"It's getting down there now where even I can count it up and figure it out," Indians manager Charlie Manuel. "What's that tell ya?"
That time's running out on the Indians.
Jason Bere didn't blow another seven-run lead and Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome homered as Cleveland kept pressure on Oakland in the AL wild card race Wednesday night with an 8-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
Bere (6-3) rebounded from a disastrous start in Boston last week when he gave back a 7-0 lead to the Red Sox, who rallied for a 9-8 win.
That loss could keep the Indians awake at night this winter if they're unable to catch the A's, who beat Anaheim on Wednesday and remained 1@1/2 games ahead of Cleveland.
"Two down, four to go," Manuel said.
Bill Selby, getting a rare start at DH, had two RBIs when the Indians broke it open with a five-run fourth off Brad Radke (12-16).
Thome, in one of the worst slumps of his career, homered for the first time since Sept. 5 a span of 83 at-bats.
Bere has either been real good or good bad in his 11 starts for the Indians since coming over in a July trade with Milwaukee. The right-hander allowed two runs and five hits 5 2-3 innings.
"We need to win at all costs and it starts with the starting pitcher," Bere said. "I was able to put up some zeros in the first three innings and gave our guys a chance to swing the bats."
Cleveland came to the plate ithe first against Radke (12-16) just seconds after Oakland's 9-7 win over Anaheim was posted on the left-field scoreboard, and Ramirez quickly put the Indians up 2-0 with his 34th homer.
Kenny Lofton opened with a bunt single, and two outs later, Ramirez connected for his fifth homer in 47 career at-bats against Radke.
It's frightening to think what Ramirez may have done if he hadn't missed 44 games this season with a hamstring injury. Since returning, he's batting .372 with 22 homers and 71 RBIs in 67 games.
And his numbers rise, so does the dollar amount it could cost the Indians to re-sign him as a free agent.
With David Segui resting his sore right foot, Selby made his first start as the Indians' DH and triggered the five-run fourth with a two-run single.
Ramirez singled, and one out later, Travis Fryman got a double when right fielder Matt Lawton, wearing plastic cleats, slipped and fell on the rubberized warning track. Selby followed with his base hit to make it 4-1.
"It was like or something out there," Lawton said. "It was real slippery. I used metal spikes out there during batting practice and I still slipped. So I figured it didn't make any difference."
"I sure didn't want to have a game like this in my last start of the season," said Radke, who dropped to 5-12 with a 6.05 ERA in his career against Cleveland. "I'll forget this game in about an hour."
The Twins closed to 2-1 in the fourth on a two-out RBI single by A.J. Pierzynski.
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