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Twins blanked by Tribe in series opener

MLB.com @RhettBollinger

CLEVELAND -- One of the reasons why Kyle Gibson has taken a major step forward over the last season has been his ability to limit homers.

Gibson had surrendered two homers in a game just one time over his 13 starts, but matched that on Monday in a rare subpar outing against the Indians in a 10-0 loss in the series opener at Progressive Field. Gibson went five innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks with three strikeouts to fall to 5-9 with a 3.60 ERA.

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CLEVELAND -- One of the reasons why Kyle Gibson has taken a major step forward over the last season has been his ability to limit homers.

Gibson had surrendered two homers in a game just one time over his 13 starts, but matched that on Monday in a rare subpar outing against the Indians in a 10-0 loss in the series opener at Progressive Field. Gibson went five innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks with three strikeouts to fall to 5-9 with a 3.60 ERA.

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"It's frustrating for me when I give up homers because I have the ability to keep the ball in the park and I have the ability to make teams put three and four hits together to have a big inning," Gibson said. "When you put guys on and don't execute pitches and allow them to have a big inning, that's the frustrating part."

Gibson wasn't helped by his defense in a rocky first inning that saw him walk Francisco Lindor and give up a single to Michael Brantley to open the frame. They both advanced on an error by shortstop Jorge Polanco, who couldn't handle Gibson's throw on a pick-off attempt. Gibson then induced a popup from Jose Ramirez, but Logan Forsythe and Max Kepler collided as Forsythe made the catch, allowing Lindor to tag up. Edwin Encarnacion followed with an RBI groundout with both runs coming home unearned.

Video: MIN@CLE: Ramirez plates Lindor on a sacrifice fly

"We've had a lot better days," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It was not pleasant to endure that beatdown. Not entirely on Kyle. First inning was disastrous, just the way it unfolded. Leadoff walks can always be problematic. We had a shot at the ball up the middle and couldn't quite get there. An errant pickoff throw and then the lack of communication on the ball to right field was disappointing, given the situation. A little unfortunate on the checked swing that got the second run in."

But Gibson was hurt by two long balls as part of a four-run fourth inning that broke the game open for Cleveland. Yonder Alonso led off the inning with a solo blast on a 1-1 fastball that caught too much of the plate. After walking Jason Kipnis, Gibson surrendered an RBI double to Roberto Perez before serving up a two-run homer to Brandon Guyer on a 1-1 slider down the middle.

Video: MIN@CLE: Guyer belts a 2-run homer to deep left

"Bad location," Gibson said. "Alonso likes the ball up and over. I was trying to go to a hole up and in and it just ran over, up-and-armside miss. Guyer, I just left a slider right down the middle."

It was just the third time this season Gibson gave up multiple homers in a game and the first time since June 9. The last time Gibson gave up two homers in an inning was Aug. 2, 2016, which also came against the Indians (Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana).

Right-hander Matt Belisle struggled in relief of Gibson, surrendering a solo shot to Kipnis in the sixth and a three-run blast to Encarnacion in the seventh. It raised his ERA to 7.71 on the season.

Video: MIN@CLE: Encarnacion belts a 3-run homer to center

Offensively, the Twins couldn't get anything going against right-hander Trevor Bauer, who struck out 11 over six scoreless innings with three hits and three walks allowed. Their best scoring chance came in the sixth when Polanco doubled and Miguel Sano drew his second walk of the game, but Kepler struck out looking to end the inning.

"He looked like he was angered that he didn't strike us out very much last week," Molitor said. "Early on, it seemed like two every inning just about. He was good. Got the pitch count up through six innings, but we just never got a big hit."

GARVER PITCHES THE EIGHTH
Catcher Mitch Garver, pitching for the first time in his career, threw a scoreless eighth inning, retiring three of the four batters he faced. He allowed a single to Lindor, but also induced a swing and a miss on Lindor on the first pitch that was classified as a 68.2 mph curveball. He threw 14 pitches, ranging from 61 mph to 81 mph, with his hardest pitch a two-strike fastball to Lindor that just missed low.

Video: MIN@CLE: Garver retires Gonzalez, tosses clean 8th

"I didn't throw any offspeed pitches," said Garver, who last pitched in high school. "Just changing speeds. I really wanted to strike out Lindor. Got to two strikes, and I said, 'This is my opportunity to do it.' I decided to gas one up a little bit."

SOUND SMART
It was the Twins' worst shutout loss since losing 10-0 to the Royals on Aug. 20, 2016. It was the 35th time in franchise history the club was held scoreless while allowing at least 10 runs.

HE SAID IT
"Really a couple of better pitches in the fourth inning and it's still a close game. I don't see it as being a game that defines this series. Hopefully the guys will come back and pick me up tomorrow and even the series and we'll be right back in it. Coming in here and taking three out of four, we'll see how it goes. Hopefully that's what we're looking at Thursday." -- Gibson

UP NEXT
Left-hander Adalberto Mejia (1-0, 2.60 ERA) is set to take the mound for the Twins in the second game of the series on Tuesday at 6:10 p.m. CT. Mejia threw five scoreless innings against Cleveland last time out, allowing only one hit, but came out after 74 pitches because his previous appearance came in relief. He'll be fully stretched out to start this time. The Indians will counter with right-hander Carlos Carrasco (13-5, 3.66), who is 1-2 with a 4.66 ERA in four starts against Minnesota this year.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

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