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Gonzalez, Berrios guide Twins past Indians 2-0 in opener

Minnesota Twins Jose Berrios tips his hat to the crowd after throwing 10 strikeouts against the Cleveland Indians at a baseball game Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Minneapolis. The Twins won 2-0. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-run double in the seventh inning , Berrios outdueled Kluber and the Twins gave Baldelli a win in his debut by beating the Indians 2-0 on Thursday to start the season.

Posted: Mar 28, 2019 8:12 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — When the time came for Rocco Baldelli to remove Jose Berrios from the game, the new manager of the Minnesota Twins clapped as he reached the mound and extended his right hand for a rare congratulatory shake with his ace-in-the-making.

This opening day victory over Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians was clearly an occasion to celebrate.

Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-run double in the seventh inning , Berrios outdueled Kluber and the Twins gave Baldelli a win in his debut by beating the Indians 2-0 on Thursday to start the season.

"Usually you get a fist bump or a 'good job,' and then you walk off of the mound, but this was opening day," Berrios said through the team's interpreter. "It's a special day for all of us and the first game for him as a manager. It was emotional out there."

Berrios set a Twins opening day record with 10 strikeouts, with the 24-year-old right-hander picking up where he left off as an All-Star in 2018. The youngest opening day starter for the Twins since Brad Radke in 1996, Berrios allowed just two hits and one walk in 7 2/3 innings with his curveball in prime form. Then Taylor Rogers recorded the last four outs for the save, stretching his scoreless streak to 27 straight innings.

"Jose's effort out there today kind of speaks for itself. It deserved probably more than a handshake," Baldelli said. "Probably could have given him a little hug out there, and that probably wouldn't have done the thing justice, either."

Kluber hardly deserved defeat, after retiring the first 14 batters he faced until Gonzalez drew a walk. Byron Buxton broke up the no-hit bid with a one-out double in the sixth. Then the Twins took the lead in the seventh solely with hits by new players, singles by Nelson Cruz and C.J. Cron and then the game-breaker by Gonzalez. Jonathan Schoop, the fourth member of the lineup making his Minnesota debut, even got hit by a pitch that inning.

Gonzalez, the multi-position player who spent seven years with Houston and signed with Minnesota more than a week into spring training, hit a 0-1 changeup from Kluber that landed in left-center.

"I threw a lot of good changeups throughout the day today, and that was really the first one that kind of floated on me," Kluber said, "and unfortunately, it was in a bad spot."

The two-time AL Cy Young Award winner making his fifth straight opening day start, the first in club history to do that since Stan Coveleski in 1921, Kluber finished seven innings with only four hits allowed and 79 pitches. Gonzalez, who's 10 for 22 with three walks in his career against Kluber, started for Miguel Sano at third base.

"Probably the last guy you want hitting off Kluber is Marwin because he's had so much success, and he rifled that one in the gap," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "That's all it was."

MIDDLE MEN

The AL Central champion Indians played without star shortstop Francisco Lindor and mainstay second baseman Jason Kipnis, both recovering from strained right calf muscles. Eric Stamets struck out twice in his major league debut, playing for Lindor. Recent addition and seventh-year veteran Brad Miller subbed for Kipnis and also struck out twice against Berrios until a two-out single in the eighth prompted his removal.

FOR STARTERS

The start of the season produced all kinds of newness, beyond just Baldelli's debut in the dugout. The Twins unveiled a new backdrop beyond center field, with 5,700 sea green juniper plants now serving as the batter's eye . The Indians wore uniforms without the divisive Chief Wahoo logo on them for the first time in 70 years .

The first-pitch temperature was 49 degrees for the first March opener at Target Field, where the Twins played their lid-lifter on April 5 last year at 37 degrees.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Indians: Lindor, who started the season on the injured list with a strained right calf and a sprained left ankle, was headed for a second opinion from Dr. Robert Anderson, an ankle and foot specialist in Green Bay, Wisconsin, who has worked extensively with NFL players.

Twins: Sano, who will be out until at least early May while the severe cut near his right Achilles tendon heals, has joined the team and begun off-field workouts. Baseball activities and an eventual minor league rehab assignment will still be a couple of weeks away.

UP NEXT

After a day off, the series resumes on Saturday afternoon. The Indians will send RHP Trevor Bauer, coming off a career-best 2018 season with a 2.21 ERA that was the third best in the majors, to the mound. RHP Jake Odorizzi will start for the Twins.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 58640

Reported Deaths: 1677
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Hennepin18641828
Ramsey7233261
Dakota4188104
Anoka3515114
Stearns286420
Washington200944
Nobles17536
Olmsted168823
Scott147918
Mower10942
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Blue Earth8745
Wright8475
Carver8162
Clay76840
Sherburne7037
Kandiyohi6871
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Todd4222
Lyon4213
Freeborn3581
Steele3381
Nicollet32913
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Martin2045
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Itasca13512
Carlton1320
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Murray1221
Isanti1160
Chippewa1011
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Meeker852
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Faribault830
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Rock770
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Pennington731
Jackson720
Cass712
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Renville625
Fillmore610
Lincoln540
Grant523
Swift521
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Pope460
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Houston410
Norman370
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Redwood320
Wilkin323
Hubbard300
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Wadena240
Red Lake230
Big Stone220
Lake200
Stevens170
Clearwater150
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
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Cook20
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Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 47424

Reported Deaths: 910
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10032206
Woodbury369151
Black Hawk308463
Linn227987
Johnson202116
Dallas184635
Buena Vista179112
Scott165514
Dubuque162331
Marshall142525
Pottawattamie128426
Story114114
Wapello87233
Muscatine84048
Webster7727
Crawford7263
Sioux6143
Cerro Gordo59617
Warren5471
Tama54529
Jasper46626
Wright4551
Plymouth4528
Louisa38014
Dickinson3774
Clinton3623
Washington29310
Boone2442
Hamilton2441
Franklin2339
Bremer2037
Clarke1953
Emmet1882
Carroll1851
Shelby1771
Clay1761
Hardin1730
Marion1620
Allamakee1544
Poweshiek1538
Des Moines1522
Jackson1481
Benton1461
Floyd1432
Mahaska13917
Guthrie1315
Cedar1281
Jones1272
Buchanan1231
Hancock1212
Butler1192
Henry1193
Pocahontas1151
Madison1142
Lyon1092
Lee1073
Cherokee1031
Clayton1023
Harrison1020
Humboldt1001
Delaware991
Taylor960
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Monona910
Winneshiek911
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Page850
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Kossuth830
Sac820
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