CLEVELAND -- The Indians own the highest-scoring offense in the majors at home, but it was tough to tell Tuesday night.
Managing only six hits and going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, Cleveland dropped a 3-2 decision to Central Division rival Minnesota in front of a sparse crowd that had to wait out a two-hour and 10-minute rain delay prior to first pitch.
It was the first loss in four games for the Indians, who posted their American League-leading 14th double-digit run total to open the four-game series Monday.
Cleveland got a leadoff single from shortstop Francisco Lindor, then didn’t get another hit until a one-out single from Michael Brantley in the sixth.
Twins starter Adalberto Mejia allowed only one hit before leaving after five innings with a right wrist injury.
The Indians scored twice off right-hander Trevor Hildenberger in the eighth inning, with Lindor belting his 28th home run. But after Minnesota closer Fernando Rodney allowed a leadoff single to Yan Gomes in the ninth, Jason Kipnis, pinch hitter Melky Cabrera and Lindor went down in succession.
“(Mejia’s) got good stuff and you see that every time he’s faced us in limited looks,” manager Terry Francona said. “We didn’t really get going until late.”
With little run support, right-hander Carlos Carrasco was forced to go it alone and wasn’t up to the task.
Carrasco, who entered the night riding a personal five-game winning streak and allowing only seven earned runs over his last six starts, surrendered six hits over the first two innings.
He allowed all of Minnesota’s runs on a home run from No. 9 hitter Mitch Garver in the second.
“I thought he gave up a lot of hits for him,” Francona said of Carrasco, who allowed 10 hits, walked one and struck out eight. “He was trying to get back into the count to Garver and mis-located it and he hit it a long way. There was a lot of traffic the whole game, but he kept them off the board except for that one swing. But it was enough.”
On a positive note, Cleveland got an effective outing from left-hander Andrew Miller, who was activated Friday after a lengthy stay on the disabled list with right knee inflammation.
Miller pitched a scoreless 1 2/3 innings, walking one and adding a strikeout. He hasn’t allowed a run in three appearances off the injured list.
“I think he keeps taking steps forward,” Francona said. “He came out early and commanded his fastball really well the first couple hitters. Then he lost it for a hitter, but he corralled it back in. That’s the first time he’s pitched, sat and gone back out. We just keep trying to make strides forward.”
It was the Indians’ first loss in nine games at home against division rivals, dropping their record to 19-4 in the department -- 33-16 overall.
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