MINNEAPOLIS — Tyler Holt arrived at Target Field 25 minutes before the first pitch. The Cleveland Indians’ rookie had a quick bite to eat, took a few swings in the batting cage and then got the biggest hit of his young career.
Yan Gomes had three hits including a home run, Holt hit a go-ahead two-run double in the sixth inning, and Cleveland rallied to beat the Minnesota Twins 7-5 on Tuesday night.
Holt thought he might enter the game in the seventh or eighth inning. Instead, Indians bench coach Brad Mills fetched Holt from the batting cage in the sixth and told him he was pinch-hitting for Chris Dickerson.
“I didn’t have any time to think or get ready,” said Holt, now on his fourth stint with Cleveland this season. “I just threw on some gloves. Luckily, I didn’t have time to think. I’d probably strike out or something.”
With two outs in the sixth, Holt doubled home Gomes and Lonnie Chisenhall for his first two career RBIs.
The line drive to right-center came off reliever Brian Duensing (3-3) and gave the Indians a 6-5 lead.
Michael Bourn singled home Holt to make it a two-run game.
Oswaldo Arcia homered in his third straight game for Minnesota, capping a five-run first where Joe Mauer and Kennys Vargas also drove in runs.
However, Indians starter Trevor Bauer settled down and retired the next 14 batters before coming out for Kyle Crockett (3-0), who got the final out in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Cody Allen — the last of seven Indians relievers to appear in the game — pitched the ninth for his 16th save in 17 chances.
Gomes homered in the second and Zach Walters’ two-run single cut Minnesota’s lead to 5-3 in the fourth.
Arcia’s three-run homer was his fifth in his last seven games and 13th this season, one shy of his 2013 rookie total.
Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson allowed five runs in 5 1-3 innings and bounced a two-out, two-strike wild pitch in the fifth that allowed Bourn to score and make it 5-4.
“I don’t know if I just wasn’t as aggressive or what, but I definitely didn’t do a very good job of pitching with the lead tonight,” Gibson said.
Adding to Holt’s chaotic day, his cab driver from the airport didn’t know how to get to Target Field.
“These guys battle until the 27th out,” Holt said about the Indians, winners of six of their last eight. “It’s not a surprise that they came back. Luckily I got the opportunity to come through.”
Bullpen steps up
Indians manager Terry Francona was playing matchups with the steady stream of relievers who managed to hold Minnesota scoreless. The bullpen looked at it as a challenge to come up big after the offense rallied.
“We thrive off of that,” Allen said. “The offense gave us a chance to get back in the game and then we had to come through.”
Indians: 1B Nick Swisher had his injured right knee examined by a specialist in California, and Francona said the team would provide an update on his condition Wednesday. Also, the Indians placed OF Ryan Raburn on the DL before the game, recalling OF Holt from Triple-A Columbus to take his place. Raburn has been bothered all season by a sore right wrist that he aggravated last week while making a diving catch. The decision was made after Raburn took early batting practice.
“You know what, man?” Francona said he told him. “Let’s calm this thing down.” The manager hoped Raburn could start a rehab assignment before he’s eligible to be activated.
Twins: General manager Terry Ryan ruled out a return this year for RHP Mike Pelfrey, who has been out since making his fifth start in early May, first because of a groin problem and then an elbow injury that required surgery. Pelfrey has resumed playing catch, but time is running out on the season.
“We’ll start him fresh next year and he’ll be a piece of spring training, but I don’t see any reason why we ought to push that.” Pelfrey is under contract for $5.5 million in 2015, but the competition for rotation spots will be crowded.
TWINS: Ricky Nolasco (5-8) starts the second game of this three-game series on Wednesday and will be looking for his first win since July 1.
INDIANS: T.J. House (1-3) has allowed three or fewer earned runs in eight straight starts and nine of his first 12. The Indians will try to climb three games above .500 for the first time since July 19.