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MINNEAPOLIS — Jose Ramirez homered and drove in two runs and Josh Tomlin gave up three runs in six innings to lead the Cleveland Indians to an 11-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night.
Francisco Lindor broke the game open with a two-run triple in the sixth and struggling slugger Edwin Encarnacion also went deep for the Indians. Tomlin (1-2) allowed seven hits and struck out two after entering the game with an 18.47 ERA from his first two starts.
Phil Hughes (2-1) gave up six runs — four earned — and eight hits and struck out three in 3 1/3 innings for the Twins, who have lost six of their last eight. Miguel Sano hit his fourth homer of the year and Jason Castro had three hits for Minnesota.
Tomlin set career highs in wins (13), innings pitched (174) and strikeouts (118) for the Indians last season. But the right-hander gave up 13 runs in just 6 1/3 innings in his first two starts of the season.
His struggles were a big reason behind the defending American League champions’ stretch of six losses in seven games, but he righted himself against the Twins. He gave up two runs in the first inning, but just one more over the next five innings.
The Twins flailed away, particularly struggling youngster Byron Buxton. Hitting just .085 on the season, Buxton laid down a surprise bunt with two on and two outs in the fourth inning, but was thrown out by catcher Roberto Perez to end the threat.
The Indians second baseman hit a two-run homer, his fourth of the year, off of Hughes in the third inning for a 5-2 lead. He also had a single and is 14 for 24 with three homers and 10 RBIs in his last six games.
The Indians DH signed a three-year, $60 million deal in the offseason to bring some more pop to the lineup. But he entered the day hitting just .204 with one homer and two RBIs in his first 13 games.
In a ballpark he owned with the Blue Jays, Encarnacion hit a towering two-run homer to left field off of Michael Tonkin in the ninth inning.
The Twins right-hander got off to a promising start this season in his return from surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome, a disorder in which blood vessels or nerves near his collarbone and first rib were compressed. He missed the last three months of last season while recovering from the surgery, but has had trouble regaining the velocity on his fastball.
He topped out at 89 mph on Tuesday, but mostly hovered around 87.
The Twins send LHP Adalberto Mejia (0-1, 4.05) to the mound to face Indians RHP Trevor Bauer (0-2, 8.44) in the third game of a four-game series. Mejia rebounded from a rocky first start to strike out four in five innings last week. Bauer gave up six runs in five innings of his last start against the White Sox.