MINNEAPOLIS — Corey Kluber took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but Jose Berrios was even more dominant as the Indians fell 2-0 to the Minnesota Twins on Opening Day.
Kluber was perfect through four innings and didn't allow a hit until there was one out in the sixth. In the seventh, though, the Twins finally broke through en route to a season-opening victory Thursday at Target Field.
Nelson Cruz led off the inning with a single to left field to become the Twins' third baserunner of the day. With one out, C.J. Cron singled to center.
That brought up Marwin Gonzalez, who ripped a ball to left-center field that fell for a hit. Leonys Martin, playing in center, took an aggressive route to the ball but couldn't get there. Instead, it sailed past him, allowing Cruz and Cron to score to put the Twins up 2-0.
"We got to the seventh and they strung a couple together and probably the last guy you want hitting off Kluber is Marwin because he's had so much success," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He rifled that one in the gap and that's all there was."
Kluber was strong, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk to go with five strikeouts in seven innings, but couldn't match Berrios. Kluber said he threw one changeup all game he didn't like, and it just so happened to be at the worst time possible.
"I just didn’t make a good pitch right there," he said. "I had thrown a lot of good changeups throughout the day today and that was the first one that kind of floated on me and, unfortunately, it was in a bad spot."
And with Berrios in top form against a depleted Indians lineup to start the season, that was all it took.
Berrios was tremendous, allowing only a double by Martin in the fourth inning and a single by Brad Miller with two outs in the eighth, which ended his day. Berrios walked off the mound with 10 strikeouts and to a standing ovation from the Twins faithful after a nearly flawless start for a Twins club that hopes to contend with the Indians for the American League Central title.
"Yeah, that was impressive," Francona said of Berrios' performance. "I wish I wasn't sitting here saying that. But [he] not only has velocity on his fastball, but he located and he located it in enough, hard, then he'd throw a changeup off of that. He really kind of manhandled us today."
After Miller's single, Twins reliever Taylor Rodgers entered to face pinch-hitter Greg Allen, who struck out looking to end the inning. Rodgers went on to finish the ninth as well to earn the save.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.