- Associated Press - Thursday, September 24, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Corey Kluber’s dominance over the Minnesota Twins ended abruptly during a rainy fourth inning on Wednesday night.

Brian Dozier homered and Eduardo Escobar cracked a two-run single as the Twins scored four times in the fourth to beat the reigning Cy Young winner and the Cleveland Indians 4-2.

“I was fighting my delivery the whole night, missing up,” Kluber said. “When I missed, I missed up the whole night. In that fourth inning they took advantage of it.”

Carlos Santana hit a two-run homer in the ninth for the Indians, who now trail the Astros by 5 1/2 games with 12 left to play in the race for the second AL wild card.

Cleveland played without star outfielder Michael Brantley, who injured his shoulder while diving for a ball on Tuesday night.

Twins hitters had managed just four hits in 53 at-bats versus Kluber (8-15) in two games at Target Field before Wednesday’s big fourth inning.

Kluber was pulled after 3 2-3 innings, his shortest start of the season. In 100 career starts, the righty has failed to last four innings only six times.

It hasn’t been pretty for Kluber since he returned on Sept. 17 after missing 19 days with a hamstring injury. In two post-injury starts, he’s allowed seven runs in 7 2-3 innings.

“I’m healthy enough to go out there and take the ball,” Kluber said. “I don’t think that’s an excuse to make.”

As a light drizzle turned to a steady rain, Dozier led off the fourth with a homer over the limestone overhang in right field. After Kluber hit Torii Hunter to load the bases, he struck out Kurt Suzuki for the second out.

But Escobar, the No. 9 hitter, lined a single to right to score Miguel Sano and Trevor Plouffe and give Minnesota 4-0 lead.

The rain subsided after the fourth, and the downpour predicted for later in the game never arrived.

Minnesota used a three-run third inning to beat Cleveland on Tuesday night.

“They’ve done that to us two nights in a row and they’ve actually been really good at that all year,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “They just extend innings by not striking out, putting the ball in play, hitting the ball the other way.”

Making just his second start since being sidelined with a back injury on Aug. 9, Phil Hughes (11-9) didn’t allow a run and struck out four in five innings.

HUNTER ANGRY

After Kluber hit Hunter in the upper arm to load the bases in the fourth, the Twins outfielder yelled at Kluber on his way to first.

“I’m sure it probably didn’t feel good, but when he steps back he probably knows I wasn’t trying to hit him right there,” Kluber said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: Francona said Brantley’s shoulder wasn’t any worse when he got to the ballpark on Wednesday, which the team took as a good sign. He did not need an MRI and planned to try to take some swings in the cage before the game to test it out.

UP NEXT

The Indians will send RHP Cody Anderson (5-3, 3.48) to the mound for Game 3 against Twins RHP Kyle Gibson (10-10, 3.73). Anderson has won three straight starts, including a 12-1 win against the White Sox last week in which he gave up one run in 6 2/3 innings. Gibson is 1-1 with a 5.61 ERA in five career starts against the Indians.

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