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Escobar's 3 doubles not enough for Twins

Third baseman raises MLB 2B lead to 30; Odorizzi scuffles vs. Tribe
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

CLEVELAND -- Eduardo Escobar added to his Major League-leading total with a career-high three doubles to give him 30 on the season, but it came in a losing effort, as right-hander Jake Odorizzi struggled and the offense went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position in a 4-1 loss to the Indians on Sunday afternoon.

Minnesota had a chance for a sweep over Cleveland, but had to settle for taking two out of three, as the Indians increased their lead over the Twins to five games in the American League Central. Escobar stayed hot, though, and is now on pace for 71 doubles, which would break the Major League record of 67 set by the Red Sox's Earl Webb in 1931.

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CLEVELAND -- Eduardo Escobar added to his Major League-leading total with a career-high three doubles to give him 30 on the season, but it came in a losing effort, as right-hander Jake Odorizzi struggled and the offense went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position in a 4-1 loss to the Indians on Sunday afternoon.

Minnesota had a chance for a sweep over Cleveland, but had to settle for taking two out of three, as the Indians increased their lead over the Twins to five games in the American League Central. Escobar stayed hot, though, and is now on pace for 71 doubles, which would break the Major League record of 67 set by the Red Sox's Earl Webb in 1931.

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"It's better when you have three doubles in a win," Escobar said. "It was a good series win here and we'll get tomorrow off and be ready Tuesday for another series at home. This team will be OK. We go out there and play hard every day, but sometimes you have to give credit to the other pitchers."

The Twins scored early against Indians rookie right-hander Shane Bieber, who was making his second career start after Adam Plutko, Sunday's scheduled starter, pitched in relief on Saturday. Joe Mauer led off the game with a double and scored on Escobar's first double of the day. But the offense went cold from there, as it was the only run Bieber surrendered in 5 2/3 innings.

Video: MIN@CLE: Odorizzi strikes out the side in the 2nd

"We had chances but couldn't put the ball in play at times when even a fly ball or a ground ball would get us a point or two and get us closer," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I know it's not easy, but it's something we need to improve on, executing in those situations."

Odorizzi gave up a leadoff triple to Lonnie Chisenhall in the second, and he came around to score on a single from Tyler Naquin. But it was in the third when Odorizzi lost his command, as he loaded the bases after back-to-back walks to Edwin Encarnacion and Chisenhall. After falling behind Yan Gomes with three straight balls to open the at-bat, Odorizzi served up a three-run double on a 3-2 fastball to give the Indians the lead.

"If I make a better pitch in that bases-loaded situation, things could be different," Odorizzi said. "It was tough. I was just getting too fine on pitches. It's a fine line you walk, especially against this team. Getting it back to 3-2, if I had confidence in my slider, I would've thrown it, but the fastball was really the only thing I could locate. I just didn't execute it."

Video: MIN@CLE: Gomes clears the bases with a double

Odorizzi settled down to get through five innings, but he was charged with four runs on six hits and four walks over five innings to fall to 3-4 with a 4.38 ERA.

The Twins had their chances offensively, but they left runners in scoring position in the first, second, third, fifth and sixth innings. Ehire Adrianza and Mitch Garver made costly baserunning gaffes in the second, when Adrianza tried to advance to second on a throw to third that was cut off. Adrianza made it back to first, but Garver was caught between third and home to end the inning.

Video: MIN@CLE: Lindor nabs Garver at third in rundown

"We're not clean there yet," Molitor said. "We're making mistakes. I thought that was a momentum changer. We were hitting the ball hard the first couple innings, and we had Joe coming up with runners at first and third. Just really nowhere to go."

The Twins had two runners in scoring position with one out in the fifth, but Logan Morrison struck out looking and Brian Dozier grounded out to end the inning. It was even worse in the sixth, when they had two runners in scoring position with nobody out, only to see Garver, Adrianza and Mauer strike out to end the scoring threat. Lefty Oliver Perez came in to strike out Mauer and threw 1 1/3 perfect innings.

Video: MIN@CLE: Perez strikes out Mauer looking in the 6th

GROSSMAN EXITS EARLY
Right fielder Robbie Grossman left the game in the sixth inning with a heat-related illness, but Molitor said Grossman was feeling better after the game. Grossman, who went 2-for-3, was removed for pinch-runner Taylor Motter while at third base.

"He got a little light-headed," Molitor said. "A little dizzy. Just one of those heat days. We hadn't played in a lot of extremes. Just thought it would be best to get him out rather than risk something further happening. He came in feeling dizzy and wanted to go back out but we told him we were going to pinch-run."

SOUND SMART
Minnesota's record for doubles in a season is 47, set by Justin Morneau in 2008. Escobar also became the first Twins player with three doubles in a game since Grossman on May 31, 2016. Escobar's 30 doubles through 68 team games is the second most in club history behind Chuck Knoblauch's 31 in 1994.

Video: MIN@CLE: Escobar doubles off the wall to score Mauer

HE SAID IT
"It's impressive. People say, 'How do you get doubles?' You have to drive the baseball. Off the wall, right-center-field gap, down the right-field line off the bag. I don't know about comparing him with [Eddie] Rosario, but both guys are really confident hitters right now." -- Molitor, on Escobar

UP NEXT
After an off-day on Monday, the Twins open a three-game series against the Red Sox on Tuesday. Right-hander Jose Berrios (7-5, 3.51 ERA) will get the 7:10 p.m. CT start at Target Field. Berrios has been on an impressive run, posting a 2.47 ERA over his past six starts. He limited the Tigers to one run over six innings in a no-decision his last time out. The Red Sox counter with lefty Chris Sale (6-4, 2.75 ERA).

