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Published: Saturday, 7/28/2012

Twins beat up on Indians' Tomlin


MINNEAPOLIS -- Scott Diamond tossed a three-hitter, Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham hit three-run homers, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 11-0 on Friday night.

Joe Mauer had three hits to raise his batting average to .332 and help the Twins bounce back after getting swept by the Chicago White Sox.

Travis Hafner had two hits for the Indians, who lost for just the second time in six games.

Diamond (9-4) was perfect through 4⅔ innings before Hafner and Jose Lopez singled.

The lefty allowed just one baserunner the rest of the way, striking out six and notching his first career shutout.

After going 5-1 with a 1.61 ERA in his first seven starts, Diamond had a 4.86 ERA in his last seven, including two bad outings after the All-Star break.

He was back to his pre-All Star game form on Friday, needing just 98 pitches to go the distance.

Cleveland has been shut out five times this season, all since June 9.

Morneau gave the Twins a 3-0 lead in the first with his first home run since July 6, a 421-foot drive that was caught by a fan on the Target Field plaza in right field.

The Twins followed with five runs in the fourth off starter Josh Tomlin (5-8), capped by Willingham's 26th home run.

Tomlin allowed a career-worst eight runs in four innings and lost for the fifth time in his last seven decisions.

Reliever Jeremy Accardo didn't fare much better as the Twins added three more in the sixth and finished with 15 hits.

The Indians entered Friday 3 1/2 games behind in the AL Central after Carlos Santana and Hafner hit home runs on consecutive pitches to ignite a late rally against Justin Verlander and Detroit Tigers on Thursday.

Friday's loss snapped a five-game winning streak at Target Field and was Cleveland's worst since losing 12-1 at Boston on May 13.

The AL-worst Twins are just 5-11 since July 7 and have fewer wins than they did at this point in last year's 99-loss season.

Twins' third-baseman Trevor Plouffe was a late scratch after aggravating a right thumb injury that has kept him out since July 20. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 21.

NOTES: The Twins recalled OF Danny Valencia from Triple-A Rochester to replace Plouffe. ... An MRI on Indians LHP Rafael Perez's strained left lat showed no further damage. Out since April 26, Perez reported shoulder fatigue during his rehab and will be shut down for three to five days. ... According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Hafner and Santana are the first two players to ever homer on consecutive pitches against the Tigers' Verlander.

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