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All-Star closer Brad Hand kept hearing his name in trade talk last year James Hanna Jersey , when the lefty ended up staying with the San Diego Padres and got a new contract during the offseason.This time, Hand has switched teams and could have a bit of a different role than the one he had in the National League.

”Going into this year, I didn’t really think it was going to happen after last year,” Hand said Friday in the Cleveland Indians‘ clubhouse. ”So I was obviously a little bit surprised. But my name was out there and talked about. … (The Padres) got a deal worth taking.”

Hand and rookie right-handed sidearmer Adam Cimber joined the AL Central-leading Indians in time for the first game after the All-Star break, and both pitched Friday night against the Texas Rangers. Cleveland traded switch-hitting catching prospect Francisco Mejia to the Padres on Thursday to get the two relievers.

Joey Gallo hit his 23rd homer, a towering, two-run drive to right-center in the seventh that got the Rangers within 7-6 when he was the first batter to face Hand in an Indians uniform.

Hand retired his next three batters and was followed by Cimber, who gave up a one-out single before inducing a double-play grounder to end the eighth.

Cody Allen worked the ninth, but gave up solo homers on consecutive pitches to Robinson Chirinos and Gallo for an 8-8 tie that sent the game to extra innings. It was only Allen’s second blown save in 22 chances this season.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona had told both new relievers before the game that he planned to get them in quickly and they ”won’t feel new for very long.” Francona also spoke with Hand about his role after the lefty had 24 saves in 29 chances for the Padres.

The Indians have been without left-handed reliever Andrew Miller, a two-time All-Star Ryan Kalil Jersey , since late May because of right knee inflammation. But they do still have Allen to close games.

”I told (Hand) my biggest thing is, keep their workloads even. If that means flip-flopping sometimes, we can,” Francona said. ”I’d like for the most part for Cody to close games for us, and use Hand and Cimber more in relief, fireman-type, because I think we can leverage them.”

Hand said he is comfortable pitching in whatever role Francona chooses for him.

Miller is scheduled to make his third minor league rehab appearance Sunday. Francona said Miller will probably need to pitch at least two or three more times before being activated, but he is making good progress.

”He’s working on his pitching, and he’s not so much thinking about his knee and where he’s landing and things like that,” Francona said. ”He’s definitely trending in the right way.”

Miller and Allen are eligible for free agency after this season. Hand is in the first year of a $19.75 million Calais Campbell Jersey , three-year contract he signed with the Padres in the offseason that includes a team option for 2021. Cimber is also under long-term control.

Hand and Cimber went from the bottom of the NL West standings into first place with the Indians, who lost in the Division Series to the New York Yankees last season after losing a seven-game World Series to the Chicago Cubs in 2016.

”Just going to try to do whatever I can to help out,” said Hand, who has never been to the playoffs during a career spent with the Marlins (2011-15) and Padres (2016-18). ”Obviously they’re in first place right now. It’s going to be fun for sure.”

Keon Broxton has made challenging plays look routine for the Milwaukee Brewers.

The center fielder’s latest gem may have been his best one yet.

Broxton helped preserve a lead in the ninth, rookie Nate Orf hit a solo homer in Milwaukee’s two-run seventh and the Brewers beat the sliding Minnesota Twins 3-2 on Wednesday.

Broxton was on deck when Orf went deep two batters after Brad Miller hit a solo shot off Jose Berrios (8-7) to lead off the bottom of the seventh. It was Orf’s first career hit after coming up empty in his first seven at-bats.

Just a couple weeks ago, Broxton and Orf were also teammates at Triple-A Colorado Springs.

”Yeah I think I’m more excited about Orf’s home run,” Broxton said with a smile.

The Miller Park crowd was just as deliriously happy with Broxton’s catch. He ran full speed back to the wall and jumped with an outstretched glove to rob Brian Dozier of a homer for the second out in the ninth.

Broxton, filling in for the injured Lorenzo Cain, also made a tough catch at the angled part of the wall in center in a 6-5 win over Minnesota on Friday. He made a diving grab in the ninth last week to preserve a win at Cincinnati.

But manager Craig Counsell said Broxton’s latest catch was ”special … that one, he was on the run and had to time everything absolutely perfectly.”

The play prevented a rocky ninth for Corey Knebel from getting any worse. Eduardo Escobar hit his 13th homer and Jorge Polanco singled with two out Trai Turner Jersey , but Max Kepler flied to left to end the game. Knebel picked up his 10th save.

The Twins closed out a 1-8 road trip with their sixth consecutive loss.

”Frustrating. Dozier hits that ball and they made a heck of a play on that ball and then (Escobar) goes deep,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said.

BIG HIT

Jesus Aguilar and Manny Pina lifted Orf up by his legs at the dugout steps to help the rookie answer a plea for a curtain call from a vocal crowd following his homer in the seventh.

”They picked me up and that’s when I noticed they wanted a curtain call,” Orf said. ”Next thing I know, I’m in front of all the fans on their shoulders. It was awesome.”

ON THE MOUND

Jeremy Jeffress (6-1) picked up the win despite allowing Dozier to score from third on Jorge Polanco’s bloop single to left for a 1-all tie in the top of the seventh. The hit snapped a stretch of 20 1/3 scoreless innings for Minnesota against the Brewers.

Berrios allowed five hits, struck out three and walked two in seven innings. He got little support from Minnesota’s punchless offense, which managed just three hits in the first 6 1/3 innings against Chase Anderson.

”I feel mad. As a pitcher, I never want to lose,” Berrios said. ”We had a chance to win the game and then they hit me for two homers. So I don’t like that.”

MAUER MILESTONE

Twins first baseman Joe Mauer got his 414th career double in the fourth inning, matching Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett for the franchise record.

QUOTABLE

”Yeah, that whole play Julius Peppers Jersey , I think it was the best play I’ve ever made.” – Broxton on his ninth-inning catch.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: Two-time All-Star RHP Ervin Santana (right middle finger surgery) is scheduled to make his next rehab appearance on Thursday at Class A Fort Myers. … Molitor said utility player Taylor Motter (concussion symptoms) is on a ”pretty good track” to return from the 7-day disabled list on Friday.

Brewers: OF Christian Yelich went 1 for 4 after being held out of the starting lineup for five games with lower back tightness. … Counsell said it’s a ”pretty good sign” that Cain (left groin) is running the bases. ”We are close, we’re just not there yet,” the skipper said.

UP NEXT

Twins: RHP Aaron Slegers will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester to start the opener of a four-game series on Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles. Slegers, who has made one appearance this season in the big leagues, is 5-6 with a 3.55 ERA in 14 starts in the minors. Left-handed reliever Gabriel Moya was optioned to Triple-A to open a roster spot.

Brewers: RHP Jhoulys Chacin (6-3) opens a four-game series against the visiting Atlanta Braves. Chacin is 1-4 with a 3.94 ERA in six career starts against Atlanta.

Womens Fred Warner Jersey

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