Indians begin quick set with rival Twins

Jeanmar Gomez surpassed his entire run total this season in one start last week. The Indians starter will look to rebound the evening when Cleveland plays the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a two-game series.

Gomez had allowed just seven runs over five games, including four starts, this season and was looking for a second straight win on Wednesday versus the White Sox before getting rocked in an 8-1 loss. He was charged with season highs of eight runs, nine hits and four walks over 6 2/3 innings, allowing six runs in the fourth inning.

The right-hander dropped to 2-2 on the season and saw his earned run average jump from 2.82 to 4.66.

"Gomez just couldn't throw strikes the first four innings. He struggled with his control to a point where in the fourth inning he had more balls than strikes thrown," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "When you're not overpowering you're really not going to get away with it up here and they made him pay for it."

Gomez, 24, is 1-1 with a 5.23 ERA in four career games versus the Twins, three of those starts.

Cleveland took the opener of its four-game set with Boston last week, but was outscored 23-7 in losing the final three encounters. That includes a 12-1 rout at the hands of the Red Sox on Sunday.

Justin Masterson was touched for six runs on seven hits and a walk in six innings for Cleveland, which has dropped five of its last six and leads Detroit by just one game for first place in the American League Central.

The Indians nearly made it a game in the third inning, when they were down 4-0. Asdrubal Cabrera drew a bases-loaded walk, but Travis Hafner followed by hitting into an inning-ending double play.

The Twins were able to edge by the Blue Jays on Sunday by a 4-3 margin, with Brian Dozier hitting his first career homer and Ryan Doumit adding a two-run single.

Scott Diamond pitched seven scoreless frames, allowing five hits while walking none and fanning four to help the Twins split the four-game series. Matt Capps worked around a one-out hit in the ninth to pick up his seventh save.

Carl Pavano is expected to make the start for the Twins tonight despite having an MRI on his right shoulder. The test revealed only inflammation, so the veteran gets a chance to rebound from his shortest outing of the season.

Pavano lasted just four-plus innings on Wednesday against the Angels, touched for five runs -- four earned -- on 10 hits. He didn't walk a batter, but struck out just one.

"I wasn't able to [execute] consistently and they got to me," Pavano said.

The 36-year-old failed to pitch at least six innings for the first time since Sept. 7 and is 2-3 with a 5.02 ERA in seven starts. He is 3-3 with a 2.83 ERA in 10 career meetings with the Twins.

The Indians have won eight of their past nine against the Twins.