Scott Baker survived a shaky start and Matt Tolbert drove in two runs as the visiting Minnesota Twins extended their season-high winning streak to five games with a 6-4 win last night over the Cleveland Indians, who lost their fifth in a row, even after a players-only meeting.
Baker (3-4) was down, 2-0, after throwing only four pitches as the Indians hit screaming line drives all over Progressive Field in the first. However, the righthander bobbed and weaved his way around trouble and stayed in until the eighth. He allowed three earned runs and nine hits.
Josh Tomlin (7-3) lasted six innings for the Indians, who led the AL Central by seven games as recently as May 23, but dropped their seventh straight at home.
Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run homer and Michael Brantley added a solo shot for Cleveland.
"We've got to pull everything together," Cabrera said. "We've got to do it soon. We're going through a bad time right now."
After being swept four straight by Texas over the weekend, the Indians were relieved the defending league champions left town and were replaced by the last-place Twins, who came in with baseball's worst record. Minnesota, though, is playing its best ball in what has been a disappointing and injury-pocked season so far.
"There's a lot of excitement on our bench," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Before the game, manager Manny Acta said he was unaware of the players meeting, but was pleased it took place.
However, after speaking to players during batting practice, Acta informed reporters no such meeting happened. Later, a team spokesman sent out a text message confirming "a brief players gathering" between advance meetings for the position players and pitchers.
Outfielder Austin Kearns described the meeting "as just guys talking. No messages here or there. Just go out and play."
In other games:
* At Baltimore, Matt Wieters had two hits, an RBI and scored a run and the Orioles beat Oakland, 4-2, to extend the Athletics' losing streak to a season-high seven games.
* At Chicago, Paul Konerko homered and John Danks (1-8) pitched into the eighth inning for his first win of the season, leading the White Sox, 3-1, over the Seattle Mariners.
* At Arlington, Texas, Brennan Boesch had two of Detroit's four home runs while setting career highs with five hits and five RBI in the Tigers' 13-7 victory over the Texas Rangers.
* At Kansas City, Eric Hosmer, whose bases-loaded walk in the seventh tied the game, singled in the 11th to lift the Royals to a 3-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
* At Anaheim, Justin Ruggiano had three RBI as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Angels, 5-1.
* Major League Baseball still has questions regarding the treatment Alex Rodriguez received from indicted Canadian doctor Anthony Galea. In an interview with MLB investigators shortly before the 2010 season, the Yankees star said Galea treated him, but never gave him performance-enhancing drugs.
Galea has admitted to using human growth hormone, but not in his treatment of athletes, a list that includes Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran of the Mets, and Tiger Woods. He was indicted in October by a federal grand jury on five charges of distributing PEDs to athletes in the United States. According to published reports, Rodriguez testified to the grand jury hearing evidence in the case, testimony MLB would like to see but has no legal right to. MLB would wants to see Galea's medical records regarding his treatment of Rodriguez, according to reports.