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TEX@MIN: Hernandez solid in first Major League win

The Twins enjoyed Pedro Hernandez's last start so much, they opted not to skip him in the rotation, despite Thursday's off-day.

He'll confront his stiffest challenge yet Friday, when he encounters an Indians lineup that has crossed the plate at will lately.

Cleveland scored 39 runs on 59 hits in its past four games. That included a torching of Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay on Tuesday, when the Indians hit seven home runs in a 14-2 win.

"I think we're starting to get on that roll a little bit," Indians designated hitter Jason Giambi said. "We've pushed through the tough times and we're starting to play really well offensively."

Hernandez earned his first Major League victory Saturday, when he held the Rangers scoreless for five innings.

"Hernandez was fantastic," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He did exactly what was asked of him. He got us through those five innings, even though he hadn't started in like three weeks in Baltimore. So we got exactly what we wanted from him."

The Tribe will counter with ace Justin Masterson, who, unlike Hernandez, submitted his poorest showing of the season his last time out. Masterson entered his Sunday start with a 4-1 record and 1.85 ERA. He departed with a 4-2 mark and 3.12 ERA after allowing seven runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings against the Royals.

Masterson did, however, tally nine strikeouts.

"When he worked ahead and got to two strikes, I thought his stuff was crisp," said manager Terry Francona. "I actually thought it was electric."

Twins: Mauer given extra rest
• In the midst of a 3-for-34 slump, catcher Joe Mauer received Wednesday off. Mauer played in the Twins' first 23 games this season. With the Twins off Thursday, it served as a chance to get Mauer some extra rest. The five-time All-Star is batting .287 with two homers and eight RBIs this season.

Indians: Swisher resting sore shoulder
• Nick Swisher received the night off Tuesday and wasn't in the starting lineup again on Wednesday. He has been battling soreness in his left shoulder.

"His left shoulder has been nagging at him a little bit," Francona said Tuesday. "We've been playing the heck out of him."

Swisher played in the Indians' first 23 games this season.

• Ryan Raburn went 4-for-5 with a double and two RBIs on Wednesday, his third straight game with at least three hits. Raburn is 11-for-13 with four homers and nine RBIs over that span. He had nine hits, no homers and one RBI all season before Monday.

Worth noting
• The Twins claimed 12 of their 18 meetings with the Indians last season, outscoring the Tribe, 108-73.

• The Indians' seven home runs on Tuesday fell one short of the team record of eight in one game, set against Milwaukee on April 25, 1997, and matched the seven they hit against Seattle on July 16, 2004. Comments