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

Minnesota Twins

Twins, Indians celebrate Father's Day

MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- The Twins and Indians took part in Major League Baseball's league-wide effort to build awareness about prostate cancer and raise funds for research to fight the disease in Sunday's Father's Day finale at Progressive Field.

During Father's Day games, players and on-field personnel wore the symbolic blue ribbon on their uniforms along with blue wristbands. Also, for the third consecutive season, players wore specially designed light blue caps with the team color on the brim. Players also had the option to wear multi-pattern blue-dyed socks as well as a special hooded fleece during batting practice.

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CLEVELAND -- The Twins and Indians took part in Major League Baseball's league-wide effort to build awareness about prostate cancer and raise funds for research to fight the disease in Sunday's Father's Day finale at Progressive Field.

During Father's Day games, players and on-field personnel wore the symbolic blue ribbon on their uniforms along with blue wristbands. Also, for the third consecutive season, players wore specially designed light blue caps with the team color on the brim. Players also had the option to wear multi-pattern blue-dyed socks as well as a special hooded fleece during batting practice.

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"With the baseball season spanning as long as it does, we get to play on a lot of different types of days," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We get to honor our servicemen, moms and today is for dads, which is a good thing. Around here, we acknowledge it's a blessing and a privilege to be a dad. Personally, for me, I lost my dad a while back. But I was fortunate to have someone who gave me the opportunity, ability and courage I needed along the way. We'll go out there and play a baseball game, and we'll do it in powder blue."

Video: MIN@CLE: Brantley on relationship with his dad

MLB will donate all royalty payments from the sales of specialty caps and apparel to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer. The effort also includes the annual Prostate Cancer Foundation "Home Run Challenge," which gives fans the chance to make a one-time monetary donation for every home run hit by their favorite team from June 1-June 17.

Casey Harrison is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

Cleveland Indians

Rosario goes 4-for-4 as Twins take series

MLB.com @RhettBollinger

CLEVELAND -- The Indians might want to find a different way to pitch to Eddie Rosario this season.

Rosario continued to torment the Indians by going 4-for-4 with a solo homer, two RBIs and four runs scored, while Logan Morrison added two doubles and three RBIs to help lift the Twins to a 9-3 win on Saturday afternoon at Progressive Field.

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CLEVELAND -- The Indians might want to find a different way to pitch to Eddie Rosario this season.

Rosario continued to torment the Indians by going 4-for-4 with a solo homer, two RBIs and four runs scored, while Logan Morrison added two doubles and three RBIs to help lift the Twins to a 9-3 win on Saturday afternoon at Progressive Field.

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Rosario helped Minnesota to its fifth straight win over Cleveland, and he's hitting .471 (16-for-34) with six homers, two doubles, 11 RBIs, 12 runs and five walks in eight games against the Indians this year.

"I don't know -- I feel more comfortable when I play against the Indians," Rosario said. "It's easier for me. I know what the pitcher will throw me in the situation. I feel good at home plate. Everything I see, I'm hitting."

Video: MIN@CLE: Rosario, Molitor discuss win over Indians

After drawing a one-out walk in the first, Rosario's four hits all came on a first pitch, as he singled on a sinker from lefty Oliver Perez in the second, doubled on a curveball from right-hander Zach McAllister in the fourth, singled on a curveball from lefty Tyler Olson in the sixth and homered on a four-seamer from righty Adam Plutko in the eighth.

"People are trying different things: offspeed, fastballs, in, out, it doesn't seem to matter," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He gets a lefty out there, and he hits one to left, and they throw him a first pitch try to come in and he hits a homer. I don't remember what that feels like, but he's in a good place."

A day after the Twins knocked reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber from the game after five innings, Minnesota roughed up Carlos Carrasco, who exited in the second after taking a line drive from Joe Mauer off his right forearm. Carrasco was charged with four runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings, as the Twins improved to 6-2 against the Indians. It helped Minnesota move within four games of Cleveland in the AL Central.

Video: MIN@CLE: Carrasco exits after being hit by comebacker

The Twins scored those four runs against Carrasco in the first with Mauer roping a single and Rosario walking to set the stage for a two-run double from Eduardo Escobar. The Twins loaded the bases with one out and Max Kepler ripped a two-run double that was nearly a grand slam. It marked the first extra-base hit for Kepler since May 28, snapping a stretch of 16 games without one.

Video: MIN@CLE: Twins grab early lead with 4 runs in the 1st

Rosario helped bring home another run in the second after Carrasco departed, hitting a one-out single off Perez and scoring on a double from Morrison. Minnesota broke it open with three runs in the sixth with Rosario smacking an RBI single and Morrison lacing a two-run double to right.

"LoMo's had a couple of good days, hit a couple of balls hard yesterday that didn't get hits, but he had a couple of big hits for us today," Molitor said. "Maybe guys are starting to get that feel, from top to bottom."

Video: MIN@CLE: Morrison lines 2-run double to right-center

Rosario put the icing on the cake with his solo shot off Plutko, who was scheduled to start on Sunday. It was Rosario's sixth homer in his last four games against the Indians.

The offense made up for a subpar start from rookie right-hander Fernando Romero, who gave up three runs on six hits over four innings to get stuck with a no-decision. He surrendered solo homers to Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez in the first and ran into trouble in the fourth, allowing a Tyler Naquin sacrifice fly before getting out of a jam. Reliever Matt Magill threw three hitless innings to pick up the win.

"[Romero] was having trouble with the lefties, they were getting some good swings," Molitor said. "Magill, you're not sure what you're going to get after 10 days [off], but he threw it over, got three long fly balls for the first three outs he got, but he settled in a little bit and did a nice job picking up three big innings for us."

