MINNEAPOLIS -- The return for Michael Brantley to the middle of Cleveland's lineup has seen some promising early returns.
The multi-skilled Indians left fielder is cautiously content.
Salazar (1-1) struck out seven and retired 15 of his last 18 batters. Brantley's groundout tied it in the third, and Edwin Encarnacion's single gave the reigning AL champions the lead on their way to only their third win in 10 games.
Brantley took Kyle Gibson (0-2) deep on a four-seam fastball left over the plate in the fifth inning.
"He looks like Brantley, which is a big compliment to him and his work ethic," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "It's one thing to come back, but you've got to still hit major league pitching, and he really doesn't look like he missed a beat."
Brantley hurt his right shoulder in Minnesota on Sept. 22, 2015, after diving for a ball. He had surgery but never completely healed and later needed an operation on his right biceps and was limited to 11 games in 2016. He's hitting .268 with two doubles, two homers and eight RBIs in 11 games this year.
"I'm getting there," Brantley said. "Let's put it that way. It's going to take some repetition. It's going to take some time."
Cody Allen loaded the bases in the ninth on a carefully pitched walk to Miguel Sano, but he completed his third save in three attempts by getting Joe Mauer to fly out to center field. Sano hit a sizzling line drive that hooked left of the third-base line before taking ball three.
"Fastball, I don't see it," Sano said. "You know, if he throws me a breaking ball in the middle, I swear to God, I crush it."
The Twins left 12 runners on base. Salazar allowed five hits and one walk over a seven-batter stretch spanning the first two innings, with the only run allowed on Eddie Rosario's single with none out in the second.
"If they get three or four there, it might be too much," Francona said. "But he kept them in check and really battled, which was good to see."
Predictably for the Twins and their missed opportunities, the right-hander went on a roll from there. Salazar struck out the side in the sixth, despite a one-out walk. He sent Rosario back empty after missing an 87 mph changeup that dived down and out of the strike zone to finish the frame.
"He's a very good pitcher," said Rosario, who had two hits to raise his average to .186.
GETTING GOMES GOING
Catcher Yan Gomes, who was 2 for 30 entering the game, reached base all three times against Gibson and is batting .444 (8 for 18) against him in his career.
"Little things can help," Francona said. "I'm sure it did a lot for his spirit."
GOING DEEP ON GIBSON
Gibson pitched into the sixth for the first time in three starts, getting one out that inning before being pulled. In 14 1/3 innings, he's allowed four home runs.
"That's just something that can't happen," Gibson said, adding: "That's just not who I am. Let's keep the ball on the ground and let the defense work."
Cleveland: In the best-case scenario according to Francona, 2B Jason Kipnis (sore right shoulder) would rejoin the team for his season debut on Friday in Chicago to face the White Sox. The two-time All-Star's rehab assignment was interrupted last week when he was hit on the left hand with a pitch.
Cleveland: RHP Josh Tomlin (0-2, 18.47 ERA) will make his third start after two ugly turns. He allowed 18 of 36 batters to reach base.
Minnesota: RHP Phil Hughes (2-0, 3.86 ERA) will take the mound for the third time this year, seeking his first 3-0 start since going 5-0 in six turns in 2010.
Buster Olney says that the Baseball Hall Of Fame voting process is unfair because voters are only allowed 10 names per year.
New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto is not expected to return from shoulder surgery until May.
The Chicago Cubs and reliever Brian Duensing have agreed on a two-year deal worth $7 million, pending a physical, a source confirmed to ESPN.
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are two of the greatest -- and most controversial -- stars MLB has ever seen. As the Cooperstown debate rages, which side voters land on tells us much more than just their stance on steroids.
Yu Darvish is right for Wrigley, while J.D. Martinez might want to think twice about Boston. With big names still available, here is the best fit for each free agent.
In response to the Pirates' recent trades of stars Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole, veteran infielder Josh Harrison said in a statement that "perhaps it would be better for all involved" if he also was traded.