MINNEAPOLIS -- Indians newcomers Roberto Perez and Jose Ramirez had their fingerprints all over Wednesday's series finale against the Minnesota Twins.
But without a little help from the club's veterans during the afternoon game played in front of 34,608 at Target Field, the Indians lost the game, 3-1, and dropped the series two games to one.
The loss seemed to sting a little too, as the Indians players showered, grabbed a bite to eat and packed their bags in relative silence before boarding a flight for Kansas City, the next stop on an important 11-game road trip against Central Division foes.
Perhaps the loss hurt more than usual because the Indians had won three of four against the Detroit Tigers to start the trip and the last-place Twins were forced to go with spot starter Anthony Swarzak in place of Kyle Gibson, who was scratched with lower back soreness.
The Indians scored first in the third inning when David Murphy led off with a single, was sacrificed to second by Perez and scored on Ramirez's two-out double.
But that was all the offense the Indians (51-50) could put together despite two hits by Ramirez starting at shortstop in place of injured Asdrubal Cabrera.
Perez also gunned down two runners trying to steal.
Perez threw out Sam Fuld in the first inning and Danny Santana in the seventh.
"It's my No. 1 priority, what they ask me to do -- play defense and help the pitching staff," said Perez, who made his major-league debut on the Indians' prior homestand.
Indians starter Trevor Bauer allowed the Twins to answer in the bottom of the third when Fuld's RBI single scored Santana, who had tripled.
The Twins took the lead in the fifth inning when Santana singled and scored on a double by Brian Dozier. They made it a two-run game in the sixth on an Oswaldo Arcia home run off Bauer, whose day was done after finishing off the inning one pitch away from 100.
Bauer (4-5, 3.93) gave up all three runs on six hits and two walks and struck out seven before giving way to the bullpen.
Asked about his outing, an obviously frustrated Bauer said: "(It was) good. One hard-hit ball. (The homer) was a fastball and exactly where I wanted to put it."
Indians manager Terry Francona said Bauer was pretty good.
"He gave up the first couple runs on balls that weren't hit real hard and just made a mistake on the home run late ... If we're winning, we'd probably let him go back out. He always gives us a chance to win, we just didn't do much offensively.
"Swarzak is such a valuable guy to them because it's not easy to do what he did -- come from the bullpen where I think he's averaging one-plus (innings) per outing. Against us, he went five and held his stuff, which was pretty impressive. That set the game up for them to get to their bullpen and not have to go longer with other guys than they wanted to."
The Indians mounted a rally in the eighth inning against reliever Casey Fien when Chris Dickerson worked his second walk of the game and Ramirez reached on a single. Both runners advanced an extra base on a throwing error by Twins second baseman Dozier, who fielded Ramirez's grounder on the run and tried to nab the speedy Ramirez at first with a scoop throw that sailed high and out of play.
But left-hander Brian Duensing came out to match up against left-handed hitting Michael Brantley and got the Tribe's All-Star outfielder to pop out to third to end the threat. Carlos Santana started another potential rally in the ninth inning, leading off with an opposite-field single, but Twins closer Glen Perkins retired the final three Tribe batters for his 24th save and clinch the series win.
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