SOUND SMART
The Twins have a .750 winning percentage against the first-place Indians, but a .424 winning percentage against all other teams.

HE SAID IT
"It's kind of his whole game. Baserunning, tried to make a throw today that got away from him. He's just going to do things. Kind of the way it is. Most of them are good." -- Molitor, on Rosario, who also had a baserunning gaffe with the bases loaded to end the fourth and made an unsuccessful long throw home from left to try to throw out Jason Kipnis as he tagged from third in the fourth

Video: MIN@CLE: Indians turn unique double play to end 3rd

UP NEXT
Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (3-3, 4.19 ERA) will start for the Twins in the series finale against the Indians at 12:10 p.m. CT on Sunday. Odorizzi is coming off a no-decision against the Tigers, allowing two runs in five innings. The Indians will recall Shane Bieber for his second career start.

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

Minnesota Twins, Eduardo Escobar, Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario

Buxton to begin rehab assignment on Tuesday

No timetable for center fielder's return
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

CLEVELAND -- Twins center fielder Byron Buxton, who is on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured left big toe, is set to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday.

Buxton participated in a pregame workout at Progressive Field on Saturday and flew to Minnesota afterward. He's headed to Rochester on Sunday and will play in his first game after the Red Wings' off-day on Monday. Buxton went on the DL for the second time this season on May 30.

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CLEVELAND -- Twins center fielder Byron Buxton, who is on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured left big toe, is set to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday.

Buxton participated in a pregame workout at Progressive Field on Saturday and flew to Minnesota afterward. He's headed to Rochester on Sunday and will play in his first game after the Red Wings' off-day on Monday. Buxton went on the DL for the second time this season on May 30.

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"It's good news for us," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We got him out early today to get on the field again. It's been a combination of trying to restore his health as well as the fact that we've done a little bit of tweaking with some of the things mechanically he's doing, hitting."

Video: MIN@KC: Buxton goes back to the DL with fractured toe

As Molitor noted, Buxton worked with hitting coach James Rowson on changing his mechanics a bit at the plate while he was along with the Twins on their road trip in Detroit and Cleveland. After a breakout second half last year, Buxton is hitting just .156/.183/.200 with no homers and four doubles in 28 games this season.

"Hopefully the combination of him feeling better and having a good mindset about where his swing is at will produce some good results down there," Molitor said. "We're working on just making sure there's balance on the lower half. He's been collapsing a little bit too much. We're going to try to use his posture to improve his strength as well as his [pitch] recognition. Not that you have video of BP today, but hopefully when we come back and you see some of the changes, it's more conditioned to consistency."

Video: DET@MIN: Buxton turns a single into a double 

Molitor added that Buxton's return will be determined not only by his health, but also how he's faring at the plate with Rochester. There's no timetable for Buxton's return, but rehab assignments are limited to 20 games for position players.

"It'll be a combination," Molitor said. "We've told him to take the pressure off. We're not going to set a date. We're not going to worry about, in five days or 10 days or whenever. We're going to go down there, not sure about the return, and just see if we can start getting him back to the player we know he can be."

Worth noting

• The Twins announced they signed seventh-round Draft pick Josh Winder, ninth-rounder Willie Joe Garry Jr. and 10th-rounder Regi Grace. The Twins have also agreed to terms with second-rounder Ryan Jeffers for $800,000, fourth-rounder DaShawn Keirsey for $600,000 and eighth-rounder Chris Williams for $10,000, according to MLB.com's Jim Callis. They've now agreed to terms with 21 of their 40 picks.

• Right-hander Trevor May was placed on the Minor League DL with right shoulder inflammation. May, coming off last year's Tommy John surgery, has struggled with his command at Triple-A, posting a 6.11 ERA with 16 strikeouts and 13 walks in 17 2/3 innings.

Tweet from @MiLB: It's All-Star Game szn!#MNTwins No. 14 prospect Travis Blankenhorn (@Tblank7) kicks off the Florida State League festivities with a Home Run Derby victory. https://t.co/gSxro5md0t pic.twitter.com/kLHyRqXu7j

• Class A Advanced Fort Myers infielder Travis Blankenhorn won the Florida State League Home Run Derby on Friday night in Tampa, Fla. Blankenhorn ranks as the club's No. 13 prospect by MLB Pipeline.

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

Minnesota Twins, Byron Buxton

Gonsalves spins gem for Rochester

MLB.com @wboor

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Saturday.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Saturday.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Nick Senzel's offensive barrage continued with another multihit performance in Triple-A Louisville's 7-4 loss to Toledo.

The Reds' No. 1 prospect (No. 5 overall) has two or more hits in seven straight games after going 2-for-5 on Saturday.

Not only did Senzel collect a pair of hits, he also hit his fourth homer of the season, a three-run blast in the fifth inning. The 22-year-old has been scorching hot of late, hitting .485 (16-for-33) over the past seven games. Overall, Senzel is slashing .305/.377/.481 through 39 games.

Other top prospect performances from Saturday's action:

• Two of the Giants top prospects helped lead Class A Augusta to a win over Asheville as Heliot Ramos (Giants' No. 3, No. 54 overall) and Jacob Gonzalez (Giants' No. 10) combined for seven hits. Ramos, who has been heating up after a slow start, extended his hitting streak to five games with a 4-for-5 night, while Gonzalez finished 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI.

• No. 69 overall prospect Stephen Gonsalves (Twins' No. 2) got back on the right track with a scoreless start for Triple-A Rochester. Gonsalves, who gave up nine runs in his last start and had surrendered 17 runs over his past three outings, put the struggles behind him as he cruised through 5 2/3 innings. The left-hander did walk three, but struck out five and yielded just one hit.

