Cleveland, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Kyle Gibson tossed five-plus strong frames in his season debut as the Minnesota Twins gave Ron Gardenhire his 1,000th managerial win via a 7-3 triumph over the Cleveland Indians Saturday at Progressive Field.
Gardenhire was on track of reaching the 1,000-win plateau late last season but the Twins lost 10 of 11 to end the year, leaving him just two wins shy of the milestone.
Gardenhire became the 60th manager to reach the milestone, and just the eighth manager since 1961 to reach it while managing with just one team.
Gardenhire, who is in his 13th year as Twins manager, led Minnesota to six division titles along the way to 1,000 wins.
Gibson (1-0) helped get him to the milestone as the right-hander gave up just one run on three hits and four walks with three strikeouts to pick up his third career win as the Twins improved to 2-3.
Carlos Carrasco (0-1) gave up five runs (four earned) on seven hits and seven strikeouts, two walks and two hit batsmen as the Indians dropped to 3-2.
Gibson was handed a three-run cushion in the first inning as the Twins started off strong against Carrasco.
Second baseman Brian Dozier led off the game with his first homer of the year, his fourth career leadoff blast before Jason Kubel and Josmil Pinto chipped in an RBI single apiece for a 3-0 advantage.
The Twins added two more runs in the third, when Trevor Plouffe doubled home Chris Colabello with a deep drive to right field. Plouffe then advanced to third on a passed ball from Yan Gomes before scoring on another passed ball just three pitches later.
The Indians scored their lone run against Gibson in the bottom of the third, as Lonnie Chisenhall led off with a double and came around to score on a wild pitch.
Relievers Brian Duensing and Jared Burton combined to hold Cleveland scoreless for the next three innings after Gibson’s exit.
The Twins added two insurance runs in the ninth against reliever Vinnie Pestano, with Joe Mauer scoring from third on a wild pitch with two outs before Kubel added an RBI single to right.
With a six-run lead, closer Glen Perkins pitched the ninth for Minnesota and gave up two runs for the final count.