- Associated Press - Saturday, April 5, 2014

CLEVELAND (AP) - Carlos Carrasco started poorly, straightened himself out and wound up having a fairly decent season debut for the Indians.

One bad inning cost him dearly.

Carrasco gave up a home run on his second pitch to Brian Dozier leading off the game and the Minnesota Twins rolled to a 7-3 win over Cleveland on Saturday, giving manager Ron Gardenhire his 1,000th career victory.

Carrasco gave up three runs in the first and two in the third, but the right-hander struck out seven and stayed around for 5 2-3 innings.

“It was five (runs) pretty quick,” Indians manager Terry Francona said, “then he settled down and kind of pitched pretty well. But the damage had been done.”

The hard-throwing but sometimes wild Carrasco wasn’t the only issue for the Indians.

They couldn’t figure out Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson and managed just five hits - two of them in the ninth when they were already down 7-1.

More troubling, however, was that it was a familiar pattern for Carrasco, who has had other outings in which he’s struggled early and gotten into trouble.

“I think those are things we’re trying to fight through with him, try to break through with him,” Francona said. “Because it’s there and we know it’s there. There’s a lot to like, but we’ve gotta get them out.”

Against the first 14 batters he faced, Carrasco allowed six hits and gave up Dozier’s homer. In the final 14 batters, Carrasco gave up just one hit and struck out five.

He finished allowing four earned runs and seven hits, not nearly the type of performance or impression he wanted to make in his first outing.

At times dominant, at times maddening. Carrasco remains a major work in progress.

“I just started a little bit slow in my first inning,” he said. “I threw a lot of strikes, but I missed my spots too.”

Two pitches in, Dozier connected on Carrasco’s fastball, clanging it off the railing just about the 19-foot-high wall in left field. 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 Carrasco 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 Gomes, who had four passed balls in 94 games last season, couldn’t backhand a second low pitch from Carrasco.

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