CLEVELAND (AP) — Kyle Gibson limited Cleveland to one run in his season debut after Brian Dozier led off the game with a home run, leading Minnesota to a 7-3 win over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday and giving Twins manager Ron Gardenhire his 1,000th career victory.
Gibson (1-0) allowed three hits in five-plus innings as the Twins snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Indians.
Gardenhire, who has managed Minnesota since 2002, joined Tom Kelly as the only managers in Twins history to reach 1,000 wins.
Gardenhire is the fifth active manager to hit the milestone and the 10th in major league history to get every one of the wins with the same team. The 56-year-old “Gardy” has guided the Twins to six AL Central titles.
Dozier homered on Carlos Carrasco’s second pitch in the first, when the Twins scored three times and got four of their 10 hits.
Gibson made 10 starts as a rookie last season, and the Twins are counting on the 25-year-old to do more after giving him the fifth spot in the rotation. The right-hander worked around four walks – two in the third, when he escaped a big inning by getting Nick Swisher to ground into a double play.
The Twins, who hadn’t beaten the Indians since Aug. 24, pounced on Carrasco for three runs in the first.
Dozier connected on the right-hander’s second pitch, clanging it off the railing just about the left-field wall. Jason Kubel and Josmil Pinto delivered two-out RBI singles in the inning off Carrasco, who beat out Josh Tomlin, Trevor Bauer and others for the No. 5 starter’s job in spring training.
Minnesota tacked on two runs in the third to make it 5-0. Chris Colabello was hit by a pitch and scored from first on Trevor Plouffe’s double into the gap in right-center. Plouffe moved up on a passed ball and scored when catcher Yan Gomes couldn’t backhand a second low pitch from Carrasco.
The Indians got a run back in the third when Lonnie Chisenhall doubled, moved up on a double play and scored on Gibson’s wild pitch.
Kubel drove in another run as the Twins made it 7-1 in ninth.
Cleveland got within 7-3 on Asdrubal Cabrera’s RBI double and a sacrifice fly by Gomes.
Carrasco settled down after his bumpy first, but the damage had been done. He allowed four earned runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.
NOTES: Indians DH Jason Giambi (rib fracture) will likely play in some minor league games before he’s activated. Giambi has been taking indoor batting practice and is eligible to come off the DL on April 14. … Twins OF Oswaldo Arcia was given the day off with a sore right hand. Gardenhire said Arcia injured his hand swinging in the batting cage earlier in the week in Chicago and it flared up during an at-bat late in Friday’s game. … Indians manager Terry Francona said he was “touched” by the loud ovation he received before the home opener. “I was a little surprised,” he said. “It’s nice to be cared for or wanted in your job.” … Francona said he wasn’t the only one to give former Indians manager Mike Hargrove some grief for bouncing the ceremonial first pitch on Friday. “Everybody did,” he said. “I had to get in line.”