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Torii Hunter powers surging Minnesota Twins past Cleveland Indians

Torii Hunter's four hits and four RBI kept the Minnesota Twins' hot streak ongoing by virtue of a 9-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

Hunter had a solo homer and a three-run double to lead the Twins to an eighth win in nine games, a stretch in which they've scored an MLB-best 68 runs. Kurt Suzuki added three hits and scored a pair of runs, while Kennys Vargas finished 2-for-5 with an RBI in the rout.

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Minnesota also received another solid outing from Mike Pelfrey (3-0), who held the Indians to two runs on six hits to win for the third time in four starts. The right-hander didn't have a strikeout, but countered by recording 14 of his 21 outs on the ground.

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Counterpart Trevor Bauer (2-1) wasn't nearly as effective, surrendering five runs and nine hits over five-plus innings.

Michael Brantley homered in the loss, Cleveland's ninth in 13 games, with Carlos Santana and Lonnie Chisenhall also driving in runs.

The Twins had leadoff doubles in three of the first four innings, the last coming from Trevor Plouffe with the game tied at 2-2. Vargas delivered an RBI single two batters later, and Hunter homered off Bauer in the fifth before Minnesota put it out of reach an inning afterward.

Another leadoff double, this one from Suzuki, ended Bauer's night in favor of Nick Hagadone, who was greeted by a single from Vargas and later misplayed Jordan Schafer's bunt as Suzuki crossed the plate for a 5-2 lead.

After Hagadone walked Danny Santana to load the bases, Hunter cleared them with a double to deep center that extended the Twins' margin to six runs.

Minnesota quickly got on the board when Hunter doubled in the first and came around on Joe Mauer's single, though a successful challenge by the Indians ruled Mauer out at second trying to stretch it. Suzuki doubled to begin the second and was pushed home on an Eddie Rosario single for a 2-0 edge.

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Pelfrey got through the first two innings unscathed, but his leadoff walk to Jason Kipnis led to two Indians runs in the third. Santana knocked in the first with a double to the base of the wall in left center, then scored the tying run on Chisenhall's two-out single.

Pelfrey was stingy from that point on, though, permitting just a pair of singles over his final four innings of work.

Michael Tonkin came on for Pelfrey in the eighth and served up Brantley's third homer of the season that pulled Cleveland within 8-3.

Brian Dozier doubled in the ninth and scored Minnesota's final run on a wild pitch from Ryan Webb.

Game Notes

Hunter recorded at least four hits in a game for the 21st time in his career ... Brantley's homer extended his hitting streak to eight games, during which he's went deep three time and knocked in nine runs ... The Indians fell to 1-9 in series openers and 4-17 when allowing more than three runs in a game this season ... Cleveland will select the contract of pitcher Bruce Chen from Triple-A Columbus to start Saturday's game.

[SportsNetwork.com]

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