MINNEAPOLIS -- Trevor May had a message as the Twins were leaving Cleveland a few weeks ago.
“It’s our turn now,” the Twins reliever told reporters after the Twins took two of three games from the second-place Indians and left Progressive Field with 6 1/2-game lead.
Not if the Indians have anything to say about it.
They have gone 18-6 since that point, and they trimmed to the Twins’ lead in the division down to just one game on Thursday night, Aug. 8, with a 7-5 win in the first of a crucial four-game series at Target Field.
Starter Kyle Gibson had a bumpy outing, throwing more balls than strikes and walking a career-high six batters. To make matters worse, designated hitter Nelson Cruz, who had been slugging everything in sight, strained his left wrist for the second time this season.
Cruz reinjured his wrist swinging at a pitch during his at-bat in the fourth inning, exiting the game immediately.
A previous wrist strain landed him on the disabled list from mid-May to early June. The Twins (70-45) list their designated hitter as day-to-day, but it appears as if they will be trying to stave off the hard-charging Indians (69-46) without Cruz, at least for the near future.
They weren’t able to do so on Thursday, though they didn’t make it easy.
The Twins mounted a three-run rally in the eighth inning as Indians manager Terry Francona rotated through four different relievers.
And after the Indians scored an insurance run in the top of the ninth, the Twins loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning before an Eddie Rosario fly out ended the game.
They weren’t able to do much earlier in the game against starter Mike Clevinger, who gave up two runs on three hits while striking out nine in seven innings pitched.
The Twins grabbed a pair of runs in the fourth on back-to-back run-scoring singles from Luis Arraez and Marwin Gonzalez but those two runs were given back almost immediately, though.
The Indians scored three runs in the fourth inning after Gibson allowed three walks and a pair of hits.
After the Twins grabbed the two runs back, Gibson ran into trouble again in the fourth, giving up a single and a pair of walks to end his night.
A Jose Ramirez double off Zack Littell after Gibson’s departure provided two more runs. Gibson gave up six runs — five earned — in 4 1/3 innings pitched.