MINNEAPOLIS – There's still a lot of baseball left to play this season, but it's hard to overlook what the Cleveland Indians did over the weekend.
Edwin Encarnacion homered twice, Trevor Bauer pitched seven strong innings and Jose Ramirez had his sixth straight multihit game Sunday as the Indians completed a four-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins with a 5-2 victory.
Cleveland came into the series trailing the Twins by two games in the AL Central.
The sweep vaulted the Indians two games ahead and gave the defending AL champions sole possession of first place for the first time since May 10.
“I don't want to say we bullied them, but we kind of imposed our will on them, and that's something we've been talking about as a team,” Bauer said. “Playing the game the right way with energy and focus and intensity – that was really good to see.”
Bauer (6-5) gave up two runs and four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. He retired 15 consecutive Twins during one stretch.
“I thought today was far and away his best outing,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “He just filled up the strike zone with a bunch of quality pitches. We were thrilled with the way he was throwing the ball.”
Andrew Miller worked a hitless ninth for his first save of the season.
“Collectively, it was a frustrating series,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. “Somehow you've got to get past it, learn from it. They played better. There's no question, they did everything better.”