Morgan sharp, Johnson homers in Indians' 3-1 win over Twins

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Eli Morgan threw six scoreless innings, Daniel Johnson hit a two-run homer and the Cleveland Indians held on to beat the Minnesota Twins 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Morgan (2-5) allowed just three hits and struck out eight to win for the first time since June 28, which was his first major league victory. James Karinchak escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and Emmanuel Clase earned his 17th save in 21 chances, running his scoreless streak to 12 1/3 innings.

Johnson, in his first game back after being recalled from Triple-A Columbus for the third time this season, opened the scoring with a no-doubt shot to the plaza in right field in the fifth off Minnesota rookie Bailey Ober.

Ober (1-2) cruised through four innings before running into trouble in the fifth. Coming off perhaps his best outing this season, Ober gave up three runs — two earned — and five hits in six innings.

The 6-foot-9 right-hander has allowed three earned runs or fewer in his last six starts.

The Twins, who had won eight of 11 and taken three straight series from playoff contenders, missed their chances to continue the run.

Cleveland reliever Trevor Stephan loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth on three straight walks. Minnesota plated one run on Jorge Polanco’s fielder’s choice grounder off Karinchak. Then he struck out Josh Donaldson and got Luis Arraez to ground out.

The Twins also loaded the bases with no outs against Morgan in the second, but Miguel Sanó struck out and Rob Refsnyder bounced into a 1-2-3 double play on a checked swing.

Minnesota was 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

COVID-19 HITS COACHES

Minnesota was without two coaches due to COVID-19. The team confirmed that first-base coach Tommy Watkins tested positive for the virus. Watkins was vaccinated. He left in the third inning of Monday’s game with an illness. Field coordinator Kevin Morgan took Watkins’ spot as first-base coach.

Hitting coach Edgar Varela was already away from the team with COVID-19. Varela had left to deal with COVID-19 issues in his family and ended up getting the virus.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: RHP Shane Bieber (right subscapularis strain) threw his second bullpen, which consisted of 25 pitches. … 1B Bobby Bradley (left knee strain) has progressed to baseball activities, including soft toss. There’s still no timetable for his return.

Twins: RHP Randy Dobnak (right middle finger strain) traveled to Florida to continue his rehab program. He is expected to play in a rehab game with Class A Fort Myers and potentially throw as many as 50 pitches. The team wants him to be stretched out for more innings when he returns.

UP NEXT

RHP Zach Plesac (7-4, 4.64 ERA) will start Wednesday afternoon’s series finale for Cleveland. Minnesota was waiting until the completion of Tuesday’s game to announce a starter after Michael Pineda went on the injured list last weekend with a left oblique strain.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Brian Hall, The Associated Press

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