Gonsalves notches fifth strikeout

• No. 74 overall prospect Yordan Alvarez (Astros' No. 4) immediately made his presence felt in his return to the Double-A Corpus Christi lineup. In his first game back in the lineup, the 20-year-old hit a pair of homers before the game was called due to rain in the fifth inning. Alvarez hit two-run blasts in both the first and third innings.

• No. 94 overall prospect Peter Lambert (Rockies' No. 3) has given up one earned run in three straight starts after doing so once again for Double-A Hartford. Lambert, who has a 2.40 ERA through 13 starts, walked one, struck out six and surrendered five hits.

Brewers No. 18 prospect Kodi Medeiros has given up one earned run or less in three of his past four starts after his latest gem with Double-A Biloxi. The lefty was stuck with a no-decision as the Shuckers topped Mississippi in 10 innings, but Medeiros certainly did his part with five scoreless frames. The 22-year-old walked four, struck out seven and gave up five hits.

• Brewers No. 24 prospect Carlos Rodriguez's career is off to a fast start in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League. The 17-year-old has multiple hits in eight of the 11 games he's played in, including four in a row after his 3-for-6, three-RBI performance against the Cardinals. Rodriguez has posted back-to-back three-RBI games and is slashing .440/.472/.500.

Indians No. 16 prospect Sam Hentges spun his second straight scoreless start for Class A Advanced Lynchburg. The Hillcats ultimately lost to the Keys, but Hentges did his part over 6 2/3 innings. The lefty threw 58 of his 89 pitches for strikes, walked three, struck out six and gave up four hits.

Pirates No. 13 prospect Oneil Cruz did it all for Class A West Virginia in a win over Delmarva. Cruz matched his season high with four hits, a trio of which went for extra bases. The 19-year-old, who also drove in a trio of runs, collected two triples and a double as he pushed his average to .304 through 62 games.

Rays No. 19 prospect Ronaldo Hernandez put together his second two-homer game of the season as Class A Bowling Green topped Lake County. Hernandez, who has 10 homers after finishing 3-for-4, hit a solo shot in the fourth and then followed that up with a two-run blast in the sixth.

• A pair of Royals' prospects helped lead Class A Lexington to a win over Rome as Seuly Matias (No. 3) and MJ Melendez (No. 4) each went deep. Melendez, who finished 2-for-4, hit his 10th homer of the season in the sixth inning, while Matias, who leads the Minors with 22 homers, went yard for the second day in a row.

Matias goes deep

White Sox No. 30 prospect Jimmy Lambert put together his best start of the season, despite taking a loss for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem. Lambert, a fifth-round pick from 2016, needed just 88 pitches (66 strikes) to carve his way through eight innings of one-run ball. The right-hander walked one and gave up five hits, but the bullpen gave up the decisive run to Wilmington in the ninth.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

Gibson sharp in win; Twins jump on Kluber early

Right-hander allows 1 run in 7 innings, snaps 12-game winless streak
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

CLEVELAND -- It was a night of ending streaks for the Twins, and it ended with an important win over the division-leading Indians.

Right-hander Kyle Gibson snapped his 12-game winless streak with a strong outing, Brian Dozier ended an 0-for-20 drought with a two-run homer and the Twins put an end to Corey Kluber's string of 26 starts of allowing three runs or fewer in a 6-3 victory over Cleveland on Friday night at Progressive Field. It helped Minnesota move within five games of the Indians.

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CLEVELAND -- It was a night of ending streaks for the Twins, and it ended with an important win over the division-leading Indians.

Right-hander Kyle Gibson snapped his 12-game winless streak with a strong outing, Brian Dozier ended an 0-for-20 drought with a two-run homer and the Twins put an end to Corey Kluber's string of 26 starts of allowing three runs or fewer in a 6-3 victory over Cleveland on Friday night at Progressive Field. It helped Minnesota move within five games of the Indians.

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"I think it was just a big team win for us," Gibson said. "We're almost halfway through the season and we're not where we want to be. We've been in a lot of close games that have gone the wrong way, but we've got a little bit of urgency here. We've got a lot of goals as a team that we want to hit. Unfortunately we haven't lived up to our own expectations so far, but we're not far off."

Video: MIN@CLE: Gibson, Dozier and Molitor on 6-3 win

Gibson, who hadn't picked up a win since his first start of the season, outpitched Kluber, allowing one run on three hits and four walks over seven innings to lower his ERA to 3.27 on the year.

"There's no complaints around here about how Gibby's been throwing the ball," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Can't explain some things that happen. For him to go whatever it was, 10 or 11 weeks, as well as he's been pitching. But we backed him up a little bit tonight, got to a tough pitcher."

Video: MIN@CLE: Rosario belts an early solo homer off Kluber

Kluber had a rare off-night, as the Twins got to him early with Eddie Rosario crushing a solo blast in the first. It was the fifth homer for Rosario in his last three games against Cleveland, which were all won by Minnesota.

Rosario helped spark another rally in the fourth with a leadoff double, and Eduardo Escobar drew a walk to end Kluber's streak of 46 1/3 innings without issuing a free pass. Logan Morrison then reached on a throwing error from shortstop Francisco Lindor, who tried to turn a double play, allowing Rosario to score. Dozier, hitting fifth for the first time in exactly two years, made the Indians pay with a two-run homer to left to end his recent funk.

Video: MIN@CLE: Escobar snaps Kluber's no-walk streak

"He responded," Molitor said. "He hit a couple of balls sharply, including the home run, which was really good to see."

