Cole DeVries pitched six scoreless innings to win his third straight start and the Minnesota Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 3-0 on Saturday night.
Joe Mauer had an RBI single and Josh Willingham added a sacrifice fly in a two-run third inning for Minnesota, which had lost four of its past five games.
Ben Revere had two hits and two stolen bases for the Twins, who are trying to avoid ending consecutive seasons in the AL Central basement and now trail Cleveland — which led the division at one point in June — by just two games.
DeVries (5-5) gave up four hits and walked one. A trio of relievers combined for three hitless innings, with Glen Perkins working the ninth for his 11th save in 14 chances.
Indians starter Zach McAllister (5-7) made it through only three innings in losing his third straight decision. He allowed two runs on two hits and three walks.
DeVries could be putting himself in the mix for a Twins rotation that could have several open spots heading into next season. The rookie right-hander has allowed just four earned runs over his last four starts, spanning 23 1-3 innings.
Minnesota's rotation has been completely turned over from the beginning of the season, when the team was counting on a rotation led by Carl Pavano and Francisco Liriano. Veteran Scott Baker never made it to his first start before being shut down with an elbow strain that eventually led to Tommy John surgery, and the patchwork began almost as soon as the team broke from spring training.
Since Pavano was put on the disabled list June 4 and Liriano later traded to the Chicago White Sox, the rotation has been a tryout of sorts for several pitchers not expected to reach the majors this season. DeVries was one of those surprise additions. He wasn't even on the team's 40-man roster at the beginning of the season, but he made his major league debut May 24.
After three inconsistent outings he was sent back to Triple-A Rochester, but DeVries has been a rotation mainstay since July 8 and could be starting to find his way.
He allowed a hit and a walk to the first two batters and pitched around some trouble in the first two innings before retiring 12 of the last 13 batters he faced.
McAllister and the Indians have been going the other way. The Indians led the division for much of the first two months of the season and were still in the top spot as late as June 23, but they are 15-39 since the All-Star break.
The Indians have scored the second-fewest runs in the AL and have put up one run or less eight times in the past 19 games. On Saturday, they managed one baserunner over the final seven innings. Shin-Soo Choo, who had two hits, led off the sixth with a single and was erased on a double play.
Over his first 15 starts, McAllister had a 3.50 ERA and had given Cleveland a chance despite the poor offense. But he's now allowed 14 earned runs in his last 12 1-3 innings.
Notes: The Twins retired the No. 10 before the game in honor of former manager Tom Kelly. Kelly led the team to World Series titles in 1987 and 1991, and is the club's all-time leader in managerial wins with 1,140. Kelly was credited with creating the "Twins Way", an emphasis on fundamentals the team has been known for since he took over as manager in 1987. "TK was all about respecting the game of baseball," said current manager Ron Gardenhire, who succeeded Kelly in 2002. "He preached that constantly, on how we take the field, playing hard." ... Willingham drew two walks to give him 69 for the season, a career high and seventh in the AL. Willingham has established career highs in walks, home runs (33), RBIs (102) and runs scored (81). ... RHP Esmerling Vasquez (0-1, 7.94) will make his second start for Minnesota in the third game of the four-game series on Sunday. Vasquez allowed five runs in 5 2-3 innings in a 6-4 loss at Kansas City last weekend, his first appearance for the Twins since being recalled from Triple-A Rochester. RHP Corey Kluber (1-3, 4.79) is scheduled to pitch for the Indians, coming off his first career win on Monday against the Detroit Tigers when he pitched six innings and gave up two runs.