MINNEAPOLIS -- Jose Ramirez and Edwin Encarnacion hit two-run homers, while Francisco Lindor connected on a two-run triple and extended his hit streak to 12 games with a single in the first to help the Indians to an 11-4 win over the Twins on Tuesday night at Target Field.
The offense backed Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin, who went six innings, surrendering three runs on seven hits to get his first win of the year and lower his ERA to 11.68, as he had previously allowed 13 runs in his first 6 1/3 innings.
"You just take every start as it is, whether you go nine shutout or you give up six in an inning and two thirds," Tomlin said. "You can't sit there and think about starts, and get too high on the good ones and get too low on the bad ones. You've just got to stay even keeled as long as you can."
Twins right-hander Phil Hughes struggled, lasting 3 1/3 frames, giving up six runs (four earned) on eight hits, including Ramirez's two-run homer in the third. Hughes fell to 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA.
"I thought we did a good job of pressuring them pretty much all night," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "In this ballpark against this team, they always keep playing and make you uncomfortable. So it was good to get all those tack-on runs."
The Indians scored three runs in the first, helped by an RBI groundout from Encarnacion and an error from right fielder Max Kepler on a routine fly ball that led to two unearned runs scoring.
The Twins came back with two runs in the first on a sacrifice fly from Kepler and an RBI double from Robbie Grossman. But the Indians kept tacking on runs against Minnesota's bullpen, including an RBI single from Carlos Santana in the fourth and a sacrifice fly from Yandy Diaz in the fifth. Miguel Sano later added a solo blast -- his fourth homer of the year -- for the Twins in the eighth. But the Indians countered with Encarnacion's two-run homer in the ninth.
"It took us 14 games to have a clunker," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It was pretty much that from the get-go. We had a chance to get off the field with one, but we didn't catch a fly ball."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Ramirez keeps rolling: Ramirez, who homered twice on Saturday, came through with a big blow against Hughes with his two-run homer in the third to give the Indians some early separation after Minnesota scored twice in the first. Ramirez's fourth homer of the year came on an 0-1 cutter, leaving the bat at 101.8 mph and going a projected 384 feet to right, per Statcast™.
"I was just looking for a good pitch and tried to get a good swing on it because I didn't quite get there in my first at-bat," Ramirez said through a translator. "So I just tried to get a good swing, and that's what I did." More >
Kepler's error proves costly: Hughes had a chance to get out of the first with one run allowed, getting Ramirez to hit a routine fly ball to Kepler in right with Michael Brantley on second. But Kepler dropped it, allowing Brantley to score and Ramirez to race into second. Lonnie Chisenhall followed with an RBI single, as Kepler couldn't get Ramirez on a throw home.
"I took my eyes off it," Kepler said. "I made a mistake." More >
"I'm disappointed a little bit to be honest with you. You come home, and have a chance to play teams in your division. We had a chance to win the last two games in the Chicago series, and Cleveland has come out with two ballgames. Last night was well played, but tonight they overmatched us." -- Molitor, on Minnesota's three-game losing streak
The Twins successfully challenged a play in the fifth, when Ramirez was originally ruled safe at third on a throw from catcher Jason Castro after Encarnacion tagged up and scored on a line drive to right from Diaz. After a review, the call was overturned and Ramirez was out to end the inning, but the run still scored.
WHAT'S NEXT Indians: Right-hander Trevor Bauer will go for his first win of the season Wednesday against Minnesota at 8:08 p.m. ET. Bauer (0-2, 8.44 ERA) gave up six runs on eight hits -- including a pair of home runs -- in his most recent outing against Detroit.
Twins: Rookie left-hander Adalberto Mejia is set to make his third career Major League start in the third game of the series Wednesday at 7:08 p.m. CT. Mejia (0-1, 4.05 ERA) was better last time out, limiting the White Sox to one run over five innings.