TJ House struggles again as Cleveland Indians lose to Minnesota Twins 7-2

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MINNEAPOLIS — TJ House made strides toward rectifying his early-season struggles. It just wasn't enough to hold off the Twins.

After giving up six runs in 1 1-3 innings in his season debut against Detroit, House allowed five runs in 5 2-3 innings on Sunday in a 7-2 defeat to Minnesota.

Cleveland has lost six of its last eight games, and House dropped to 0-2 with a 14.14 ERA.

"A lot of things are frustrating right now," he said. "Just not getting ahead of guys, long innings, kind of constantly battling from behind, putting ourselves in good positions, leadoff walks. There's a lot of things that aren't going the way I'd like them to."

House issued leadoff walks in the second and fourth innings, the first of which led to Minnesota's 3-0 lead and the latter helped extend Minnesota's margin to 4-1.

Minnesota loaded the bases in the second on a walk, double and hit batter. Oswaldo Arcia's sacrifice fly, Eduardo Escobar's RBI single and Shane Robinson's run-scoring grounder, which was misplayed by shortstop Jose Ramirez, built a 3-0 lead.

Torii Hunter broke open the game with a three-run homer in the sixth, his first home run for the Twins since 2007. Hunter, who rejoined the Twins this year after five seasons with the Los Angeles Angels and two with Detroit, hit a three-run homer in the sixth off former Minnesota pitcher Anthony Swarzak for a 7-1 lead.

"I'm just happy to get the home run out of the way in a Twins uniform in Target Field," Hunter said, flashing his charismatic smile.

Making his second start since coming up from the minors when Ricky Nolasco went on the disabled list, Trevor May (1-1) allowed one run and four hits in six innings. With Ervin Santana serving a drug suspension, May is bidding to remain in the rotation when Nolasco returns from elbow inflammation.

May struck out four. Cleveland's lone threat against him came in the third, when Michael Bourn, Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley strung together three straight two-out singles.

Carlos Santana hit a ninth-inning home run off J.R. Graham, the 100th home run of Santana's big league career.

"We've got to fight through it," manager Terry Francona said. "And until you really get rolling_find a way to manufacture_find a way to win by one. Because there's going to be days when (Brandon Moss) gets hot and hits some home runs. Things like that. But until we do, we're going to have to find some ways to win some closer games."

STRUGGLING SWINGERS

Seven of Minnesota's hitters entered hitting .229 or less — four no better than .200. Cleveland had five hitters batting .220 or lower, including four under .200.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco had his scheduled Monday start pushed back to Tuesday. He left his last start April 14 after being hit in the jaw by a line drive off the bat of Melky Cabrera. "It doesn't really do anything other than give him another day," manager Terry Francona said.

Twins: Nolasco threw a bullpen session Sunday that went well. General manager Terry Ryan said Nolasco will go on a rehabilitation assignment to Class A Cedar Rapids and pitch Saturday.

UP NEXT

Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer (2-0, 1.50) is scheduled to take the mound Monday in Chicago as Cleveland opens a three-game series against the White Sox. Chicago is scheduled to start LHP John Danks (0-2, 6.97).

Twins: Minnesota starts a six-game trip in Kansas City with Kyle Gibson (1-1, 6.10) pitching against the Royals' Edinson Volquez (1-1, 2.30). In his last start, Gibson limited the Royals to one run and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings.

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