Vikings Come Up Short at Lambeau
CLEVELAND (AP) — Roberto Perez's three-run homer helped the Cleveland Indians salvage the finale of their AL Central showdown series with a 7-5 win over the big-swinging Minnesota Twins, who tied a major league home run record Sunday.
Perez's 417-foot shot to center field off Kyle Gibson capped a four-run rally in the sixth inning that began with Jason Kipnis hitting a double off Fernando Romero (0-1).
Nick Wittgren (5-1) relieved starter Shane Bieber and held the Twins to one run in 1 1-3 innings. James Hoyt got two outs in the ninth before Oliver Perez popped up red-hot Eddie Rosario for his first save this season — and first since 2017 with Washington.
The win kept the Indians' faint division hopes alive. They trail the Twins by 4 ½ games and are chasing Oakland and Tampa Bay in the wild-card race.
Rosario homered twice and Miguel Sanó and rookie LaMonte Wade Jr. connected as the Twins became the 13th team — and first since the 2009 Philadelphia Phillies — to have four players reach 30 homers in the same season.
Sanó, who homered in the third off starter Shane Bieber, has 29 homers and two weeks left to reach the milestone, which would give Minnesota the record.
Second baseman Jonathan Schoop had two of four errors by the Twins, who lost for just the third time in their last 17 road games.
They came to Cleveland looking to put away the Indians and nearly did with another power-packed performance. Minnesota has 287 homers after hitting just 166 in 2018.
Rosario's 419-foot homer in the sixth tied it 2-2 and gave him 30 homers, joining Nelson Cruz (37), Max Kepler (36) and Mitch Garver (30) at the plateau.
Rosario connected for his 31st in the seventh to pull the Twins within 6-5.
But the Indians responded with a run in their half, helped by Schoop's second miscue. Pinch-hitter Mike Freeman's RBI single gave the Indians a two-run cushion.
After winning twice Saturday following a rainout, manager Rocco Baldelli rested some of his regulars and pushed All-Star right-hander José Berrios back one day for added rest and to better align his starting rotation for the stretch.
Baldelli couldn't have been happy with how his team started. The Twins made two errors in the first inning to help the Indians take a 2-0 lead.
Twins: Utility INF Ehire Adrianza rejoined the club Saturday to begin treatment for a strained right oblique. Adrianza, who got hurt while swinging against Washington on Thursday, hopes to be playing by the end of the regular season.
Indians: Closer Brad Hand threw in the outfield before the game. The left-hander has struggled during the season's second half and the club is trying to get him some rest while building up arm strength. There's no timetable on his return. ... RHP Corey Kluber didn't have any issues after playing catch for the first time since straining an oblique. The two-time Cy Young winner hasn't pitched for Cleveland since breaking his right arm on May 1.
Twins: Open a three-game series at home against Chicago with Berrios (12-8, 3.63) starting against White Sox right-hander Reynaldo López (9-13, 5.35 ERA).
Indians: Following an off day, Cleveland opens a three-game series against Detroit with Adam Plutko (6-4, 4.42 ERA) facing left-hander Matthew Boyd. The Indians have won 13 straight over the Tigers.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers threw two early touchdowns and the Green Bay Packers held on for a 21-16 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
On a day when the Packers honored late Hall of Famer Bart Starr at halftime, Rodgers put on quite a show — particularly early. Rodgers completed nine of his first 10 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns and had a perfect 158.3 rating through the first quarter. He finished 22 of 34 for 209 yards.
The Packers improved to 2-0 under new coach Matt LaFleur after opening the NFL's 100th season with a victory at rival Chicago. They also beat the Vikings (1-1) for the fifth time in the past seven games at Lambeau Field.
Kevin King intercepted Cousins late in the end zone to preserve the win.
Minnesota's Dalvin Cook had a career-high 154 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. It was the third-year back's second consecutive game with over 100 yards rushing.
After throwing the ball just 10 times in the season opener, Kirk Cousins finished 14 of 32 with 230 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
Rodgers and Davante Adams connected on a 39-yard completion on the Packers' first offensive play and LaFleur's offense was off and running. Rodgers found running back Jamaal Williams for a 15-yard touchdown to cap a four-play, 75-yard opening drive.
Minnesota had a chance to answer with at least a field goal, but Dan Bailey missed wide left on a 47-yard attempt with about 9 minutes to go in the opening quarter.
It took Green Bay's offense all of 12 minutes to score more points (14) than it did in the season opener at Chicago (10).
After not seeing a single ball against the Bears, receiver Geronimo Allison gave the Packers a two-score advantage on a 12-yard strike from Rodgers.
Green Bay got the ball right back after defensive lineman Kenny Clark sacked Cousins, forcing a fumble. Dean Lowry recovered the ball and the Packers took over at the Vikings 33.
The Packers took a commanding 21-0 lead with 2 minutes to play in the first half on 2-yard run by Aaron Jones. Green Bay never scored again.
After rushing for 111 yards and two touchdowns in a win last week against the Falcons, Cook broke out for a 75-yard score following a missed tackle by rookie safety Darnell Savage.
Stefan Diggs scored the Vikings' other touchdown with 45-yard grab from Cousins with 9:12 to play in the third.
Packers safety Raven Greene was carted off the field with an ankle injury following the first play of the second half. He did not return.
The Packers honored Starr during a celebration that included a video tribute, words from Starr's wife, Cherry, and an appearance by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Starr, who died in May at 85, was the MVP of the first two Super Bowls and won the league MVP award in 1966 with the Packers. Starr has the highest postseason passer rating (104.8) of any QB in NFL history and a postseason record of 9-1. Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Packers Hall of Fame in 1977.
Vikings: Host Raiders on Sept. 22.
Packers: Host Broncos on Sept. 22.