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Associated Press, Published June 23 2013

Emergency starter Hernandez gets win for Twins

CLEVELAND – Pedro Hernandez will have been with the Minnesota Twins just long enough to earn a victory. Making an emergency start after scheduled starter Mike Pelfrey was scratched because of a strained back, Hernandez allowed two runs in five innings, and the Twins avoided a three-game sweep with a 5-3 win over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.

“This is crazy for me,” he said. “I slept three hours. But, you know, that’s part of my job. I love my job.”

Hernandez learned he was needed to make a spot start after Triple-A Rochester’s game at Louisville, Ky., Saturday night after Pelfrey hurt his back while running in the outfield during batting practice.

With his wife, Jackie, behind the wheel and their infant daughter in the car, Hernandez headed north, arriving at the Twins’ hotel at 4 a.m.

Hernandez (3-1) then pitched around six walks and got the win despite throwing 45 of his 85 pitches for balls. The left-hander walked the first three hitters in the second but allowed only one run before giving up another in the third. Hernandez retired eight of the last nine hitters he faced.

“The first three innings he was dodging,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He wasn’t attacking the strike zone. The last two innings were pretty decent. The fifth was his best inning.”

And his last.

After the game he learned he was being sent back to the minors. That meant he and his family would have to drive to Indianapolis, where the Red Wings play next.

Oswaldo Arcia and Josh Willingham each drove in a pair of runs while Trevor Plouffe’s RBI single in the fifth put Minnesota ahead for good.

Three Minnesota relievers allowed one run over the final four innings. Glen Perkins pitched the ninth for his 19th save.

The Twins’ situation was even more dire since P.J. Walters lasted only two-thirds of an inning and walked five in Saturday’s loss.

“It was a good win for us,” Gardenhire said. “We knew after all the things that had taken place we were going to have to have somebody. That’s what we were hoping for. We were hoping we could get through five innings. He gave us the lead, held the lead and we went from there.”

Hernandez, who appeared in eight games with the Twins earlier this season, was also pitching on short rest after throwing five relief innings for Rochester on Wednesday.

“The first and second innings, I (felt) a little tired,” he said. “After the third inning, I said, ‘Come on. Let’s go. This is my opportunity. I want to do my best right now.’ ”

Indians manager Terry Francona knew his team missed too many chances.

“We gave ourselves plenty of opportunities,” he said. “We just never really cashed in. We kept getting runners on base, we just didn’t do anything with it.”

Carlos Carrasco (0-3) allowed three runs in 4 Xc innings. The right-hander, who missed all of last season because of elbow surgery, hasn’t won since June 29, 2011, when he defeated Arizona.

Cleveland scored in the second on Yan Gomes’ sacrifice fly. Jason Kipnis added an RBI double in the third while Drew Stubbs hit a solo homer in the seventh.

Michael Bourn opened the ninth with an infield hit but Mike Aviles bounced into a double play. Kipnis doubled for his third hit of the game before Nick Swisher grounded out.

Minnesota Cleveland

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Thoms cf 5 1 1 0 Bourn cf 5 0 3 0

Mauer dh-c 4 3 2 0 Aviles ss 4 1 0 0

Doumit c 4 1 2 0 Kipnis 2b 4 0 3 1

Perkins p 0 0 0 0 Swisher 1b 5 0 0 0

Wlngh lf 5 0 2 2 MrRynl 3b 2 1 0 0

Arcia rf 4 0 2 2 CSantn dh 3 0 0 0

Plouffe 3b 5 0 1 1 Raburn lf 2 0 0 0

Parmel 1b 4 0 2 0 Brantly ph-lf 1 0 1 0

Dozier 2b 3 0 0 0 YGoms c 2 0 0 1

Flormn ss 3 0 0 0 Stubbs rf 4 1 1 1

Totals 37 5 12 5 Totals 32 3 8 3

Minnesota 100 020 101— 5

Cleveland 011 000 100— 3

DP—Minnesota 1, Cleveland 1. LOB—Minnesota 10, Cleveland 10. 2B—Mauer (24), Arcia (10), Kipnis 2 (18). HR—Stubbs (6). SB—Brantley 2 (7), Y.Gomes (2). CS—Dozier (6), Bourn (5). SF—Y.Gomes.

IP H R ER BB SO

Minnesota

P.Hernandez W,3-1 5 3 2 2 6 2

Fien H,8 2 2 1 1 0 4

Burton H,14 1 1 0 0 1 0

Perkins S,19-21 1 2 0 0 0 0

Cleveland

Carrasco L,0-3 4Xc 6 3 3 4 3

Hagadone 1Zc 2 1 1 1 2

Albers 1Zc 2 0 0 0 0

R.Hill 1 1 1 1 0 1

Allen Xc 1 0 0 0 0

Hagadone pitched to 2 batters in the 7th.

WP—Carrasco, Hagadone, R.Hill, Allen.

T—3:40 (Rain delay: 0:03). A—17,143 (42,241)