CLEVELAND — Twins manager Paul Molitor tried to take the positives from Wednesday night’s doubleheader split with the Cleveland Indians.
Kyle Gibson threw six shutout innings for a 7-1 Minnesota win in Game 1, but Mike Pelfrey didn’t get out of the second in the nightcap, a 10-2 loss.
Minnesota ended the long day trailing Los Angeles by one game for the AL’s second wild-card spot — the Angels lost to Oakland Wednesday night, ending a six-game winning streak.
"The positive is we don’t get swept and the Angels didn’t win," Molitor said. "The reality is the Angels finally had a hiccup, it’s been awhile. We got a win. We got a loss. The loss column is what matters at the end of the day come Sunday. We live another day. That’s for sure."
While Gibson (11-11) responded well to the pressure of pitching in a big game, Pelfrey (6-11) allowed four runs in 1 2/3 innings in Game 2. The veteran right-hander shouldered the blame for the defeat.
"I let my teammates down," Pelfrey said. "I was terrible."
Cleveland scored four runs in the second and Francisco Lindor, continuing his case for rookie of the year, belted a two-run homer in the fourth.
Cody Anderson pitched seven shutout innings and Jose Ramirez hit a three-run homer and had four RBI.
Anderson (7-3) held the Twins to two hits and won his fifth straight start.
Ramirez, Michael Martinez and Carlos Santana drove in runs in the second. Adam Moore added an RBI single in the third.
Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario hit solo homers for Minnesota.
Abraham Almonte started the second with a double and scored on Martinez’s one-out single. Martinez took second on center fielder Aaron Hicks’ throwing error and scored on Ramirez’s double to left-center.
Ramirez took third on Lindor’s infield hit. Lindor’s high chopper was fielded by first baseman Joe Mauer, who tossed to Pelfrey at the bag.
First base umpire Brian O’Nora ruled Lindor beat the throw. Molitor challenged the play, but the call stood after a review.
Ramirez scored on Pelfrey’s wild pitch and Santana’s single scored Lindor for a 4-0 lead.
Gibson struck out a career-high nine in the opener and Torii Hunter had a three-run double in the fourth.
"I don’t know how long I’m going to pitch in this game, but I’d love to have the reputation of having success in big games," Gibson said. "I don’t know that this really starts that reputation at all, because it’s still the regular season, but it’s fun to pitch in games that mean something."
Carlos Carrasco (14-12) allowed five runs in three-plus innings in his final start of the season.
Joe Mauer and rookie Byron Buxton homered in Game 1.
Ramirez angered the Twins by flipping his bat after hitting his homer in the eighth off Ricky Nolasco. Molitor, along with several players, came to the top step of the dugout and yelled at Ramirez as he crossed home plate.
Nolasco was watching the ball clear the fence and didn’t see what Ramirez did until viewing it in the clubhouse. He was displeased when he saw it.
"He’ll get his, don’t worry," Nolasco said.
"It’s part of the game that’s grown a lot," Molitor said. "Players get comfortable with doing things that are, some people might interpret as disrespectful, so we reacted a little bit."
Indians manager Terry Francona wasn’t happy with Ramirez.
"Nice good swing, poor judgment," Francona said. "He’ll learn, hopefully not the hard way."
Ramirez, speaking with pitcher Danny Salazar serving as interpreter said, "Sometimes the emotion possesses you, but I wasn’t trying to show them up."
Twins pitcher Phil Hughes (virus), who was scratched from his Monday start, pitched the fifth inning of the second game.
Twins righty Tyler Duffey has not lost in his last eight starts, going 5-0 with a 2.17 ERA. He went six shutout innings in a 4-1 win over the Indians on Aug. 15.
Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer returns to the rotation in order to give Josh Tomlin an extra day between starts. Bauer only made one appearance in relief.