The Indians' vaunted rotation absorbed two major blows Tuesday.
Carlos Carrasco was rocked for a career-high eight runs in 3 2/3 innings, including two homers, giving the Minnesota Twins all the offense they needed in a 10-6 victory over Cleveland.
Before the game, the Indians placed All-Star Danny Salazar on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. He gave up six runs in two innings of a 12-5 loss to Minnesota one night earlier.
"It was back-to-back bad games for us, but you know what? I think we'll learn from them," said Carrasco, whose ERA rose to 3.12. "I'm going to work really hard before my next start because I have to be better than tonight. It doesn't matter who you're playing, if you miss pitches, they'll make you pay."
Cleveland lost its second in a row and had its lead in the AL Central cut to three games over Detroit. The Indians, who were atop the division by a season-high 7 1/2 games on July 20, are 4-7 against the last-place Twins.
"They're outplaying us, it's that simple," Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor said. "They're doing everything better than us these last two games. We tip our hat to them. We didn't play bad — we played OK — but they hit much better than we did."
Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana each hit a two-run homer in the fifth for the Indians, who trailed 8-0 entering the inning before scoring six times off Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson.
Napoli's drive landed three rows from the top of the bleachers in left field, traveling an estimated 454 feet. He has homered in four straight games and leads the team with 26.
"I'm not really sure what happened, honestly," Gibson said.
Lindor went 3 for 5 with an RBI and leads the majors with 18 three-hit games. Santana also had three hits.
Carrasco (7-5) lost his third start in a row at Progressive Field. Minnesota rookie Max Kepler took the right-hander deep for his fourth homer in two games to open the series.
"The Kepler kid is so hot, and Carlos threw it right to his hot zone," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Things snowballed on him and he couldn't stop it."
Cleveland chased Gibson after 4 2/3 innings, but failed to score against four relievers. Ryan Pressly (6-5) earned the win by tossing 1 1/3 innings.
Minnesota carried its 8-6 lead into the ninth before Eduardo Escobar hit a two-run homer off Austin Adams.
Indians outfielder Brandon Guyer, acquired Monday from Tampa Bay, took Salazar's spot on the 25-man roster. He did not play.
Francona revised his rotation as a result of Salazar's injury. Right-hander Mike Clevinger will be recalled from Triple-A Columbus to start Thursday in the series finale against Minnesota. Right-hander Josh Tomlin has been moved back a day and will pitch Friday at Yankee Stadium.
Twins: 3B Trevor Plouffe (broken left rib), on the DL since July 2, began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester.
Indians: RHP Tommy Hunter (broken vertebrae) threw off a mound before the game. The reliever has been on the DL since July 17.
Twins: RHP Tyler Duffey is 0-2 with a 27.00 ERA over his last two starts. He allowed five runs in a career-low 1 1/3 innings against Atlanta on July 27.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer will face Minnesota for the 10th time in his career. He is 1-4 with a 5.01 ERA in 55 2/3 innings against the Twins.