wants to play a role in the
' revamped plans.
The left-hander rebounded from one of his worst performances to pitch a career-high eight innings and the rejuvenated Indians
8-1 Wednesday night for their eighth victory in 12 games.
''I was bearing down to get through eight,'' Laffey said. ''I went out and attacked. I didn't take anything for granted.''
The 24-year-old Laffey (5-3) knows that with 11 young pitchers recently added to the organization in a series of trades, there's
increased competition for a job.
''I'm going to stay aggressive and try to throw quality strikes,'' he said.
Laffey was staked to an early lead as the first three batters in Cleveland's lineup -
and Shin-Soo Choo - along with No. 9 hitter
combined to go 10 for 16 with five runs and seven RBIs.
''That's baseball for you,'' manager
said after the Indians bounced back from a 10-1 loss to the Twins on Tuesday. ''Laffey did a great job, we got some big 2-out
hits and it was a different game.''
(4-11) remained winless in five starts since June 28 as Minnesota lost for the fourth time in five games following a four-game
winning streak. He tied Baltimore's
for the most losses in the AL.
''Frankie was battling,'' Minnesota manager
said. ''He'd get ahead in the count and end up 3-2. He didn't pitch to contact and got himself into trouble.''
Liriano agreed. ''I was leaving balls over the plate,'' the left-hander said. ''I've been making the same mistakes every start.''
Laffey gave up one unearned run on six hits, striking out five and walking one as he continued to alternate good and bad starts.
On July 29, he was tagged for seven runs in four innings in a 9-3 loss to the
Los Angeles Angels
. That came five days after yielding three hits and fanning seven over seven scoreless innings in a 9-0 win at Seattle.
Minnesota's 3-4-5 hitters -
- came in hitting a collective .423 (11 for 26) with six RBIs against Laffey, but went 1 for 10 off him.
''I didn't really change anything, but it helped to have a good changeup against lefties tonight,'' Laffey said. ''I threw
a little of everything, fastballs, cutters, curves, sliders, changes.''
made his Indians debut in the ninth, yielding one hit. The right-hander was acquired from St. Louis as the player to be named
in the trade that sent infielder
to the Cardinals on June 27. He was called up from Triple-A Columbus.
Crowe had a bases-loaded single and Cabrera a sacrifice fly in the second inning to put Cleveland ahead 2-0.
Crowe singled with two outs in the fourth and made it to second when center fielder
bobbled the ball for an error. Crowe moved up on a passed ball by Mauer and scored on an infield single by Sizemore. Choo
singled in Sizemore to make it 4-0.
It could have been worse for Liriano if not for a leaping catch by
against the right-field wall to take away
's bid for extra bases or possible home run leading off the fourth.
had three hits, extending his hitting streak to 15 games to tie his career best. He doubled in the sixth, moved up on an error
by first baseman
, and eventually scored on a groundout by Morneau, his AL-leading 89th RBI that made it 4-1.
Cleveland extended its lead in the sixth off reliever R.A. Dickey on RBI doubles by Sizemore and
. Choo greeted
with another RBI double and
's sacrifice fly made it 8-1.
Liriano gave up four runs on eight hits and four runs over five innings. He had missed his previous start with a sore and
swollen left forearm and is 0-3 with a 5.65 ERA in his last five starts.
''His health is good,'' Gardenhire said, adding that Liriano will make his next start.
''The options are very limited,'' Gardenhire said. ''We can't go with a four-man rotation. We just don't have the starting
pitching. It's not like we can take him out and put other guys in.''
Notes: Cabrera has hit .471 (8 for 17) since being acquired from Oakland on Friday. ...
went 1-for-3 in his return to the Twins lineup as the DH after missing three games with a strained lower back. ... Gomez went
0 for 3 and is hitless in 11 career at-bats against Laffey. ... Indians LHP
, sidelined with a strained forearm since pitching the home opener April 10, made a rehab start in the Arizona Rookie League.
... Indians RHP
, sidelined since May 2008, had a third operation and second this year, on the middle finger of his right hand. He hopes to
be ready for spring training. ... Minnesota has been outscored 43-16 in its last four losses.