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Choo lifts Indians

Indians right fielder Choo Shin-soo hits an RBI single in the ninth inning.(AFP-Yonhap News)
Indians right fielder Choo Shin-soo hits an RBI single in the ninth inning.(AFP-Yonhap News)
Korean hits go-ahead RBI single in 9th inning

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) ― Choo Shin-soo hit the go-ahead RBI single in the ninth inning to back Jeanmar Gomez’s seven superb innings and lift the Cleveland Indians to a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Monday night.

Choo’s base hit off Twins closer Matt Capps (0-2) scored pinch-runner Lou Marson from second base, bailing out an Indians bullpen that squandered a 4-1 lead in the eighth inning.

Gomez allowed one unearned run on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks. But Vinnie Pestano gave up an RBI-double to Josh Willingham in the eighth and Nick Hagadone served up a two-run homer to Ryan Doumit to tie the game 4-4.

Chris Perez pitched the ninth for his AL-leading 12th save in 13 chances.

Casey Kotchman had two hits, including a two-run homer, and Joe Smith (3-1) picked up the win for the Indians.

The Twins managed only five hits and Capps allowed a run for the first time in six outings.

The 24-year-old Gomez got off to a dazzling start to the season with the first-place Indians, going 2-1 with a 2.82 ERA in his first five outings. The first two of those came in relief for the team’s No. 5 starter, thanks to a rainout, and he pitched well through his first four starts.

But the White Sox roughed up Gomez his last time out, tagging him for eight runs in 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander was able to stabilize himself on Monday night to put the Indians in position to end a three-game losing streak ― their longest of the season.

Darin Mastroianni scored on a throwing error from catcher Carlos Santana to put the Twins up 1-0 in the third, but that was all they could muster against Gomez, who wiggled out of another jam in the fifth.

The Twins had runners on second and third and one out, but Gomez got Brian Dozier to ground out to first and Mauer on a grounder to second, drawing boos from the home crowd.

Harper hits first homer

WASHINGTON (AP) ― Bryce Harper is as sentimental about his first big league homer as he is about the rest of the many milestones in his baseball career.

The ball’s headed for a cardboard box.

The 19-year-old rookie became the youngest major leaguer to homer since 1998 with a solo shot in the third inning of the Washington Nationals’ 8-5 victory over the San Diego Padres on Monday night.

After the game, the ball was sitting in his locker with “1st ML HR” written on it in ballpoint pen. The keepsake was going to get a place alongside his first home run ever ― at around age 7 ― and other mementos. He had a hard time remembering other saved items.

“I don’t really keep track,” Harper said. “All my stuff is in just a box. Posters, magazines ― I don’t really care.”

Harper raced around the bases quickly after driving a 2-1 pitch from Tim Stauffer onto the grass backdrop just to the left of the 402-foot marker in the third inning. He continued his sprint straight to the dugout, where he exchanged high-fives with teammates.

Harper is the youngest player in the majors ― and, at 19 years, 211 days old, the youngest to hit a homer since Adrian Beltre of the Los Angeles Dodgers connected when he was 19 years, 171 days old on Sept. 25, 1998, according to STATS LLC.

Chicago Cubs 6, St. Louis 4

NY Yankees 8, Baltimore 5

Philadelphia 5, Houston 1

Tampa Bay 7, Toronto 1

Boston 6, Seattle 1

Cincinnati 3, Atlanta 1

NY Mets 3, Milwaukee 1

Pittsburgh 3, Miami 2

Kansas City 3, Texas 1

Chicago White Sox 7, Detroit 5

Oakland 5, LA Angels 0

LA Dodgers 3, Arizona 1

San Francisco 3, Colorado 2