MINNEAPOLIS — Edwin Encarnacion homered twice, Trevor Bauer pitched seven strong innings and Jose Ramirez had his sixth straight multihit game on Sunday as the Cleveland Indians completed a four-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins with a 5-2 victory.
Cleveland came into the series trailing the Twins by two games in the AL Central. The sweep vaulted the Indians two games ahead and gave the defending AL champions sole possession of first place in the division for the first time since May 10.
Bauer (6-5) allowed two runs and four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. He retired 15 straight before hitting Kennys Vargas with a pitch in the seventh. Eduardo Escobar and Eddie Rosario followed with RBI hits to put Minnesota on the board.
The win was Bauer’s third of the season against the Twins, who are 0-7 at home versus the Indians this year. Bauer is 3-0 with a 3.26 ERA this season against Minnesota. Against the rest of the league, he’s 2-5 with a 6.34 ERA.
Kyle Gibson (4-5) retired nine straight before Encarnacion hit a 443-foot drive to the second deck in left field to put Cleveland on top 1-0 in the third.
Two innings later, the designated hitter did it again, launching a sky-high fly to left that carried into the second deck. The two-run shot was his third homer of the series and 15th of the season and it gave the Indians a 3-0 lead.
Ramirez continued to wear out Twins pitching, going 3 for 4 with two doubles, a walk and two runs scored. He hit a one-out double in the ninth, stole third and scored on Encarnacion’s sacrifice fly to give the Indians an insurance run.
For the series, Ramirez was 11 for 18 with four doubles, two homers, six runs and four RBIs.
The Indians sent 3B Giovanny Urshela to Triple-A Columbus before the game. Urshela was called up for Saturday’s doubleheader and went 0 for 4 in the second game. To replace him on the roster, RHP Shawn Armstrong was recalled from Columbus. Armstrong has appeared in nine games for the Indians this season, posting a 5.97 ERA over 12 innings.
Twins: LHP Hector Santiago (strained left shoulder) left the team to begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Rochester. Santiago threw a bullpen Saturday and is scheduled to start for the Red Wings on Wednesday. The Twins put him on the 10-day disabled list June 7.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (5-2) starts Monday night in Baltimore against RHP Dylan Bundy (7-5) and the Orioles.
Twins: After a day off, Minnesota welcomes the Chicago White Sox to Target Field for a three-game series. RHP Ervin Santana (8-4, 2.56 ERA) faces Chicago LHP Derek Holland (5-6, 3.79) on Tuesday night.