- Associated Press - Thursday, September 11, 2014

CLEVELAND (AP) - It’s easy to see why Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was an unhappy man Thursday.

Watching a team get swept in a doubleheader and score a total of two runs will put most people in a bad mood.

Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson lasted only three innings in the opener, allowing two runs and seven runs in an 8-2 loss to Cleveland.

The pitching was much better in the second game, but the Twins were held to four hits in a 2-0 defeat.

“We couldn’t get anything going,” Gardenhire said.

A poor outing by Gibson (11-11) got the Twins off to a bad start and the day never got better.

“It just seemed like everything I was throwing up there, they were hitting,” he said.

Gardenhire’s take was direct and to the point.

“Gibby didn’t give us much of a chance,” he said. “We’re just going to say he had a bad outing.”

And going to the bullpen in the fourth inning isn’t good at any time, especially when it happens in the first game of a doubleheader.

“He couldn’t locate,” Gardenhire said. “He didn’t have command of anything and he went out of the game early.”

Another strong performance by Cleveland starter Corey Kluber held the Twins in check. Danny Santana started the game with a double and scored on Kennys Vargas’ two-out single, but Minnesota didn’t score again until the ninth.

Gibson gave up the lead when Carlos Santana hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first. Yan Gomes added a solo homer in the second and the Indians put the game away with a four-run third, keyed by Gomes’ two-run double.

Kluber (15-9) allowed two runs and struck out seven in 8 1-3 innings. Trevor Plouffe’s RBI single in the ninth ended the day for Cleveland’s ace.

The Twins’ offense struggled even more in game two. Rookie T.J. House (3-3) pitched seven sharp innings while Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen worked the eighth and ninth. Allen walked pinch-hitter Joe Mauer, the only free pass issued by the Indians in the doubleheader, to start the ninth but Plouffe flied out and Vargas bounced into a double play.

Ricky Nolasco (5-11) made one mistake - a leadoff homer by Santana in the fourth - but his strong outing was wasted. The right-hander struck out five and didn’t walk a batter in seven innings.

“My curve was good today and I did a good job filling up the zone,” Nolasco said. “I thought I did pretty good. That’s the way this game goes. It’s hard sometimes.”

“Ricky gets stronger as the game goes along,” Gardenhire said. “He kept us in it the whole way. Hopefully, we’ll see that same guy out there all next year.”

BACK AND READY

Twins LHP Glen Perkins (stiff neck) was available Thursday, but didn’t pitch in either game. Minnesota’s closer hasn’t pitched since Sept. 4. Perkins has converted 33 of 38 save chances.

HANG WITH HIM

Minnesota LHP Tommy Milone, winless since being acquired from Oakland, will Saturday against the White Sox. He is 0-1 with a 7.41 ERA in five starts with the Twins. Milone, who missed his last start with what the team called a tired arm, was 6-4 with a 4.23 ERA in 21 starts with Oakland.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: Santana, who missed two games with a strained back, started the first game in center field. The rookie strained his back making a throw from the outfield Saturday.

Indians: INF/OF Mike Aviles (concussion) has passed the protocol tests. He entered the opener in the eighth as a pinch-hitter and started the second game at third base. Aviles was injured attempting to make a diving catch in right field on Sept. 1.

UP NEXT

Twins: RHP Phil Hughes (15-9), tied for second in the AL in wins, starts the opener of a three-game series against the White Sox on Friday night as Minnesota’s road trip continues.

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