Rookie Brantley gets first career RBI as Sowers, Indians top Twins

CLEVELAND -- On a day the Cleveland Indians learned a player who is a big part of their present won't play again this season, one who's a big part of their future helped them to victory.

Rookie Michael Brantley had two hits and his first career RBI, helping the Indians to a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Friday night.

The Indians announced earlier in the day that center fielder and leadoff hitter Grady Sizemore will have surgery on his left elbow next week and will miss the rest of the season. Brantley, called up from Triple-A Columbus on Sept. 1, stepped into both roles nicely. The left-handed hitter singled and scored a run in the third and drove in a run with a sixth-inning single.

"This is a great opportunity for me to show what I can do," said Brantley, acquired last season in the trade that sent ace pitcher CC Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers. "That's the whole goal."

Jeremy Sowers (6-9) pitched six strong innings and the Indians took advantage of sloppy play by the Twins, who committed a season-high four errors. The loss dropped Minnesota six games behind the first-place Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.

"Not a particularly good night," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "When you make four errors, you probably end up deserving to lose. That's what we got tonight. We gave them too many opportunities and too many outs."

Brantley is batting .400 (6-for-15) in four games. He had his first major league hit Tuesday against the Tigers.

"I couldn't be happier," Brantley said. "This is a dream come true. I can't stop smiling from ear to ear."

Brantley's father, Mickey, a former major league outfielder, was in the stands Friday night.

"I love playing in front of him," Brantley said. "As a kid, you always dream about doing what your father did."

Brantley batted .267 at Columbus and led the International League with 46 stolen bases. The Indians have high hopes for the 22-year-old, who could be in the starting outfield when next season begins.

"It's early," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "I'm sure there will be an adjustment period for him, but he's doing a good job for us."

Sowers (6-9) allowed two runs, six hits and didn't walk a batter. The left-hander, who retired the first 10 hitters, is 4-2 with a 3.62 ERA in his last eight starts.

"My fastball command has been better," Sowers said. "I was throwing strikes early and getting ahead in the count."

Twins shortstop Orlando Cabrera thought the offense should have been more productive.

"We should score more runs," he said. "Nothing against Sowers because he pitched pretty good today, but his ERA [4.78], he's given up a lot of runs. So we should have scored more runs today."

Kerry Wood pitched the ninth for his 18th save in 23 chances.

Carl Pavano (11-11), traded by the Indians to the Twins last month, allowed four runs in six innings, including a three-run third. The right-hander is 2-3 in six starts with Minnesota.

"I know they play with a lot of energy and they put up good at-bats," Pavano said of his former teammates. "I knew I had to make good pitches and for the most part, I did that. You're going to face a lot of guys that you played with. You have to be a professional and go out there and do your job."

A throwing error by shortstop Cabrera helped Cleveland's rally in the third. Singles by Brantley and Jamey Carroll, who had three hits, started the inning. First baseman Justin Morneau fielded Asdrubal Cabrera's grounder and threw to second for a force play. Orlando Cabrera's throw to first sailed past Pavano and into the Twins' dugout, allowing Brantley to score.

Jhonny Peralta followed with an RBI double and scored on Travis Hafner's single. Peralta added an RBI single in the seventh.

Third baseman Brendan Harris committed errors in the fifth and sixth, while Morneau was charged with one in the seventh. The errors in the sixth and seventh led to two unearned runs.

"I don't think anything was particularly routine," Harris said. "It was the type of plays you really hope the next ball comes right at you so you can make up for it a little bit. It's frustrating because they were funky and balls you don't really prepare for but at the same time plays I expect to make."

Pavano was acquired on Aug. 7 for minor league pitcher Yohan Pino.

Game notes
The Twins recalled infielder Matt Tolbert from Triple-A Rochester on Friday. ... Francisco Liriano, on the disabled list since Aug. 18 with left arm fatigue, is expected to throw a bullpen session on Sunday, followed by a simulated game on Tuesday. If all goes well, Liriano could return to the Twins in a relief role at some point this season. ... Sizemore will also have lower abdominal surgery a week after the elbow operation. He has been bothered by groin problems since spring training. ... The Indians activated outfielder Trevor Crowe (strained oblique) from the disabled list and purchased the contract of left-hander Mike Gosling from Triple-A Columbus.