CLEVELAND -- Now that the Minnesota Twins are winning, they hope they havent lost Joe Mauer for long. The former AL MVP and three-time batting champion sprained his right thumb and left the Twins 5-3 win over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday, Minnesotas fifth victory in six games following a five-game losing streak. "Hopefully Ill be back in there soon," said Mauer, who singled home Minnesotas first run and later walked and scored. "They (trainers) assured me Im day-to-day." The four-time All-Star played only 82 games a year ago because of a leg injury, but has missed only one game this year. Mauer got hurt while striking out in the seventh inning and was lifted for a pinch hitter in the ninth. "I fouled a pitch back and felt it," said Mauer, hitting .298 in 52 games. "It was barking pretty good, so I got some ice on it." Scott Diamond (4-1) cooled off Cleveland bats, allowing three unearned runs and seven hits without a walk over seven innings. In six starts since being recalled from the minors May 8, he has walked only four. Matt Capps pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances as Minnesota, last in the AL Central, took two of three in the series. Josh Willingham had two RBIs and Alexi Casilla hit two sacrifice flies for the Twins, who got five infield hits, including three bunt singles. Minnesota won despite making three errors. "We manufactured some runs, but missed the ball a few times and let them back in the game," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Every time they got close, we were able to score and get that lead back." Cleveland fell to 2-7 since sweeping three straight at home from Detroit. They dropped to 4-12 overall against lefty starters this year. "Not a good homestand, especially when you win the first game of both series and youre not able to win another ballgame," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We continue to struggle as a team." The Indians begin a nine-game trip Tuesday in Detroit and play 18 of their next 24 games on the road. "June is going to be a challenge for us," Acta said. "Were going to have to kick it up a notch." Thats particularly true of the starting rotation. Justin Masterson (2-5) gave up three runs and seven hits over six innings in one of the better outings by a Cleveland starter of late. In their previous eight games, Indians starters went 2-6 with a 9.52 ERA. That included a poor outing by Masterson on Tuesday when he gave up nine hits and all the runs in six innings of an 8-2 loss to Kansas City. Gardenhire said strong starts of late have helped the Twins. "It all starts with starting pitching," Gardenhire said. "Diamond did the job. He threw strikes, got ahead in the count and kept attacking the hitters." Diamond said he felt comfortable changing speeds and tried to throw strikes on either side of the plate. "Id rather attack them and give up a hit than walk guys," he said. "I give up a hit, I can get my ground ball and get out of it." Diamond struck out two and got 13 outs on grounders. With the Twins leading 2-0, the teams exchanged sacrifice flies in the fourth. Casilla gave the Twins a 3-0 lead in the top half, then Jose Lopez countered for Cleveland. Shelley Duncans RBI single later in the inning got the Indians within 3-2. Twins shortstop Brian Doziers second error of the game fueled the rally. Willingham and Ryan Doumit singled home runs off reliever Nick Hagadone in the seventh. Ben Revere reached on a bunt and stole second. After replacing his belt, broken on the slide into the bag, Revere scored easily on Willinghams single. "I think we can have three or four guys bunt in a row," Gardenhire said. "That makes it entertaining for the manager, who can just sit and watch them run around for a while." NOTES: Twins LHP Glen Perkins worked a scoreless eighth. Minnesota relievers have held Cleveland to a .175 average and one run in 18 innings this year. ... Gardenhire is awaiting tests on RHP Carl Pavanos sore right shoulder. He showed a sheet of paper to reporters, saying it listed his upcoming rotation. It was blank. Gardenhire said RHP Nick Blackburn, out since May 17 with a strained left quad, could be back soon. ... Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe made an error, but went 3 for 4 and is hitting .423 (11 of 26) in his career at Progressive Field. ... The Twins start a three-game series in Kansas City on Monday. ... Acta is hopeful C Carlos Santana, sidelined since May 26 with a concussion, will return Tuesday. ... Indians 1B Matt LaPorta was 1 for 4 in his first game after being recalled from Triple-A Columbus. ... Indians CF Michael Brantley has hit .370 (17 for 46) during a 12-game streak. Cyber Monday Jerseys
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. Instead, they dropped their second straight game against the worst team in baseball on Tuesday night to keep them from wrapping up a playoff spot.SUNRISE, Fla. -- Steven Stamkos has been practicing his shootout moves, and it paid off on Sunday. Stamkos scored the deciding goal in the tiebreaker to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers. Valtteri Filppula also scored in the shootout. Stamkos was just 5 for 27 in the shootout coming into the game, but he made some nice moves to slip the puck past Jacob Markstrom on his left side for the deciding goal in Tampa Bays fourth slot. "Its something that I struggled with in the past but practice does help with certain moves," Stamkos said. "I probably wasnt going to be in the first three but I was glad to go in there and help the team win in any situation. Its nice to see one go in and even nicer to help your team win in that situation." Stamkos, Radko Gudas, and Martin St. Louis scored in regulation for Tampa Bay, which has won five of six. Anders Lindback stopped 29 shots and turned aside three of four Florida shooters in the tiebreaker. Stamkos also had an assist. Lindback got his first win of the season. "We got another two points. Obviously for me coming in and winning a game, its nice," said Lindback, who started in the second half of back-to-back games in place of Ben Bishop. "He stopped a couple of their guys in the shootout," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "Thats where you need your goalie to stand up and win a game. He did that for us tonight." Brad Boyes, Nick Bjugstad and Shawn Matthias scored, and Markstrom made 25 saves for Florida. Boyes also had a shootout goal. Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, and Dmitry Kulikov all missed. The Panthers lost for the fifth time in seven games, including two shootouts. "Unfortunately, we end up on the wrong end of these (shootouts) right now, but theres guys that are pushing hard and thats what we have to keep doing," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. Fllorida rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the third period.dddddddddddd The Panthers closed to 3-2 on Bjugstads goal at 5:39 when he tipped in Scottie Upshalls shot from the point. Florida tied it when Boyes grabbed an errant puck and backhanded it under Lindbacks pads from in front at 8:51. Boyes leads the Panthers with five goals, but this was his first in seven games. Tampa Bay stretched its lead to 3-1 during a power play in the second period. Gudas took a wrist shot from just inside the blue line that deflected off Floridas Mike Weaver and got past Markstrom at 9:58. Gudas got a game misconduct at 12:51 of the third when he slashed at the boards in front of the Panthers bench after being squirted with water by Upshall, who received an unsportsmanlike conduct call. Florida closed to 2-1 on Matthias first goal of the season. Matthias grabbed a puck in traffic in front of the crease and slipped it behind Lindback at 13:48 of the first. It was Matthias first goal in 23 games, dating to last season. "Its tough going down 2-0 early like that, but we played really hard and battled back," Matthias said. "Its tough to have the final outcome happen." The Lightning scored two goals on their first three shots, including on just 41 seconds into the game. Stamkos passed from the top of the right circle to St. Louis, who poked in the puck from in front. St. Louis has scored in three straight games. Stamkos made it 2-0 at 4:35. Markstrom blocked a shot by Ryan Malone, but the long rebound went out to Stamkos in the right circle for a slap shot. The Lightning improved to 8-3. "Its probably the quietest 8-3 record in the league and we like it that way," Stamkos said. NOTES: Stamkos leads the Lightning with eight goals and 17 points. ... St. Louis has seven goals and 14 points in his past 10 games. ... Matthias previous goal was March 30 against New Jersey. ... Florida LW Tomas Fleischmann was scratched due to illness. ' ' '