CLEVELAND — Actor Kevin Costner created a buzz Sunday morning at Progressive Field by taking batting practice with members of the Indians. The rest of the day, from a Cleveland perspective, amounted to a drawn-out downer.
The Indians were not particularly sharp in losing to the Minnesota Twins, 5-3, in front of 17,143 paid. They had won four in a row.
The Tribe (38-36) made a series of missteps on the bases and in the field. Or so it appeared. Indians manager Terry Francona took umbrage with the suggestion that his club had committed ‘mental errors.'
"It's a fast game," he said. "The game might be a little harder than you realize."
Francona, the optimistic sort, preferred to take the macro view. His club has won four straight series and eight of 11 games.
"We wanted to show up and win, we lost a tough one, but I like the way we're playing,' he said.
The Indians did not do enough against a travel-weary pitcher. Twins lefty Pedro Hernandez did not have the stuff of Pedro Martinez or Felix Hernandez, but he cobbled together five effective innings. He gave up two runs on three hits, walked six and struck out two.
Hernandez subbed for Mike Pelfrey, who experienced back discomfort during batting practice on Saturday. Hernandez drove from Louisville, Ky., where the Twins' Class AAA affiliate was playing, and arrived in the middle of the night to be on stand-by. The Twins placed Pelfrey on the disabled list on Sunday morning.
"We didn't capitalize on some opportunities we had early," said Jason Kipnis. "We had some good at-bats, got some guys on base, but never got the big hit."
The Indians went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10.
Kipnis was 3-for-4 with two doubles and a walk. He and Michael Bourn (3-for-5) accounted for 75 percent of the Tribe's hits.
Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco allowed the three runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out three.