Kluber turned in his worst outing of the year, going a season-low five innings and giving up a season-worst four runs. It was the most runs he had allowed in a home start since April 15, 2007, and he registered a season-low four swings and misses.

Video: MIN@CLE: Dozier belts a 2-run homer into bleachers

"If there was anything different, at all, I didn't see as many chase sliders as I've seen in the past," Molitor said. "We saw some cutters and two-seamers, but that's just one thing I noticed. I didn't see our guys really look fooled on that hard breaking ball."

The Indians went to the bullpen despite Kluber throwing only 65 pitches, and the Twins added two insurance runs in the sixth keyed by back-to-back singles from Escobar and Morrison and a second throwing error from Lindor on another botched double-play attempt. A balk from reliever Dan Otero brought home the other run.

Gibson, meanwhile, cruised through seven innings and didn't give up a run until the sixth on a two-out RBI single from Yan Gomes after walking Jose Ramirez and Jason Kipnis. But he bounced back to throw a 1-2-3 seventh, completing seven innings for a second straight start.

The Indians made it interesting in the ninth with two runs against reliever Taylor Rogers, but closer Fernando Rodney came in to strike out Lindor for the final out and extend his save streak to 13.

"It got a little exciting there at the end and I had to bring Fernando in there to close it out," Molitor said. "But a good win to start the series."

Video: MIN@CLE: Rodney strikes out Lindor for the save

SOUND SMART
Over his last 162 games, dating back to June 11, 2017, Rosario is hitting .311/.350/.564 with 37 homers, 44 doubles, 107 RBIs and 102 runs scored.

"He's been so good," Gibson said. "That guy has just been a spark plug. He's done such a great job putting up runs early and getting big hits. The walk-off homers, the go-ahead homers. He's a guy that's never intimidated up there. It doesn't matter who he's facing. He's seeing the ball really well, and he's putting a lot of really good swings on the ball."

Video: Rosario scores on throwing error

HE SAID IT
"I think in general as an offense, we're still waiting to get going. I think a night like tonight could really spark us against a guy who's been dominant all year. Just to see us come out with that kind of confidence and put that many good swings on Kluber." -- Gibson

UP NEXT
Rookie right-hander Fernando Romero (3-2, 3.92 ERA) will take the mound for the Twins in the second game of the series on Saturday at 3:10 p.m. CT. Romero picked up a win last time out, allowing two earned runs in five innings against the Angels on Sunday. Right-hander Carlos Carrasco (8-4, 3.90 ERA) starts for Cleveland.

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

Minnesota Twins, Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar, Kyle Gibson, Eddie Rosario

Mauer off disabled list, rejoins Twins

Club recalls Motter from Triple-A; Sano to begin program on Saturday
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

CLEVELAND -- The Twins activated first baseman Joe Mauer from the 10-day disabled list and recalled utility infielder Taylor Motter from Triple-A Rochester on Friday, a day after they optioned third baseman Miguel Sano to Class A Advanced Fort Myers and outfielder Jake Cave to Rochester.

Mauer missed 25 games with a cervical neck strain and concussion-like symptoms stemming from a diving attempt in Anaheim on May 11. He played in four rehab games with Rochester, going 0-for-10, but most importantly, he said his concussion symptoms are behind him. He led off against the Indians in his return, going 0-for-4 in Minnesota's 6-3 win.

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CLEVELAND -- The Twins activated first baseman Joe Mauer from the 10-day disabled list and recalled utility infielder Taylor Motter from Triple-A Rochester on Friday, a day after they optioned third baseman Miguel Sano to Class A Advanced Fort Myers and outfielder Jake Cave to Rochester.

Mauer missed 25 games with a cervical neck strain and concussion-like symptoms stemming from a diving attempt in Anaheim on May 11. He played in four rehab games with Rochester, going 0-for-10, but most importantly, he said his concussion symptoms are behind him. He led off against the Indians in his return, going 0-for-4 in Minnesota's 6-3 win.

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"It's been going good," Mauer said before Friday's game. "Went down there, got in a couple games and did everything I had to do to get back here. It was a short little stint, but definitely excited to check off those boxes."

Video: OAK@SEA: Motter cranks mammoth solo HR to left field

Motter, 28, brings versatility to the Twins, as he has experience at four infield positions and three outfield positions. Minnesota optioned Cave and brought up Motter because they needed infield depth after optioning Sano, as Ehire Adrianza will now be the primary shortstop with Eduardo Escobar at third base.

Motter is a career .198/.269/.326 hitter with 10 homers and 36 RBIs in parts of three seasons with the Rays and Mariners. He was hitting .167/.255/.310 in 13 games at Rochester after he was claimed off waivers from the Mariners on May 28.

"I'm happy and excited to be here," Motter said. "It's always tough to get DFA'd. But to get picked up by another team is always good. Your opportunity doesn't lay with just one team. I'm excited it's for the Twins now, and hopefully it's for the rest of my career."

Video: MLB Tonight on the Twins sending Sano down to Class A

As for Sano, he arrived in Fort Myers on Friday and will begin his program on Saturday, chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said. The Twins chose to send him to Fort Myers instead of Rochester because he has more access to coaches and trainers there, and they can have him work on his conditioning and hitting at the club's Spring Training complex.

He'll play in games with the Miracle, but will also have some days where he focuses on conditioning or hitting work instead of seeing game action. There's no timetable for his return, and he doesn't necessarily have to advance to any other levels in the Minors before he's called back up. It's almost like a second Spring Training for Sano, who had offseason surgery to have a titanium rod inserted in his left shin and also missed 24 games with a strained left hamstring suffered in late April.

