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

Published 8:07 am Friday, March 29, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS — 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.

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“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.”