MINNEAPOLIS — Max Kepler hit his second leadoff home run of the season and Alex Avila added his first homer for Minnesota as the Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 4-1.
Randy Dobnak (1-1) pitched five scoreless innings for Minnesota following a day of COVID-19 testing and uncertainty due to positive virus tests of St. Louis Cardinals' players.
St. Louis had two players test positive after playing two games in Minnesota earlier in the week. The teams went through rapid testing and the visiting clubhouse underwent another round of cleaning before Friday's game.
Mike Clevinger (0-1) allowed four runs in four innings for Cleveland, which ended its streak of seven straight starts by pitchers throwing at least six innings with two runs or fewer. Clevinger gave up six hits and walked five.
The only Indians run came via an RBI double by Franmil Reyes in the sixth inning that scored Jose Ramirez.
The potential postponement of the second game of the Indians-Twins series would have marked the fourth MLB game on Friday to be postponed. So far, games between the Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers, Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays have been delayed due to coronavirus cases in the sport.
Earlier this week, MLB announced that it was pausing the Marlins season with a total of 18 players having reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus in the last week. On Thursday, the Phillies -- who faced the Marlins last weekend -- announced that while no players have tested positive for the virus, two team staff members have.
The Cardinals’ two positive coronavirus cases mark MLB's first cases to have occurred outside of the East Coast since the 2020 season began last week. Currently, no players or staff members on the Indians or Twins are known to have tested positive for the virus since the season started.
In March, MLB delayed the start of its season due to the coronavirus pandemic. After months of negotiations between the league and its players' association, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred used his authority to enact a 60-game regular season, which began on July 23.