"We're going to do strength work, hitting work, infield work," Falvey said. "Some days he might not play in a game and do a heavy dose of other areas. It's been a challenging 12 months for him since he had that injury. He had some downtime and then had that surgery. His offseason was atypical when it comes to workouts. And he goes through Spring Training in a decent spot and then has the hamstring injury. We just felt the best thing we could do was start from a blank canvas and get some strength and go from there. That's our view."

Injury updates

• Shortstop Jorge Polanco, who is set to return from his 80-game suspension on July 2, was set to start his 15-game rehab assignment on Sunday, but is dealing with a cut finger on his right hand after accidentally slamming it in a door. The Twins don't believe it's a serious injury, but Polanco will likely have fewer games to get ready for his return. Polanco, who is out of Minor League options, has to be added to the roster once eligible, unless he's placed on the disabled list.

"All it does is cut down his rehab," Falvey said. "If he doesn't start Sunday, it doesn't really matter. It might just mean he'll play in fewer games in that window. But we don't see it as a long-term issue."

• Right-hander Ervin Santana threw his first bullpen session since suffering a setback with his surgically repaired right middle finger. He'll continue his throwing program before restarting a second rehab assignment and is roughly a month away from returning.

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

Minnesota Twins, Joe Mauer, Taylor Motter, Miguel Sano

Lewis drives in four for Kernels

MLB.com @GoldenSombrero

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Friday.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Friday.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Zack Brown fell one out short of throwing a no-hitter, but still went the distance as he recorded the first complete game and shutout of his career in Double-A Biloxi's 5-0 win over Mississippi.

The Brewers' No. 23 prospect kept the M-Braves off the basepaths for the first seven innings before an error by Biloxi right fielder Trent Grisham to open the eighth inning ended Brown's chance at a perfect game. He rebounded to set down the next three batters in order, and then retired the first two batters in the ninth before allowing a single on a soft fly ball to center field with two outs.

Brown would get the next and final Mississippi batter to ground out to shortstop to seal his one-hit shutout. He struck out eight and matched his season-high mark by throwing 109 pitches (71 strikes) in the outing.

Tabbed by Brewers club officials as a potential breakout candidate heading into 2018, Brown has done just that.

Assigned to Double-A to open the season, even though he made just four Class A Advanced Carolina starts in 2017, Brown -- a 2016 fifth-round pick out of the University of Kentucky -- has been anything but overmatched in the Southern League. In addition to his perfect 6-0 record in 14 starts, the 23-year-old right-hander leads the qualified hurlers in the circuit in both WHIP (1.00) and innings pitched (85 1/3) and ranks third in ERA (tied, 2.53) and strikeouts (84). Opposing hitters, meanwhile, are batting just .204 against him.

Brown has been especially sharp over his last four starts, pitching to a 1.33 ERA with 32 strikeouts and just 13 hits allowed in 27 innings.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Friday

No. 5 overall prospect Nick Senzel (Reds' No. 1) has collected multiple hits in six straight games after finishing 2-for-5 with a double in Triple-A Louisville's 5-2 win over Toledo. The 22-year-old infielder has 14 hits and a .500 average (14-for-28) in that span, during which he's boosted his overall average from .256 to .302.

• No. 14 overall prospect Kyle Tucker (Astros' No. 2) cleared the bases with a double as he recorded three hits for the third time in five games for Triple-A Fresno. The 21-year-old outfielder finished 3-for-5 at the plate, also stealing two bases in the contest. Tucker is quietly putting up big numbers in his first Triple-A campaign, as his latest performance gives him a .288/.359/.484 batting line with nine home runs, 20 doubles, 52 RBIs and 10 steals through 61 games.

Tucker doubles in three

• No. 18 overall prospect Royce Lewis (Twins' No. 1) collected three run-scoring hits as he matched his season high with four RBIs in Class A Cedar Rapids' 14-2 win over Peoria. The 2017 No. 1 overall pick connected on a first-inning solo homer and later added a pair of RBI singles to finish 3-for-5. It was the third multihit performance in four games for Lewis, who's slashing .298/.342/.454 with six homers, 16 doubles and 16 steals through 54 games in his first full season.

Lewis hits a solo blast

• No. 42 overall prospect Adrian Morejon (Padres' No. 6) was a bat-missing machine as he recorded 12 of his 18 outs via the strikeout in a strong outing for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore. The dozen strikeouts marked a career high for the Morejon, who ultimately allowed two earned runs on three hits and a walk in the outing. The 19-year-old lefty owns a 3.59 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 57 2/3 innings this season and has now struck out at least seven batters while completing at least six frames in three straight starts.

A's No. 7 prospect Austin Beck extended his hitting streak to eight games with his second four-hit game of the season for Class A Beloit. He finished 4-for-5 at the plate, tallying a double, three runs scored and two RBIs in Beloit's 9-2 win over Clinton. With one home run in 57 games this season, Beck hasn't yet tapped into the robust raw power that in part made him the No. 6 overall pick in last year's Draft. The good news, however, is that the 19-year-old outfielder is hitting for average (.298/.339/.368), while keeping his strikeouts in check (56 K's in 57 games).

• After being reinstated from the disabled list earlier in the day, Nationals No. 13 prospect Luis Reyes contributed on both sides of the ball to help Double-A Harrisburg blank Richmond, 3-0. The 23-year-old righty impressed on the mound by allowing four hits and four walks with three strikeouts in six scoreless innings, and he also helped his cause at the plate by delivering a solo home run in the fifth inning while also reaching once via a walk. The homer was Reyes' first career hit and came in his eighth pro at-bat.

