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CLE@MIN: Huff throws 3 1/3 scoreless frames in relief

It's no secret that the Twins and Indians, two of only three American League teams that have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, are struggling.

The Indians have lost seven of their last nine games after losing two of three to the Tigers this weekend and are 11-37 (.229) since July 26, winning just one of 15 series over that stretch. Meanwhile, the Twins, who were swept over the weekend, have lost five of their last six games and have won only 11 games in the last six weeks. Both teams have a day off Monday before beginning a three-game series on Tuesday.

"We have a day off that's much needed," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We're starting to get some guys healthy and back on the field, which is a good thing. We've got a road trip through Cleveland and Detroit, so hopefully we'll play better baseball on the road."

David Huff will make his first start of the year after being called up from Triple-A Columbus Sept. 4. He was 7-6 with a 4.97 ERA in 24 appearances, including 22 starts, with the Clippers. He has tossed six scoreless innings over two relief outings for the Indians this month, striking out eight and walking one, while allowing only three hits.

P.J. Walters will take the mound for the Twins, looking to pick up a victory for the first time since May 22. He has taken the loss in each of his last three starts and has posted a 12.27 ERA in his last five, the last two of which have come since he was activated off the 60-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.

Walters allowed six runs -- five of them in the fifth inning -- on seven hits over four innings, striking out three and walking two, in a 10-5 loss to the Royals on Wednesday.

"I felt fine," Walters said of his most recent outing. "It was just one inning -- went out there and walked the first batter and get yourself in trouble, and it comes back to bite you."

Twins: Mauer and Doumit return to lineup
• Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit, both of whom briefly missed time with injuries, were back in the Twins lineup on Sunday. Mauer, who missed five games with back spasms, went 2-for-3 with a double and his 10th home run of the season, a solo shot off Jake Peavy in the first inning. He started at first base and batted third in the 9-2 loss to the White Sox. Mauer is batting .441 with two homers and nine RBIs in 10 games this month.

Doumit started at catcher and batted fifth, going 0-for-3 with a strikeout before being replaced by Chris Herrmann in the eighth inning.

• Brian Duensing, who went 2-8 with a 6.92 ERA in 11 starts this year, has been much more productive since returning to the bullpen. He has posted a 1.08 ERA in six relief apperances this month, allowing only one earned run in 8 1/3 September innings. Duensing is 2-2 with a 2.77 ERA in 39 outings out of the bullpen, holding opponents to a .229 batting average, more than 100 points below the batting average opponents have posted against him as a starter.

Indians: Double-A Akron wins title
• The Akron Aeros, the Indians' Double-A affiliate, captured their fourth Eastern League Championship since relocating in 1989, taking down Trenton, 6-1, in Game 4 of the Eastern League Championship Series finale on Saturday night.

Right-hander Toru Morata allowed just one run in 6 1/3 innings, striking out seven without issuing a walk in the victory. He retired 15 consecutive batters at one point. Adam Abraham, who had an RBI triple in the second inning, was named ELCS MVP. The Aeros reeled off three straight wins in the Western Division Series after losing the first two games of the best-of-five set, sending them to the ELCS that they won in four games.

• The Indians recorded their fourth walk-off win of the year, rallying to beat the Tigers, 7-6, after Lonnie Chisenhall delivered a bases-loaded single off Jose Valverde with one out in the ninth. Carlos Santana hit a game-tying, RBI triple before Valverde intentionally walked Michael Brantley and Ezequiel Carrera before Chisenhall lined a base hit to right-center to deny the Tigers a sweep of the Indians.

Worth Noting
• The Twins are 10-5 against the Indians this year, having won three straight and 10 of their last 12 against the Tribe.

• With a 7-6 win over the Tigers on Sunday, the Indians improved to 10-8 against Detroit this season, marking the first time they won their season series against the Tigers since 2008. Comments