We're just not finding ways to win."

One win away from the World Series in October, the Indians now have the second-worst record in the league.

"You can't think about that now, 'cause we're here," Sizemore said. "You can't be frustrated with the way things started because of the success last year. You have to move forward and find a way to make this year positive."

Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless ninth for his 24th save in 26 attempts.

NOTE: RHP Fausto Carmona, one of a handful of Cleveland's injured standouts, was scheduled to throw a bullpen session before today's game. He won't return until after the all-star break because of a strained left hip that has kept him out since late May.

CLEVELAND - The Indians have signed free agent pitcher Jeff Weaver to a minor league contract, giving the veteran a shot at making his sixth big-league team.

The right-handed Weaver will report to Triple-A Buffalo of the International League.

The 31-year-old Weaver is 93-114 with an ERA of 4.72 in 284 appearances over nine seasons from 1999-2007.

He's pitched for Detroit, the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis and Seattle. He had a career-best 14 wins for the Dodgers in 2005 and won three games for the World Series champion Cardinals in the 2006 postseason.

Weaver was 7-13 with a 6.20 ERA in 27 starts for the Mariners last year and pitched this season for Triple-A Nashville from May 1 to June 11 when he was released by Milwaukee.



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