Apr 18, 1:08 AM EDT

Indians fall to 0-3 in Kluber starts with 3-2 loss to Twins


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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians are searching for that magic that worked so well last season.

Kluber took a perfect game into the sixth inning before becoming erratic, and Trevor Plouffe led off the 11th with a soaring home run to lift the Minnesota Twins to a 3-2 victory over the Indians on Friday night.

Kluber was untouchable at the start, but he threw two wild pitches while the Indians came unglued in the sixth. He gave up two runs and three hits in eight innings, and the Indians fell to 0-3 this season in games started by the AL Cy Young Award winner.

"Anytime you don't come away with the win, it's disappointing," said Kluber, who struck out eight. "There will be numerous games where the offense does really well and pitching struggles, or vice versa."

Kluber's pinpoint control faltered in the sixth, and his defense also struggled.

Oswaldo Arcia, who had struck out 12 times in 17 career at-bats against Kluber, led off with a single to right field and moved to second on a wild pitch. Chris Herrmann followed with an RBI single and moved up to second on a throwing error by Brandon Moss in right field.

Then shortstop Jose Ramirez fielded a hard grounder from Jordan Schafer and tried to get Herrmann at third base. Herrmann made a nifty slide to avoid a tag, and then scored on Kluber's second wild pitch of the inning.

The right-hander had only three wild pitches all of last season and would have matched that number had his errant delivery in the eighth not hit Eduardo Escobar in the left foot.

"There was a lot happening in that inning, but he certainly wasn't getting hit around," manager Terry Francona said.

It was the second time this season that Kluber took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning. He also did it on opening day at Houston.

Plouffe connected against Bryan Shaw (0-1), sending a drive into the second deck in left field. He was swarmed by his teammates as he hit home plate.

Brandon Moss homered for the Indians, and Michael Brantley had two hits while returning from a four-game absence for a bad back.

Blaine Boyer (1-1) went 1 1-3 innings for the win.

Mike Pelfrey gave up one run and three hits in five innings for Minnesota. He also walked four.

Pelfrey's wild pitch in the fifth allowed the Indians to get on the board, and Moss' homer in the sixth off Tim Stauffer gave Cleveland a 2-0 lead.

BRANTLEY RETURNS

The Indians got a boost from the return of Brantley, an All-Star outfielder who has missed five games already this season with stiffness in his back. He was the designated hitter on Friday, but will return to left field for the final two games of the series.

"I went in yesterday and watched him work out because the last thing I want to do is get so overanxious to write his name in there, you make a mistake," Francona said. "But he's done a really good job of doing what he's supposed to."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Indians: Carlos Carrasco threw a bullpen three days after being struck in the face by a line drive. Francona said everything went well and Carrasco is on track to start Monday.

Twins: Escobar left the game after being hit in the eighth. ... LHP Brian Duensing was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an intercostal strain, an injury to the muscles in his rib cage. GM Terry Ryan said Duensing first felt tightness on Monday, but tried to pitch through it. Caleb Thielbar was recalled to take his place.

UP NEXT

Indians: RHP Danny Salazar will make his season debut in game two of the series after being called up from Triple-A Columbus. Francona said the plan is to leave him in the rotation for a while and keep Zach McAllister in the bullpen.

Twins: RHP Phil Hughes (0-2, 5.25) will look to get on track after a sketchy first two trips to the mound this season. Hughes is the team's ace, and is being counted on more than ever after Ervin Santana was suspended for 80 games and Ricky Nolasco hit the disabled list with elbow problems.

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