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Published: Wednesday, 6/3/2009

Mauer stays hot as Twins top Tribe


MINNEAPOLIS - Joe Mauer homered and had three RBIs to help Kevin Slowey win again in the Minnesota Twins' 4-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians Tuesday night.

Slowey (8-1) won his fourth consecutive start by pitching six strong innings. The Twins needed a good pitching performance to make up for the absence of two sluggers.

Michael Cuddyer missed the game with a strained right index finger and Joe Crede sat out with a swollen left knee.

Joe Nathan recorded four outs for his 10th save in 12 chances, forcing pinch-hitter Ryan Garko to ground out to end the eighth inning and strand Mark DeRosa on third.

Nathan finished the rare one-plus inning save by getting Ben Francisco to fly out to the warning track in left with a runner on first.

Mauer returned from a back injury to hit 11 home runs and drive in 32 runs in May and is keeping that torrid pace in June. The two-time batting champ finished with three hits to raise his average to .431.

His home run in the fifth had just enough carry to reach the first row of blue seats in the Metrodome and give the Twins a 4-0 lead.

Victor Martinez homered off reliever Jose Mijares to start the eighth, which cut the deficit to 4-3.

Slowey retired nine in a row before Luis Valbuena singled with two outs in the seventh. After Trevor Crowe coaxed a walk, Kelly Shoppach blooped a two-run double into right field that glanced off the glove of Alexi Casilla.

Slowey walked the next batter and was replaced by Matt Guerrier, who struck out Francisco to end the threat.

The Indians entered the game with eight players on the disabled list, the second most in the majors behind Tampa Bay. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera may also wind up on the DL after injuring his left shoulder sliding into second base to break up a double play in the first inning.

Rookie David Huff (0-2) allowed all four Twins runs over five innings. The Twins got to Huff for two runs in the third on RBI singles from Denard Span and Mauer.

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