Thursday, Dec 08, 2016
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Twins keep rolling with win over Indians

MINNEAPOLIS — A division title secured, the Minnesota Twins are not letting up.

The Twins rested most of their regulars and beat the Cleveland Indians 5-1 Wednesday behind the pitching of Nick Blackburn to complete a three-game sweep.

Minnesota, which clinched its sixth AL Central title in nine years late Tuesday, started the day one game behind the New York Yankees for best home record in the league.

“With home-field advantage still at stake, these guys are going to play,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “It doesn't matter who I put out there, you're going to get a great effort. That's the way is around here. ... I expect that of all of them and I think they expect that of themselves.”

Blackburn (10-10) became the sixth Minnesota pitcher to reach double digits in victories, allowing one run and five hits in seven innings.

Jose Morales drove in three runs and Alexei Casilla had three hits for Minnesota, which has won nine of 11 and improved its record at new Target Field to 52-25. The Twins have sold out 74 straight home games and set a season home attendance record with 3,063,327, topping their 1988 mark.

Carlos Carrasco (1-1) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings for Cleveland, which lost its 90th game.

Blackburn gave up all five of his hits in the first two innings, including Shelley Duncan's RBI single in the first. Blackburn struck out Jayson Nix with two on in the first, and Drew Sutton hit into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the second.

“The whole story in the series was basically that we struggled offensively to push runners across the plate and give our guys some breathing room,” Indians manager Manny Acta said.

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