Reyes’ two-run shot in the third inning against Andrew Albers snapped the Indians’ 25-inning scoreless streak. The 418-foot blast to center also gave Cleveland a 2-1 lead.
“It was OK, man, it was only two games we didn’t score,” Reyes said. “There was no frustration.”
The Indians managed just two runs while dropping the first three games of the series, including 3-0 losses Tuesday and Wednesday. They were limited to one baserunner Wednesday on Amed Rosario’s single in the seventh.
“It helps when you get the lead, and we also had some traffic on the bases tonight,” Cleveland acting manager DeMarlo Hale said.
Indians starter Cal Quantrill (5-3) pitched a career-high 7 2/3 innings, allowing one run on Miguel Sanó’s homer in the second. The right-hander gave up four hits and struck out five while improving to 5-1 in 12 outings since July 10.
Sanó and Quantrill exchanged words and gestures in the seventh following an at-bat that featured the slugger jawing back and forth with catcher Austin Hedges. All four umpires positioned themselves between the mound at home plate at one point.
“Quantrill had a lot to say about a lot of things,” Twins acting manager Bill Evers said. “He should keep his mouth closed and be happy he’s getting guys out, rather than talking to them, because he pitched a great game.”
Quantrill offered no apology for his demonstrative nature, saying, “I play this game with a lot of emotion and everybody knows it. It seemed like it fired (Sanó) up. Whatever.”
Mercado’s homer just inside the foul pole in left made it 3-1 in the fourth, and Ramirez added his team-high 33rd of the season in the seventh off Ralph Garza Jr.
Emmanuel Clase pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 22nd save, completing a four-hitter with Quantrill and Blake Parker. Cleveland avoided being swept by Minnesota in a four-game home series for the first time.
“I’ve known Cal since he got drafted by the Padres and I know who he is,” Reyes said. “He’s a great pitcher and I always have trust in him.”
Albers (1-2), who was recalled from Triple-A St. Paul to make a spot start, allowed three runs and six hits in four innings. The Twins had won four straight on the road.
“Albers did the best he could,” Evers said. “You need to be more efficient with your pitches.”
Quantrill had a significant amount of blood on the right side of his white pants late in his 109-pitch outing, which he attributed to his right thumbnail rubbing against the baseball. The problem has occurred in back-to-back starts.
“I can’t cut my nails any shorter, but we’ve got to find a way to stop it,” Quantrill said. “One of my favorite things in life is toeing the rubber.”
Twins right-hander Randy Dobnak was scheduled to start, but he was placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained right middle finger. Dobnak missed 61 games with the same injury before being activated on Sept. 1. Pitching coach Wes Johnson said Dobnak experienced discomfort in the finger Wednesday while playing catch.
Twins: LHP Taylor Rogers (left middle finger sprain), who has been on the IL since July 27, was examined by a hand specialist to determine the next step in his rehabilitation. Rogers has converted 48 of 60 save situations since 2019.
Indians: RHP Shane Bieber (right shoulder strain) threw a two-inning simulated game earlier in the day at Triple-A Columbus. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner reported no physical issues and should begin a rehab assignment next week.
Twins: RHP Griffin Jax (3-3, 6.79 ERA) starts Friday against Kansas City at Target Field.
Indians: RHP Eli Morgan (2-6, 5.48) pitches Friday against Milwaukee at Progressive Field.
Boston faces Houston in Game 3 of ALCS
Houston Astros (95-67, first in the AL West) vs. Boston Red Sox (92-70, second in the AL East)
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