CLEVELAND — Brandon Kintzler threw the pitch he wanted, where he wanted it, to Jason Kipnis in the bottom of the 10th inning.
It wound up extending the Twins’ season-long losing streak to 11 games.
Kipnis singled to left field with one out, scoring Chris Gimenez from second base to give the American League Central-leading Cleveland Indians a 1-0 victory over Minnesota on Monday night.
“The ball was down, almost on the ground, but Kipnis beat me on my best pitch,” the closer said with a shrug. “You’ve just got to tip your hat to a guy like that. He made a great swing and got the job done.”
Kipnis’ RBI single handed the Twins their first 1-0, extra-inning defeat since May 23, 1981, at Kansas City. It also gave Minnesota its longest losing streak since an 11-gamer from Sept. 9-21, 2011, three shy of its franchise record.
“This is kind of the nature of the beast right now for us,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “We haven’t had a game of that quality in quite a while. But that’s baseball, you never know from day to day if you’re going to be in a pitcher’s duel or a slugging contest.”
Trevor Plouffe, Jorge Polanco and Juan Centeno each had two hits for Minnesota, which went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base.
The Twins loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the 10th against Cleveland closer Cody Allen, but Zach McAllister (3-2) entered and induced a fly out to center by Max Kepler to end the threat.
Kintzler (0-1), who equaled his season high by throwing 1 2/3 innings, said he felt no fatigue. The right-hander did blame himself for allowing Gimenez to single on an 0-2 count after Abraham Almonte led off the inning with a hit.
“Brandon went over and above the call of duty by going out for a third inning,” Molitor said. “And I thought he pitched well for the most part. He got that nice sinker down, but Kipnis found a way to get it.”
Left-hander Hector Santiago started for Minnesota and allowed three hits over 6 1/3 innings, walking four and striking out two. It was his first quality start since being acquired from the Angels on Aug. 1.
Entering the evening, Santiago was 0-4 with a 10.89 ERA in four outings with the Twins.
“I thought I pitched smart today and got out of some tough situations,” he said. “This is what I know I can do when I pitch aggressive.”
Before the game, the Twins placed center fielder Danny Santana on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left shoulder.
BACK IN THE BIG LEAGUES
Twins CF Logan Schafer was taking a shower Sunday when he received word of his promotion from Triple-A Rochester. The 29-year-old lefty batted ninth, going 0 for 2. “Obviously, I’m ridiculously excited to be here,” said Schafer, who played for the Brewers from 2011-2015. “It was definitely a big surprise, but a great one.”
Twins: LHP Buddy Boshers (left elbow inflammation) was scheduled to pitch one inning Monday for Triple-A Rochester. He has been on the 15-day DL since Aug. 11.
Indians: C Yan Gomes (right shoulder separation) has begun hitting drills and will serve as the designated hitter on his upcoming minor league rehab assignment.
Twins: LHP Andrew Albers, who was recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Aug. 26, makes his first start of the season. He has a 4.32 ERA in two relief appearances with Minnesota.
Indians: RHP Josh Tomlin has lost his last five starts, allowing 30 earned runs in 25 innings (10.80 ERA) since the start of August. He is 11-8 with a 4.70 ERA on the season.