Orioles No. 29 prospect Ryan McKenna stayed red hot by tallying an extra-base hit in both ends of Class A Advanced Frederick's doubleheader against Down East. He fared particularly well in the nightcap, going 2-for-4 with his eighth home run after hitting a double as part of a 1-for-3 showing in the opener. The 21-year-old's .374 average through 66 games this season is tops in the Carolina League and ranks second in the Minors behind Vladimir Guerrero Jr. McKenna also leads the Carolina League in OBP (.466), slugging (.557), hits (95), total bases (141) and runs scored (59).

Yankees No. 9 prospect Dillon Tate scattered four hits and two walks and racked up a season-best 10 strikeouts over 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a no-decision for Double-A Trenton. The 24-year-old righty has permitted more than two earned runs once in his past seven starts, during which he's lowered his season ERA from 5.24 to 3.11. He's compiled 62 strikeouts and 16 walks and held hitters to a paltry .214 average in 66 2/3 innings (12 starts) this season.

Tate's 10th strikeout

Yankees No. 10 prospect Matt Sauer was unhittable over six innings in his season debut for Class A Short Season Staten Island. The 2017 second-rounder faced the minimum in the performance, issuing one walk and striking out three while throwing 49 of his 75 pitches for strikes. It was the seventh career start for 19-year-old righty after he posted a 5.40 ERA over 11 2/3 innings (six starts) last year in his pro debut.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Twins send struggling Sano to Class A

MLB.com

DETROIT -- Miguel Sano, an All-Star and a Home Run Derby participant a year ago, was optioned to the Minors following the Twins' 3-1 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park on Thursday. Sano will go to Class A Advanced Fort Myers, where the team's Spring Training facility is located.

Additionally, Minnesota optioned outfielder Jake Cave to Triple-A Rochester. The moves come in preparation for the return of Joe Mauer, who will rejoin the team on Friday for the Twins' series opener against the Indians in Cleveland. Mauer has been out since May 18 with a neck strain and concussion-like symptoms. Minnesota will also make another move Friday to fill the second open spot on the roster.

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DETROIT -- Miguel Sano, an All-Star and a Home Run Derby participant a year ago, was optioned to the Minors following the Twins' 3-1 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park on Thursday. Sano will go to Class A Advanced Fort Myers, where the team's Spring Training facility is located.

Additionally, Minnesota optioned outfielder Jake Cave to Triple-A Rochester. The moves come in preparation for the return of Joe Mauer, who will rejoin the team on Friday for the Twins' series opener against the Indians in Cleveland. Mauer has been out since May 18 with a neck strain and concussion-like symptoms. Minnesota will also make another move Friday to fill the second open spot on the roster.

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The third baseman has struggled at the plate this season, especially since returning from a strained left hamstring that kept him out for most of May. The 25-year-old is hitting .203 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs in 37 games, along with 66 strikeouts compared to just 14 walks.

"We don't feel right now that we're getting what we need to from him," Twins manager Paul Molitor said after the game. "He's going to have to go down there and get to work."

Sano's weight was an issue at the beginning of the season after offseason surgery to reinforce his left shin that was injured in August.

"He got behind this winter, and it's been kind of an uphill battle," Molitor said. "We're going to work on his performance in baseball and his swing, just bring him along. We're going to listen to him. We're going to stay in touch. We're going to be supportive, because we know that we need him long term."

Sano said going to Fort Myers will also allow him to get the timing back in his swing in a lower-pressure environment, while working alongside the Twins' coaching staff.

"I'm not mad. I'm happy, because I know I'm struggling, and [Molitor] gave me an opportunity," Sano said. "There's no reason I can get mad."

"He needs to be the guy we think he can be," Molitor said. "He's not there right now. We have to take a step backwards here and determine the steps moving forward. But we like our coaches and facility there with a lot of things we can control more there."

Sano made the American League All-Star team for the first time last season, and he hit .264 with 28 home runs and 77 RBIs in 114 games. He also hit 25 homers in 2016 and 18 as a rookie in '15, when he finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year Award voting.

Tyler Fenwick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.

Minnesota Twins, Miguel Sano

Lynn sharp until 7th, allows 3 runs in loss

After first inning, Twins' offense struggles against Fulmer
MLB.com

DETROIT -- Lance Lynn had spent the months of May and June turning his arm into one of the Twins' best assets. He did it again on Thursday afternoon against the Tigers at Comerica Park for six innings. The only problem was he pitched 6 2/3 innings, and the bottom of Detroit's order stretched those two outs into three runs in a 3-1 win.

Lynn had only allowed three hits through six innings when he took the mound in the seventh with a 1-0 lead. John Hicks led off with a stand-up triple to right-center, and Niko Goodrum scored him with a sacrifice fly to center to tie the game. After Lynn struck out James McCann, he hit Jose Iglesias and then gave up a two-run home run to JaCoby Jones, who had struck out in his first two at-bats.

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DETROIT -- Lance Lynn had spent the months of May and June turning his arm into one of the Twins' best assets. He did it again on Thursday afternoon against the Tigers at Comerica Park for six innings. The only problem was he pitched 6 2/3 innings, and the bottom of Detroit's order stretched those two outs into three runs in a 3-1 win.

Lynn had only allowed three hits through six innings when he took the mound in the seventh with a 1-0 lead. John Hicks led off with a stand-up triple to right-center, and Niko Goodrum scored him with a sacrifice fly to center to tie the game. After Lynn struck out James McCann, he hit Jose Iglesias and then gave up a two-run home run to JaCoby Jones, who had struck out in his first two at-bats.

