- Associated Press - Friday, May 8, 2015

CLEVELAND (AP) - Cleveland’s struggles in series openers continued on Friday night.

Torii Hunter led Minnesota to a 9-3 victory at Progressive Field as the Indians fell to 1-9 in the first game of a series.

Cleveland’s problems don’t end there. The Indians have dropped three of four, fell to 10-18 - the worst record in the American League - and are 4-9 at home.

Hunter went 4 for 4, including a home run, and drove in four runs.

Trevor Bauer (2-1) allowed five runs in five-plus innings. After going 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA in his first three starts, the right-hander is 0-1 with an 8.22 ERA in his last three and hasn’t won since April 15.

“I thought I threw the ball better tonight than I did my last two,” he said. “Props to them, they hit everything. They hit strikes, they hit balls . they hit every different pitch.”

The Twins have won eight of nine and are 16-7 since April 13.

After the Twins took a 2-0 lead on RBI singles by Joe Mauer in the first and Eddie Rosario in the second, the Indians tied it in the third on Carlos Santana’s RBI double and a run-scoring single by Lonnie Chisenhall.

Kennys Vargas’ RBI single gave Minnesota the lead for good in the fourth before Hunter broke it open. Already 2 for 2 on the night, Hunter took a high and tight changeup from Bauer in the fifth before homering to left on the next pitch to give Minnesota a 4-2 lead.

“He hit everything else I threw, so I figured I’d try that one and he hit that one too,” Bauer said. “The guy had a great night, obviously. Smoked everything he saw.”

With two outs in the sixth, Hunter doubled with the bases loaded and drove in three runs off Zach McAllister to break it open.

“We went to the bullpen trying to keep it right there and that didn’t happen. Zach came in and really threw a good fastball to (Brian) Dozier and then Torii caught up to one and spread it out,” manager Terry Francona said.

With a chance for a five-hit game, Hunter walked on four pitches in the ninth.

Hunter has 13 hits and 11 RBIs in his last seven games and is batting .280 for the season.

Michael Brantley had a solo home run for Cleveland in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to eight games.

FIRST INNING STRUGGLES

The Indians have allowed 25 runs in the first inning, which is the most in the majors. The Indians have only nine runs in the first which is tied for second-fewest in the majors.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: Mauer was back in the lineup after having Thursday off, the first game he missed this season. He has played in 29 of Minnesota’s 30 games.

Indians: LHP TJ House (sore shoulder) threw at 90 feet Friday and will increase his throwing program in the upcoming days. He was placed on the 15-day DL on May 1.

UP NEXT

Twins: RHP Phil Hughes, who recorded his first win of the season Monday, will start Saturday. After going 16-10 with a 3.52 ERA last season, Hughes is 1-4 with a 5.02 ERA in seven starts. He lost to the Indians on April 18.

Indians: LHP Bruce Chen will have his contract purchased from Triple-A Columbus to start Saturday. His last major league appearance came against the Twins on Aug. 28, while pitching for Kansas City. He allowed six runs and five hits in one inning.


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