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Manager Paul Molitor made a mound visit after Lynn hit Iglesias, but it didn't take any convincing from Lynn to stay in the game. Molitor just wanted to check if Lynn's finger was OK. And with Jones coming to the plate, Molitor thought it was a favorable matchup.

Twins send struggling Sano to Class A

Lynn got behind 3-1 on Iglesias and threw a 93-mph fastball over the plate that Jones hit 389 feet to left field.

Video: MIN@DET: Jones gives Tigers the lead with 2-run jack

"Everything was still there," said Lynn. "I just made one bad pitch that ran into the barrel."

Lynn had been dominant on the mound before that. The Tigers only got two runners in scoring position through the first six innings. This was the same pitcher who was 0-3 with an 8.37 ERA and a 2.11 WHIP in five April starts. And just like when he beat Detroit on May 22, it was a barrage of fastballs and only the occasional breaking ball.

"Boring old Lance Lynn," Lynn said.

Video: MIN@DET: Escobar opens the scoring with an RBI single

For the second consecutive game, the Twins' starting pitcher took the mound in the bottom of the first with a lead. Eddie Rosario, the designated hitter on Thursday, doubled to left and then was driven in three pitches later with an RBI single from Eduardo Escobar. But also just like Wednesday night, Minnesota's bats were silenced the rest of the way.

Molitor was frustrated to see another one of his starting pitchers have an outing get spoiled because of a lack of offense.

"You get these performances, and it's been recurring somewhat," said Molitor. "We've had a lot of good starts. The rotation has given us plenty of innings, plenty of opportunities to find ways to win. Just haven't backed it up on the other side of the ball."

The Twins got five hits off Tigers starter Michael Fulmer (3-5), who held Minnesota to one run over seven innings. The Twins got five runners on base after the first inning, and none made it past second base. In his May 23 start at Target Field, Fulmer kept Minnesota to one run over 5 2/3 innings.

For as excellent as he was through a little more than six innings on Thursday, Lynn had no praise for himself after a loss.

"When it's all said and done, it's a loss," said Lynn. "You have to be better next time. Their starter gave up less than I did, so I didn't do my job today."

Video: MIN@DET: Dozier robs Castellanos with backhanded play

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The Twins had an opportunity in the fifth inning to build on their 1-0 lead with runners on first and second and only one out. The top of the order was coming up with Brian Dozier, but Fulmer got him to fly out to left. Rosario ended the inning with a popout to third. That was the last time Minnesota had two runners on base at the same time.

SOUND SMART
Even factoring in his bad start to the season, Lynn has been carving up American League Central opponents this season. Thursday's loss was his first to a division foe. He is now 4-1 with a 2.32 ERA and 24 strikeouts. Lynn has had six quality starts against AL Central teams.

HE SAID IT
"It's professional baseball. There's pressure every day. It doesn't matter what situation you're in. You just have to make pitches." -- Lynn

UP NEXT
The Twins continue their road trip on Friday when they open up a three-game series against the Indians in Cleveland, when Joe Mauer is expected to be back in the lineup. Minnesota will have Kyle Gibson (1-4, 3.45 ERA) on the mound. The Indians will counter with ace Corey Kluber (10-2, 1.99 ERA), who has pitched into the seventh in all but two of his 14 starts this year. First pitch is 6:10 p.m. CT.

Tyler Fenwick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.

Minnesota Twins, Lance Lynn

Adrianza got on track after meeting with Molitor

MLB.com

DETROIT -- About a month ago, manager Paul Molitor and Ehire Adrianza talked about how the shortstop could improve at the plate. But the conversation wasn't as conventional as a coach saying what needs to be done.

"It wasn't like manager to player. It was more like friends," Adrianza said Thursday before the Twins' series finale against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

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DETROIT -- About a month ago, manager Paul Molitor and Ehire Adrianza talked about how the shortstop could improve at the plate. But the conversation wasn't as conventional as a coach saying what needs to be done.

"It wasn't like manager to player. It was more like friends," Adrianza said Thursday before the Twins' series finale against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

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Adrianza, 28, struggled as a hitter through all of April and most of May. He batted .265 last season with the Twins, but that was in only 70 games, the highest mark of his five-year Major League career. Adrianza is the everyday shortstop now. Thursday was his 50th game. In search of a fresh perspective on how to make himself better in the batter's box, Adrianza turned to Molitor, the 2017 American League Manager of the Year Award winner.

"He was just very open-minded about looking for things that he could do to help himself get back on track," said Molitor. "It was a conversation between two people who want the best for each other. I was trying to do what I could to get him settled back in, and I think he's responded pretty well."

Adrianza prefers to keep the specifics of the conversation private -- not because he's hiding secrets, but because he was talking to Molitor as something other than a manager.

"When people are looking for a little bit of counsel, you try to make it where there's a trust that you've established with the player," said Molitor. "Hopefully it helps the effectiveness of the conversation and the information being exchanged."

Since going 0-for-3 on May 19 against the Brewers, Adrianza has made noticeable improvements. His batting average climbed to .234 by the end of the month, and he entered Thursday's game hitting .300 in June. The highlight of Adrianza's resurgence came on Tuesday, when he hit a two-out grand slam in the seventh inning to give the Twins a late lead against the Tigers.

"I think I gained my confidence back," said Adrianza. "I'm just going to keep working on the things that will help me right now. It's going to take a long time because it's a process. But my numbers are going to be better."

Worth noting
Molitor said he expects first baseman Joe Mauer to be playing for the Twins on Friday night in Cleveland. Mauer has been on the disabled list since May 19 with a neck strain and concussion-like symptoms. Mauer played in three rehab games with Triple-A Rochester, going a combined 0-for-10.

Tyler Fenwick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.

Minnesota Twins, Ehire Adrianza